BSI: Standards Supporting the Journey to Carbon Neutrality

BSI uses clear standard reporting to support organisations on their journey to carbon neutrality and net zero emissions

Reaching net zero is a target for many organisations – some have already achieved it, and some are working toward it. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43% by 2030, according to the Paris Agreement. 

Carbon neutrality is an important milestone on the journey to net zero, but for large organisations the logistical steps can be complex. 

What is carbon neutrality?
  • A state of balance between the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere and the CO2 removed from the atmosphere

BSI was founded in 1901 to have a positive impact on society from early standards for steel sections, to the future of nanotechnology. Since 2000, the institution – now a 15,000 strong global community – has been driving impact from bases in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe, the US, and South Africa, partnering with clients and stakeholders to deliver impactful solutions to important issues. BSI’s services include certifications and testing, information and security, software solutions, and consulting, and its commitment to climate change and carbon neutrality is demonstrated by its role as the Secretariat for the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM).

Global timeline to reach net-zero

BSI also manages ISO 14068-1, the standard that provides principles, requirements, and guidance for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality and ensures that carbon neutrality efforts are true, fair, scientifically valid, and communicated transparently. BSI believes that, with the support of standards and an intrepid attitude, organisations can adapt to becoming a part of the climate solution.

By working specifically towards standards, organisations can achieve measurable and maintainable results. This could include: 
⦁    ISO 14064-1: The standard for event sustainability management
⦁    ISO 14064-2: The standard for quantification, monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emission reductions or removal enhancements
⦁    PAS 2080: The built environment is responsible for a high percentage of emissions, so the world’s first framework to decarbonise buildings and structures was created

Embedding sustainability into strategy and standards

In the past, sustainability was often viewed as a choice between ethical goals and financial gains, but it's becoming apparent that organisations integrating sustainability into wider strategies can excel in both aspects.

Through accurate reporting and transparency, stakeholders are backing businesses making green choices. By developing firm requirements, reporting standards mitigate the risk of greenwashing and provide a trustworthy quantification of sustainability within the construction process.

What is greenwashing?
  • The act or practice of making a product, policy, or activity appear to be more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than it really is

Sustainability itself is an incredibly broad term, spanning ESG, decarbonisation, biodiversity, the built environment and much more. For companies trying to manage it – and communicate sustainability management to stakeholders – it can be incredibly complicated. Considering the increasingly complex nature of Scope 3 emissions, reporting and communication becomes increasingly key.

Without up-to-date and climate-friendly international standards, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and by the United Nations.

BSI is taking an innovative approach. 

The London Declaration is a commitment led by BSI and adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to actively factor climate science into standards development. 

Following the signing of the London Declaration at the ISO General Assembly 2021, BSI has committed to revising its catalogue of 5,000 national standards and working with the international community to align all standards with the latest climate science.

“As the originator of the London Declaration, we are very pleased that this will be taken forward by ISO, its members and other standards bodies so that we can work together with other countries to ensure that standards become an enabler for organisations of all sizes to accelerate our transition to a more sustainable world,” says Susan Taylor Martin, CEO of BSI.

Read BSI’s The Journey to Carbon Neutrality: A guide to progress with standards report here.


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