The Carbon Protocol: Towards a climate-resilient society

In the month of September when South Africans focus on heritage and the environment, it is fitting to consider opportunities that will help designers, manufacturers, businesses, organisations, communities – anyone really - to become carbon neutral.

The Carbon Protocol of SA was launched in 2009 in an attempt to make a difference in the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The Carbon Protocol’s mission is to raise awareness and facilitate the transition to a climate resilient society.

This section 21, not-for-profit organisation was established as a collaboration of concerned and interested parties in South Africa to provide a platform to publicly report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry that supports both the voluntary and mandatory reporting programmes. The Carbon Protocol also hosts a greenhouse gas assessor database and maintains the development of the Carbon Neutral logo. Carbon Protocol of SA also hosts the Programme of Activities (PoA) platform for projects that generate carbon credits under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) framework.

What is carbon neutrality?

Carbon neutrality is defined as achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released (carbon footprint) with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, whereas a carbon footprint means the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community. Various methods can be used to calculate a carbon footprint, including ISO standards and other environmental protocols.

The Carbon Protocol of SA offers the use of a Carbon Neutral logo that is awarded to products, processes or organisations that wish to support and raise the serious issue of carbon reduction. The logo, that offers a positive marketing opportunity, is awarded annually to specific products within an organisation only if that product has offset or reduced Life Cycle Green House Gas Emissions to zero.

For more information on carbon neutrality, visit