Carbon Charter - Quick Q&A

What's special about it?

There are a lot of different ways of measuring environmental performance already on offer.  The Carbon Charter does not aim to compete with these, but to fill a gap in the market.  Targeted exclusively at small and medium businesses, the Charter is attainable for companies that do not employ a full-time energy manager, and that can't afford a rigorous Environmental Management System.  We recognise that this category includes many if not most local businesses, including some of our most environmentally responsible local firms.

The Carbon Charter is designed to be both meaningful and attainable for any business. Whether you're just starting out, or want to get formal recognition for your green achievements, this Charter will give you local recognition in a way your customers can understand.

What's involved?

Businesses applying for the Charter will be asked to provide information as part of the independent assessment process.  The panel makes a decision based on the information provided, and informs the business of the outcome together with practical suggestions for further progress.  The minimum requirement for Bronze level is an audit of energy use, adoption of a carbon reduction policy and a clear reduction target.

Will my company get the Charter?

All Charters are awarded based on an independent assessment carried out by qualified auditors.  Before applying, please consider carefully whether you meet the requirements for one of the three levels.

What's the difference between the levels?

The Charter has 3 levels; bronze, silver and gold.  Full details can be found in the Charter Level Guidance, but, simply put:

  • Bronze
    The business takes its carbon impact seriously
  • Silver
    The business has significantly reduced its carbon emissions
  • Gold
    The business is an exemplar of low carbon management

That doesn't sound too hard - what does it really mean?

Getting a bronze level charter is not supposed to be too difficult.  This is a mark that is within the reach of any business - no matter how small.  We believe that real sustainability must involve everybody.  We also recognise that many businesses are still not on top of their impacts, and that those who are implementing sustainable management deserve recognition.

Monitoring emissions and making those first easy reductions is a crucial step - and one that is worthy of recognition.  Of course, it doesn't end there; we hope next year you'll want to move up a level.

What's the benefit?

The Charter is a well understood means of highlighting your environmental achievements, and provides clear branding for your company which can be used in your own materials or on letterhead, etc.  Chartered companies will also receive publicity in the form of profiles, and be invited to regular celebration and networking events, as well as being eligible for a range of other benefits.

How long does it last?

Your Charter accreditation does not expire - it is dated as an assessment of your business at a given point. However, we recommend that businesses should look to renew the accreditation every 2 years to ensure it remains relevant.  Reaccreditation is a simplified version of the original assessment process.

Who's behind it all?

BEE Anglia is proud to be able to offer free Charter assessments to eligible companies, but the Carbon Charter is a wider brand than just the BEE Anglia project, with over 350 Charters already awarded.  Established by the Environment Agency in partnership with Suffolk County Council and the Chamber of Commerce, the Charter is also backed by Norfolk County Council. Assessments are undertaken by qualified assessors at Groundwork East of England.

If you would like one of our advisers to contact you with an application pack, please email beeanglia@groundwork.org.uk 

If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please contact Ned Harrison.

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