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Climate Active Carbon Neutral Certification

Demonstrate your building’s sustainability excellence with a carbon neutral certification.

NABERS Energy is a great way to track and manage the emissions from the energy used to power your building, but carbon neutral goes a step further, recognising other sources of carbon emissions created from the building’s operations, including energy, water, waste and refrigerants.

Once these emissions have been measured, they can be managed and offset to ensure your building has no negative impact on the climate.

If we are to tackle the climate crisis, managing these additional environmental impacts is vital.

NABERS offers a pathway to achieve Climate Active Carbon Neutral certification, a world-leading, government-backed certification that is aligned to national and international greenhouse gas accounting protocols.

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    What are the benefits of certification?

    • Competitive advantage: Carbon Neutral certification is the hallmark of a rigorous sustainability strategy. It sends a clear signal that your business is serious about addressing climate change and is committed to sustainability, innovation, and industry leadership. This will help differentiate your business from others and provide a competitive advantage in your market.
    • Manage performance: The combination of NABERS Energy and Climate Active Carbon Neutral Certification delivers an essential framework for annual reporting, building performance and celebrating achievement, which are integral to your comprehensive emissions reduction strategy.
    • Market resilience: Through Climate Active, you’ll be supporting initiatives around the globe committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. You’ll also be better prepared for future changes in energy and water costs and waste management regulations, all while improving your building’s resilience to climate change.

    How can I get a certification for my building?

    If you have a NABERS Energy rating of 4 stars or above and use carbon offsets to cancel the building’s emissions, you can achieve a Carbon Neutral Building Certification. You can choose to use renewable energy for your stationary energy consumption instead of carbon offsets.

    Although NABERS Water and Waste ratings are not mandatory for a Carbon Neutral rating, having them makes it easier to obtain the certification.

    What type of buildings can get a certification?

    NABERS currently offers carbon neutral building certification for the following building types:

    • Offices base building
    • Offices whole building
    • Hotels
    • Shopping centres

    NABERS hopes to expand certification into other sectors in the future.

    What are the steps to certification?

    1. Get ready: Obtain 2-3 Assessor quotes to understand scope of work (site hours and consulting hours).  Then seek internal approval from senior management. Consider setting public sustainability targets to secure approval and to reflect in the public disclosure document.
    2. Gather your data: Provide all key inputs required for your NABERS Energy and Climate Active Carbon Neutral certification as per the NABERS rules and Climate Active guidelines. The Assessor will help you with what you need to provide.
    3. Achieve Carbon Neutral Building Certification: Organise access for your Assessor to conduct site visits to validate your certification. Once the rating has been submitted and checked, buy eligible offsets and achieve certification.
    4. Re-new certification: Your certification lasts for 12 months. Re-new certification annually to ensure retention of carbon neutrality status.

    FAQs

    The prerequisite for the Carbon Neutral accreditation is to successfully complete and pass the exams for NABERS Assessor 101 and any NABERS Energy accreditation course (for ex: Energy & Water for Offices). The Assessor must then complete the NABERS Carbon Neutral online course and the exam following it. The first rating lodged by all Assessors must be supervised by an accredited supervisor. The fee of the supervision is covered under the rating lodgement fee.

    All our training courses, and the applicable fees are available here.

    NABERS currently offers carbon neutral building certification for the following building types:

    • Offices Base Building
    • Offices Whole Building
    • Hotels
    • Shopping Centres
       

    NABERS is looking to expand certification into other sectors in the future.

    Note: Office tenancies cannot currently obtain carbon neutral certification with NABERS.

    The Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings can be found here.

    The NABERS Carbon Neutral Technical Guidance Document can be found here.

    A Carbon Offset calculator is available for use by accredited Assessors under the Resources tab from our Members website. Assessors can also find this in Perform when a Carbon Neutral rating is added to an Energy rating.

    Please refer to the list of providers as recommended by Climate Active under 'Eligible Offsets' here.

    The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources updates these factors annually and can be found here.

    The Clean Energy Regulator provides the latest figures on their website here. NABERS acknowledges that the latest figures can be used even if the rating period spills over to previous years. For further clarification, please contact us at nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au.

    The NABERS Carbon Neutral Guidance Document provides guidance on how waste audit data can be used for mixed-use buildings. Additionally, this document is a great resource for assessing a building against the guidelines for entering waste data.

    GreenPower gives a list of providers in their website here. At present, GreenPower can only be used to offset electricity-related emissions. They cannot be used for offsetting other emissions. Valid Carbon Offsets are required to offset other emissions to achieve Carbon Neutrality.

    The NABERS Waste rating result can be used for the Carbon Neutral certification if the waste rating was certified less than two months prior to the carbon neutral certification.

    This means that the Assessor does not need to re-enter the waste data into the Carbon Offset Calculator and can simply enter the data from the NABERS Waste rating report.

    Redundant units are excluded from the rating. Since this is a performance tool which examines the refrigerant usage each year, only those with active use and emissions are considered for ratings.