Tribute to carbon neutral organizations under Costa Rica’s carbon neutrality country program

In 2012 Costa Rica created the Carbon Neutral Country Program to encourage organizations to measure, report, reduce, remove and offset the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by their activities and thereby contribute to the Carbon Neutrality goal of Costa Rica.  

On 12th December 2016 almost 80 organisations from various sectors were honored for their efforts to become or maintain carbon neutral under the national program. In order to obtain this honor, the organizations have undergone a process of verification by the National Institute of Technical Standards (INTECO) or EARTH University.  The organisations range from hotels over medical suppliers to coffee mills and implement a range of actions to be carbon neutral such as LED lighting, solid waste separation, replacement of chemicals andinstallation of photovoltaic systems.

Édgar Gutiérrez, Minister of Environment and Energy, indicates that these actions represent a significant advance towards the country's aspiration to become carbon neutral and move towards the decarbonization of the Costa Rican economy.

Being part of the Program has allowed verified firms to obtain multiple benefits, among them:

  • Optimization in the use of resources,
  • Energy efficiency,
  • Cost reduction,
  • Pride and commitment of employees
  • Improvement of information systems for decision making,
  • Differentiation with respect to other companies and
  • Technology management.

"Being carbon neutral was born of a concern and a commitment to leave a better future to the new generations," states the owner of the carbon neutral certified coffee mill El Cantaro which reduced 244 t of GHG during 2016.

The recent entry into force of the Paris Agreement represents a unique opportunity for countries like Costa Rica to position themselves in the global sphere for their progress and historical vocation in the matter of low emission and sustainable development. The national commitment assumed in the NDC - that seeks to reach a maximum of 9 million tons of CO2 equivalent net by 2030 - is internationally recognized as an ambitious goal.

The event was supported by the project “Supporting the national climate neutrality strategy in Costa Rica as a model for low carbon development (Acción Clima Phase II)” funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Society (BMUB) within the scope of the International Climate Initiative (ICI) and implemented by GIZ and the Climate Change Department of the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE).