Who is it for

Who can join the ERC Protocol program?

Any micro, small, or medium-sized business in Australia looking to reduce its carbon footprint can join our program. No matter your industry or current level of carbon awareness, we're here to guide you.

Our program also tailors for Industry Associations and Large Corporates that are either looking to activate an Emissions Reduction Program that can be rolled out across their members or looking to comply with procurement standards.

Is this program suitable for businesses of any size?

Absolutely! Whether you're a solo entrepreneur or a growing SME, our program is designed to be flexible and accommodating to businesses of all sizes.

Do I need any prior knowledge about carbon reduction to participate?

Not at all! Our program is tailored to help businesses at any stage of their carbon reduction journey, even if you're just starting out.

How can ERC Australia help my business in the journey towards carbon neutrality?

We provide a five-stage program, guiding you from initial assessment to achieving measurable carbon reduction. Our cloud-based system simplifies the process, making 'going carbon-free' easy and achievable."

I have calculated my emissions with another service, can I still join the ERC Protocol?

Yes! You can input your emissions into our platform to help you develop and communicate an Emissions Reduction Plan to reduce your emissions. You can also use the ERC Protocol to link your plan to industry associations you are part of or larger corporations. 


Why is the ERC Protocol so affordable?

Our pricing and program is designed to: 

  1. Promote broadscale participation and build habits in actions that reduce emissions. This achieves impact. 
  2. Direct limited resources to action, not administration. 

We want you to invest in positive change, not in program fees. 

What does your subscription provide?

Your subscription will give you access to: 

  • Our five-stage action program and tools 
  • Estimate your emissions using our calculator 
  • Develop your own emissions reduction plan
  • Stage badges and logos 
  • Your unique QR code for other to view your plan 
  • Creating and joining groups with other businesses
  • Australia and State/Territory summary reports 
  • Certification sticker sheet 

Your subscription will NOT give you access to: 

  • Cost of your climate actions, including sponsoring projects. 
Are there different pricing plans based on business size or stage?

No. It does not matter what your business size is or what stage you complete, the ERC Protocol fee is the same. 

We offer tailored programs for Industry Associations and Large Corporates Scope 3. Please get in touch with us so we can help you develop your program. 

Is there a free trial or a demo I can check out first?"

We do not offer a free trial. However, we have monthly demo sessions in which we show you the platform, how our program can help you develop an Emissions Reduction Plan and how to use the platform. Check out this page for the upcoming demo sessions. 

What payment methods do you accept, and are there any long-term contracts?"

Pay online effortlessly with Stripe! Choose from convenient monthly or yearly plans, and set it up to renew automatically. It's a breeze to manage your payments with us. 

Sponsor Projects

What types of projects can we sponsor through ERC Australia?

You can sponsor a wide range of environmental projects, from local initiatives to larger, national efforts focused on carbon reduction and sustainability. 

How does sponsoring a project benefit my business?

Sponsoring projects not only contributes to a healthier planet by helping remove unavoidable emissions from the atmosphere but also boosts your business's credentials, enhancing your brand image and appeal to eco-conscious consumers.

Can we choose specific projects to sponsor or is it allocated by ERC Australia?

You have the freedom to choose projects that align with your business values. We're here to advise and provide options that match your preferences and goals.

Our website currently showcases the projects we work closely with; however, if your business already sponsors projects outside of the ones we offer, you can email these to us. We will then upload these to your profile, marking Stage 4 as achieved in your Emissions Reduction Plan. 

We only support official carbon credit unit projects for Stage 4, such as Australian Carbon Credit Units and recognised international carbon credit programs. 

If you have donated money to support environmental causes that aren’t official carbon credit unit projects, these can be added as actions in Stage 2.

What is an Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU)?

An ACCU is an Australian carbon credit unit.

An ACCU is like a gold star for helping the environment in Australia. Each ACCU means one tonne less of nasty greenhouse gases in the air. You can earn ACCUs by doing good stuff like planting trees or managing waste better. They're like a pat on the back for businesses who still have some emissions from things like driving or flying for work. 

When a business gets or supports ACCUs, it's like they're balancing out these emissions. The Australian Government keeps an eye on these ACCUs (via Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator ) to make sure everything's fair and square. 

At ERC Australia, we're all about these ACCUs in Stage 4 of our program, where we support projects that really make a difference in cleaning up the air. These projects are super strict and top-notch in quality!

Do you support Australian projects?

Yes – these are the only projects we support. Your sponsorship is injected back into the local economy, creating regional jobs and supporting local innovation.

All of our projects are regulated and monitored by the Commonwealth Government’s Clean Energy Regulator.

How is the price per tonne for projects determined?

ERC Australia sources projects from a range of sellers. Price per tonne is determined by the seller based on supply and demand. Pricing has been increasing as more businesses participate in climate action. 

ERC Australia takes the market price and applies GST and a small administration fee. Because we only support high quality Australian projects, the pricing tends to be higher as the demand for these projects is higher.

To balance this, our program only requires relatively small contributions by members, which add together to support State and National targets.

Supporting Australian projects also means supporting local jobs, most of which are in regional areas. 

Where does my sponsorship payment go?

Stage 4 of our program requires sponsoring projects that remove your unavoidable emissions, such as transport, waste and travel. This helps to mitigate a members climate impact whilst they are implementing actions to reduce and avoid emissions. It also creates increased demand for these projects, which are fundamental to achieving Australia's net zero targets.  

Payment covers the cost of procuring the selected volume of tonnes for your chosen project (which ultimately goes back to the project owner), GST and an administration fee for ERC Australia.

All projects are administered by the rules of the Clean Energy Regulator. ERC Australia ensures the volume sponsored is transacted on the CER registry and officially "retired" to complete the offset process. 

Carbon Emissions

What are carbon emissions?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases exist in the Earth’s atmosphere as trace gases.

Carbon emissions absorb the infrared radiation from the sun.

Therefore, increasing the level of carbon emissions in the atmosphere increases the temperature of the Earth.

Reducing these emissions is crucial in combating climate change and preserving our planet for future generations.

Where do carbon emissions come from?

Carbon emissions are mostly generated from burning fossil fuels. This occurs across three key areas of your business:

  • Combustion equipment: vehicles, generators etc
  • Purchased energy: when it is made from burning fossil fuels
  • Value chain, upstream and downstream: transport, raw materials, business travel, capital goods, customers using your products, waste etc

For many businesses, a large portion of their carbon emissions are generated from purchased energy and their value chain.

Adopting renewable energy and engaging your value chain to reduce emissions is a key part of a great emission reduction plan.

Both these elements are included in the ERC Protocol. 

How does my business contribute to carbon emissions?

Businesses contribute to carbon emissions through various activities, like energy use, transportation, and manufacturing processes. But don't worry, we'll help you identify and reduce these emissions.

Why do we need to reduce carbon emissions?

Australia is a signatory to the Paris Agreement, along with 192 other countries and the European Union, which aims to reduce global emissions to certain benchmarks by 2030, and net zero by 2050.

These reductions aim to prevent the world temperature increasing by more than 1.5–2.5 degrees Celsius, and therefore reduce climate related outcomes that negatively impact humans and natural systems.

Australia’s carbon emissions are currently ~500,000,000 tonnes per year. Net zero means reducing these emissions, directly and through abatement, down to zero each year.

There are ~2.5 million businesses in Australia. 98% are small and medium businesses. Our program is designed to help SMEs to create and communicate a climate action plan so they can contribute to Australia's efforts. 

What are the first steps in reducing my business's carbon footprint?

The first step is understanding your current carbon footprint, which we help you assess. From there, we'll guide you through practical steps and changes to reduce it effectively.

How do I reduce carbon emissions?

The ERC Protocol has summarised the array of carbon neutral standards, Government policy and global programs into five stages of decarbonisation:

  1. Commit: register your intent to help
  2. Reduce: adjust your operations to reduce emissions
  3. Avoid: adopt renewables for purchased power
  4. Support: sponsor projects that help remove your unavoidable emissions
  5. Sustain: maintain your program in the short and long term

If your business is engaged in these five stages, you are supporting the needs of local, state, national and international climate agendas.  

Is the ERC Australia program carbon neutral?

The ERC Protocol is not a carbon neutral program. Rather, it is an activation program that recognises SMEs that build habits and knowledge in the key areas that reduce emissions. 

Carbon neutral programs involve undertaking a verified emission measurement and purchasing an equivalent amount of carbon offsets (i.e. sponsoring projects that remove your emissions). This makes carbon-neutral programs very expensive and out of reach for most SMEs. 

However, creating demand for projects that remove emissions is very important and is fundamental to Australia's net zero outcome. 

To create this demand, Stage 4 of the ERC Protocol involves sponsoring Australian projects that remove emissions (i.e. offsets). But we only ask for a small contribution, with a focus on encouraging lots of businesses to participate. A business that reaches Stage 4 of the ERC Protocol has also estimated its emissions, set actions to reduce emissions and has a plan to adopt renewable energy - offsetting is the final action of their emission reduction plan. 

Our principle is that empowering 1,000 businesses to take action and sponsor the removal of five tonnes of emissions each (i.e. 5,000 tonnes) achieves a magnitude more environmental benefit than these businesses being excluded from participation due to the high barriers of carbon-neutral programs. 

For more information on carbon-neutral certification, please contact ERC Australia.

Is the ERC Australia program net zero?

The ERC Protocol is an activation program that recognises SMEs that build habit and knowledge in the key areas that reduce emissions. 

Net zero means cutting emissions as close as possible to zero and investing in carbon offset projects to resolve any remaining balance.

Net zero is a technical term and requires a range of verified processes to ensure a valid claim. This includes ensuring your entire supply chain emissions have also been reduced. Net zero programs can take 10-25 years to complete and are very expensive to administer, making them out of reach for most SMEs. 

At ERC Australia, we are focused on the number one action that creates impact for SMEs - participation! Our program is easy to start and gives you the tools to encourage more SMEs to start (including your supply chain). The five-stages of our program incorporate key actions areas of net zero programs, so you'll be on the right path. 

For more information on net zero standards, please contact ERC Australia.

What do you measure?

Stage 1 of the ERC Protocol asks you to estimate your emissions. We have an emissions estimation calculator that helps you to do this, focusing on the key areas where most smaller businesses generate emissions. Once you use the calculator, you receive an emissions estimation summary report. Your data is stored so you can update your estimation as you make changes over time. 

We also measure/capture data that provides powerful insights to support impact, such as:

  • Businesses that have committed to take action, by state, sector and business size.
  • The count, type, scope, timeframe and status of actions businesses are taking to reduce emissions.
  • Current renewable energy adoption by members, timeframe to transition energy needs into renewables and the type of renewables businesses are considering.
  • The tonnes of emissions removed by sponsoring projects. This is the same type of measure as a carbon neutral program outcome.
  • How many teams are being created to activate other businesses in decarbonisation.
  • What stage of activation businesses are achieving in our five-stage program.

The above measurables provide valuable insights into the decarbonisation behaviour of businesses and how we can support them in their programs.

We also offer verified and ISO accredited emission measurement through our partnership with Carbonhalo. This means that businesses of all shapes and sizes can join together for a joint emission reduction journey using the MyERC platform. 

Do you offer verified emission measurement?

Stage 1 of the ERC Protocol asks you to estimate your emissions. We have an emissions estimation calculator that helps you to do this, focusing on the key areas where most smaller businesses generate emissions. Once you use the calculator, you receive an emissions estimation summary report. Your data is stored so you can update your estimation as you make changes over time. 

We also offer verified and ISO accredited emission measurement and advanced reporting through our partnership with Carbonhalo. This means that businesses of all shapes and sizes can join together for a joint emission reduction journey using the MyERC platform. 

ERC Members enjoy significant discounts with Carbonhalo through our partnership. 

If you would like to expand your insight into emissions measurement, please contact ERC Australia.

How does ERC Australia track and measure our carbon emission reduction?

We use our advanced cloud-based system to track and measure your carbon emissions, providing clear, real-time data on your progress towards reduction goals.