Published: 29 March 2023

Research CE Delft: the CO2 Performance Ladder a proven tool for CO2 reduction 

Ellen Schep, Martha Deen

CE Delft


The CO2 Performance Ladder is an effective tool to help organisations reduce their CO2 emissions. The sustainability tool helps organisations make their CO2 emissions comprehensible and embed reduction measures. The CO2 Performance Ladder offers the most added value to companies and governments with little insight into their CO2 emissions. This is according to research by CE Delft commissioned by the IKEA Foundation.

CO2 emissions in the organisation and value chain

Organisations that are certified on the CO2 Performance Ladder take more CO2 reduction measures than non-certified organisations. Using the CO2 Performance Ladder leads to an extra 3% CO2 reduction annually for Scope 1 (CO2 emissions caused by their own organisations) and Scope 2 (CO2 emissions caused by the use/consumption of purchased electricity or heat). Almost all certified organisations have implemented CO2 reducing measures that they would not have taken without the CO2 Performance Ladder, such as purchasing domestically generated electricity and electrifying their vehicle fleet. The CO2 Performance Ladder also provides insight into the main indirect CO2 emissions caused by other organisations in their chain, also known as Scope 3 emissions. Cooperation between certified organisations and chain partners leads to the procurement of more sustainable materials with a lower climate impact.  

Changing behaviour and culture 

Most organisations indicate that the CO2 Performance Ladder contributes to changing the culture internally. The CO2 Performance Ladder raises awareness and also serves as a tool to get everyone on the same page. Organisations communicate internally and externally about the use of the CO2 Performance Ladder, for example about targets and achieved CO2 reductions. 

“The main motivations to join the CO2 Performance Ladder are its advantage in tenders and because the CO2 Performance Ladder provides insight into their emissions and points the way to CO2 reduction”

Motivation for certification on the Ladder

The main reasons for organisations to get certified on the CO2 Performance Ladder are the award advantage that certified organisations receive in tenders, the insight gained into their own CO2 emissions, the benefits of implementing a CO2 management system or to help them comply with Dutch or European regulations.


Effectiveness of the CO2 Performance Ladder

Find out more about the effectiveness of the CO2 Performance Ladder? Read the full report Evaluation of the CO2 Performance Ladder.

IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropic foundation that focuses its grants on addressing the two greatest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. See for more information. 


Interested in reducing carbon emissions in your country with the CO2 Performance Ladder? Get in touch to find out how the Ladder can be used in your organisation as sustainable procurement tool and CO2 management system.

George ThurleyGet in touch