The CO2 Performance Ladder

With the CO2 Performance Ladder, you not only map out your CO2 emissions but also actively engage in addressing them. You develop a CO2 management system that includes your CO2 footprint, objectives, and measures. Additionally, the certificate provides you with a competitive advantage in tendering processes.

But what does the Ladder entail?

We will briefly explain it for you and describe how our software helps you throughout the process.

A brief explanation of the CO2 Performance Ladder

For the best definition of what the Ladder is, let’s listen to what SKAO says themselves:

The CO2 Performance Ladder is the sustainability instrument of the Netherlands that assists companies and governments in reducing CO2 emissions and costs. Within the organization’s operations, projects, and supply chain. The Ladder is used as both a CO2 management system and a tendering instrument.

The objectives of the CO2 Performance Ladder are:

  • Gain insight into your organization’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions
  • Actually reduce your CO2 emissions
  • Be transparent about how you intend to reduce emissions
  • Actively participate in a sector- or chain initiative.

Why opt for a CO2 Performance Ladder certificate?

Competitive Advantage

Companies are increasingly being asked to demonstrate their efforts in reducing their CO2 emissions. With a CO2 Performance Ladder certificate, you show that you are actively engaged in this process. If you cannot demonstrate this, the likelihood of securing a certain contract get smaller.


The Ladder helps you establish the foundation for the entire CO2 and energy section of E1 of the CSRD. Using SmartTrackers, you calculate the energy performance, ensuring full coverage for E1.

EED Exemption

You receive an exemption from the EED when you have a CO2 Performance Ladder certificate. The advantage of the CO2 Performance Ladder over just the EED is that the Ladder grants you more freedom to implement your own policies.

The 4 main subjects of the CO2 Performance Ladder:

  • Insight
  • Reduction
  • Transparency
  • Participation

In the dropdown menu below, you can read what each of these areas mean for the CO2 Performance Ladder.

  • Insight

    For your CO2 management system, you create a CO2 footprint. This gives you insight into your energy consumption and the CO2 emissions of your organization.

    It’s possible that you’ve never dealt with this before and aren’t sure where to start. After all, the mountain of information needs to be streamlined, but how? And what specific information do you need? A good software system like SmartTrackers’ can make a difference by providing a clear overview, for example.

    Want to know more about this? Then take a look at our software page.


  • Reduction

    The objectives for CO2 reduction from your management system should be ambitious, yet realistic.

    A good starting point is to identify which topic contributes most to your CO2 emissions. Then, set a goal for this area. Make it measurable, with a clear percentage you want to reduce and a deadline. Engage in discussions with the individuals responsible for this within your company.

    Once you’ve formulated these objectives, start working on them. To ensure you’re not in the dark about the actual progress of these objectives, it’s important to have interim insight into the actual reduction. These predictions can be made using SmartTrackers Measurements.


  • Transparancy

    Transparency about your plans and actions is extremely important. You want to follow through on your promises. Otherwise, you won’t meet the ladder requirements and your certification will fall through during the next audit. It’s not enough to simply show that you’ve started working on CO2 reduction, you also need to demonstrate how. This is done by gathering evidence for your statement and writing a report about it. But what should be the standard format? And what should be included in that report?

    By answering the questions in SmartTrackers Assessments, you’ll have all the information needed for that report. With evidence and including visualizations of footprints, objectives, and measures made in the previous steps. All you have to do is adjust the text to fit your organization.


  • Praticipation

    For the CO2 Performance Ladder, it’s also important to actively participate in a sector- or chain initiative. This involves collaborating with other companies with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions. Many SmartTrackers users fulfill this requirement by becoming members of the Club of 49, founded by SmartTrackers. The Club of 49 organizes information sessions and events focused on CO2 reduction. Learn more on the Club of 49 website.


The final step for a CO2 Performance Ladder certificate

Once all the information is gathered, you can proceed to apply for the certificate. Preparation for this can also be done in SmartTrackers using our Assessments application. In this application, you’ll conduct self-assessment, internal audit, management review, and the external audit, among other processes. Interested in learning how our software can assist you and your company? Request a demo:

Request a free demo .

At clients and fellow contractors, we witnessed that certification has a clear added value. In the future it is even possible that Groothuis would no longer be able to tender for an assignment if we would not have been certified. SmartTrackers turned out to e a user-friendly tool for our certification and gave is insight into our CO2-emisions very quickly.

Groothuis Bouwgroep

SmartTrackers gives us the figures and facts to back-up tangible scenario’s. This give us clear insights to make sensible decisions, and to make timely adjustments if necessary, and to allocate budgets to take measures. Furthermore, the efficient set-up gives us more speed and ease of work to realize our action plans


SmartTrackers helps the executive organization of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to determine our total CO2 footprint in an insightful and structured way. It is simpler and less prone to error than Excel, because it automatically applies the correct and up-to-date CO2 conversion factors. The flexible set-up also makes the system future-proof, should we want to expand our sustainability program.


The software overdelivers on our expectations. Usually this is the other way round, for most software products.


The software is simple to navigate and produces clear reports. Our certifying authority is also happy to work with it. Our auditor has a guest account, so we can collaborate easily. No more searching through all kinds of files and papers.

J. van Huizen Groenvoorzieningen