The GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard provides requirements and guidance for companies and other organisations preparing a corporate-level GHG emissions inventory.
The standard covers the accounting and reporting of seven greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PCFs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). It was updated in 2015 with the Scope 2 Guidance, which allows companies to credibly measure and report emissions from purchased or acquired electricity, steam, heat, and cooling.
The GHG Protocol Initiative comprises two separate but linked standards:
- GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (this document, which provides a step-by-step guide for companies to use in quantifying and reporting their GHG emissions)
- GHG Protocol Project Quantification Standard (forthcoming; a guide for quantifying reductions from GHG mitigation projects)
The business value of a GHG inventory
Global warming and climate change are crucial sustainable development issues. Governments nationwide are implementing strategies to reduce GHG emissions, such as emissions trading programmes, voluntary programmes, carbon levies, and energy efficiency and emission laws. To succeed in a competitive economic environment and prepare for future climate legislation, organisations must recognise and manage their GHG risks.
A well-designed and maintained corporate GHG inventory can serve several business goals, including:
- Managing GHG risks and identifying reduction opportunities
- Public reporting and participation in voluntary GHG programs
- Participating in mandatory reporting programs
- Participating in GHG markets
- Recognition for early voluntary action.
Who should use this standard?
This standard is written primarily from the perspective of a business developing a GHG inventory. However, it applies equally to other types of organisations with operations that give rise to GHG emissions, e.g., NGOs, government agencies, and universities.
Managing GHG risks and identifying reduction opportunities
Creating a GHG inventory enhances a company’s awareness of its emissions profile and potential exposure. GHG exposure is becoming a management concern due to increased scrutiny from the insurance industry, shareholders, and environmental regulations aiming to minimise emissions.
Significant GHG emissions in a firm’s value chain may lead to increased costs or decreased sales in the future, even if the company is not directly regulated. Investors may perceive significant indirect emissions upstream or downstream of a company’s operations as possible liabilities to manage and reduce. A narrow emphasis on direct emissions from a company’s operations may overlook other GHG risks and possibilities, misrepresenting its actual GHG exposure.
More positively, what is measured is managed. Emissions accounting can find the most effective reduction opportunities. Increased materials and energy efficiency, as well as innovative product and service development, can lower customers’ or suppliers’ GHG impacts. It can save production costs and help the company stand out in an environmentally sensitive market. Before defining an internal or public GHG target, a thorough inventory is necessary to measure and report progress.
GHG Protocol enables companies and cities to develop comprehensive and reliable inventories of their GHG emissions, and help countries and cities track progress toward their climate goals.
How can Global PCCS support ?
Global PCCS helps organisations in determining their emission goals and assists in the collection of scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3 data along the supply chain, as well as in the calculation of those goals.
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