Standards in the GHG Protocol

Corporate Standard

The Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard contains requirements and recommendations for commercial companies and other organizations that prepare reports on greenhouse gas emissions at the corporate level. All seven GHGs of the Kyoto Protocol are taken into account – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PCPs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

The standard does not require the submission of information on emissions to the WRI or WBCSD and does not contain standards for the verification process, but only describes the sequence of work in assessing the organization’s emissions and preparing reports, provides step-by-step instructions and spreadsheets that help to calculate GHG emissions from specific sources or industries.

Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard

Allows companies to assess the impact of emissions and identify opportunities to reduce them throughout the product creation chain, from the production of raw materials to finished goods.

Since these data are often not available and cannot be accurately determined, the Scope 3 calculation guide helps to understand which grip of emissions at different stages of the supply chain can be rational under conditions of uncertainty in the data. For example, emissions from the creation of production assets of technological equipment can also be taken into account when calculating emissions according to Scope 3, but due to insufficient information, they can be excluded from the assessment.

GHG Protocol Scope 3 is the most comprehensive and the only internationally recognized method of accounting for indirect emissions in 15 categories. With its help, almost all the reporting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions that a company must meet can be met.

Product Life Cycle (PLC) standard

The Product Lifecycle Accounting and Reporting Standard is used to calculate emissions from a product during its full lifecycle, including raw materials, production, transportation, storage, use and disposal, and focuses on maximizing GHG emission reductions in these processes. This creates a competitive advantage for the product, simplifies the development of responses to the environmental demand of consumers, and is an essential step towards more environmentally friendly products.

GHG Protocol for Cities

The World Resources Institute, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) have jointly developed a Global Protocol for Community–Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory (GPC), which in version 1.1 offers cities and local governments a reliable, transparent, and globally accepted framework for consistent determination, calculation, and reporting of GHG emissions in cities, demonstrating their important role in the fight against climate change.

Mitigation Goal Standard

It provides guidance on the development of national and subnational environmental mitigation goals and offers a standardized approach to assessing and reporting on progress toward achieving global goals in the fight against climate change.

The standard helps government agencies set emission reduction targets, meet domestic and international reporting obligations, and ensure that the intended results are achieved.

Policy and Action Standard

Emission reduction analytics at both the national and local levels assesses the impact of specific policy measures on GHG emissions and provides recommendations for improving the effectiveness of measures taken, as well as indicates the direction of investment of resources to achieve the best results. Developed together with the aforementioned Mitigation Goals Standard.

The standard helps government agencies and other decision-makers in the field of climate change to develop effective policy strategies for managing GHG emissions reduction and provides access to consistent and transparent public reporting on the effectiveness of the policy.

Project Protocol

The GHG Emissions Protocol for Project Accounting is the most comprehensive and politically neutral tool for quantifying the benefits of climate change mitigation projects through emission reduction.

Any organization seeking to quantify the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the implementation of specific projects can use the Project Protocol. However, it is not intended to be used as a mechanism for quantifying GHG emission reductions across a corporation or enterprise as a whole; the Corporate Standard mentioned at the beginning should be used for this purpose.

How to comply with the GHG Protocol

GHG accounting and reporting practices are constantly evolving and are often new to many businesses. As such, it is critical that businesses utilise financial accounting and reporting principles.

Listed below as a guide to ensure a faithful, true and fair account of the company's emissions.

  • Relevance: Organisations must ensure that the GHG inventory accounting methodologies and report serves the decision-making needs of the intended users - both internal and external to the company. Furthermore, information in the report should be presented in a way that is readily understandable by the intended users.

  • Completeness: Businesses must account for and report on all GHG emission sources and activities within the specified boundaries. Furthermore, organisations must disclose and justify any significant GHG emissions and removals that have been excluded.

  • Consistency: To ensure compliance with the GHG Protocol, organisations must choose consistent methodologies, data, and assumptions that allow for meaningful comparisons of a GHG inventory over time. Furthermore, organisations should document any changes to the data, inventory boundary, methods, or any other relevant factors in the time series.

  • Transparency: Based on a clear audit trail, organisations should address all relevant issues in a factual and coherent manner. To ensure further transparency, organisations must disclose any relevant assumptions and make appropriate references to the data sources and the accounting and calculation methodologies used.

  • Accuracy: To guarantee accuracy, organisations must take a systematic approach to ensure that the quantification of GHG emissions is neither under nor over actual emissions. Subsequently, they must take measures to ensure that uncertainties are reduced as much as possible. Finally, organisations must warrant sufficient accuracy to enable stakeholders to make decisions with reasonable assurance as to the integrity of the reported information.

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