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A Guide to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A Guide to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and understanding a scope’s dimension in relation to certain activities can be quite challenging. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are standardized frameworks and specialized experts in this field. We would like to help you to gain a better understanding of the GHG protocol, and how to start your organization’s GHG emissions calculating journey.

What is the GHG Protocol?

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) includes standardized frameworks for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as emission reduction measures, that provide global calculation and progress tracking guidance for companies, organizations, countries, and cities. Since its establishment in 1990, GHG Protocol has been used world-wide.

The GHG Protocol differentiates between three scopes: Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3. By including these scopes in the emissions measurement, public and private organizations can measure both their internal emissions and those occurring in their supply chain.

For those who use the GHG Protocol, it is required to report the organization’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Reporting on Scope 3 emissions is recommended, but still a voluntary choice.

GHG Protocol Standards

Depending on the nature of your organization, you should consider looking through the following documents.

Project Protocol

For Companies and Organizations

  • Corporate Standard
  • Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard
  • Product Standard

For Countries and Cities

  • Mitigation Goal Standard
  • Policy and Action Standard
  • GHG Protocol for Cities  
1. Corporate Standard

The Corporate Standard provides guidance on measuring and reporting the company’s own (Scope 1 and Scope 2) GHG emissions through standardized approaches. It is helpful for companies in terms of creating a GHG inventory and reducing the accompanying costs. Creating a strategy by using the standards can help to increase effectiveness in reducing emissions, and to provide consistency and comparability both internally (meaning the company’s year-by-year progress) and externally with other companies through transparency.

2. Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard

The Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard is the only standard that is accepted on an international level in relation to Scope 3 emissions accounting. It provides guidance on evaluating impacts of unowned GHG emissions, which result from a company’s value chain. Furthermore, this standard helps companies to pinpoint areas where reduction activities are needed.

3. Product Standard

The Product Standard provides guidance on measuring a product’s GHG emissions throughout its whole life cycle, from raw materials to disposal. From the standard, companies can also gain understanding of where to reduce greenhouse gases. The benefit of complying with the standard can show up as better environmental communication, enhanced product design, and decreased risks and expenses, which can increase the company’s competitive advantage.

4. Project Protocol

The Project Protocol has been created for organizations that want to measure GHG benefits resulting from climate change mitigation projects. Such organizations can for example be those who develop or verify greenhouse gas projects, initiatives, and related programs or systems.

5. Mitigation Goal Standard

The Mitigation Goal Standard can help cities and countries to create standards, and nation-wide mitigation goals. It can also help in making sure that emission reduction activities are generating outcomes that are in line with the goals.

6. Policy and Action Standard

The Policy and Action Standard has primarily been created for policymakers and analysts. When creating policies, the standard can help these actors to assess the impact of greenhouse gases in relation to the designed policies. The assessment can help with policy improvements towards achieving enhanced emission reductions.

7. GHG Protocol for Cities

The GHG Protocol for Cities standard includes a framework for measuring and reporting GHG emissions of cities. Using the standard can enable cities to have increased effectiveness of emission reduction strategies, and to have more precise progress tracking.

How BeCause can help

At BeCause, we can help you with matchmaking to companies who are experts in the field of GHG emissions calculation and offsetting, so you get the right guidance you need. If you would like us to set you up with a solution provider, contact us here.