The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Standard

About The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Standard

Created in 2001, as an initiative partnership between the WRI (World Resources Institute) and the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development), the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is an accounting tool used by organisations and governments to understand, quantify and manage their greenhouse gas emissions.

The GHG Protocol is the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards. The protocol includes all six greenhouse gases as specified under the Kyoto Protocol, i.e carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). It was amended in May 2013 to include nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), as required by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol categorises emissions into three scopes, namely:

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions that result from activities within your organisation’s control.
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from any electricity, heating you purchase and use. Though, these emissions are not directly in your control, using the energy you are indirectly responsible for the release of CO2.
  • Scope 3: Any other indirect emissions from sources outside your direct control. These could include purchase and use of goods and services, waste disposal and water consumption employee commuting and business travel, outsourced transportation.

Why it matters

International, regional, national and local public and private agencies are driving the demand for an effective and progressive response from businesses to address the impact of climate change.

Adopting the GHG protocol allows organisations to demonstrate its commitment to address the impact of climate change by their firm actions to manage their GHG risks and identify reduction opportunities.

Organisations will benefit from cost reductions if their GHG inventory is capable of meeting different internal and external information requirements. In addition, a maintained GHG inventory helps to:

  • Improves the consistency, transparency, and understandability of reported information.
  • Identify risks associated with future GHG constraints
  • Identify cost effective reduction opportunities
  • Provides timely stakeholders’ reporting of GHG emissions and progress towards GHG targets
  • Participates in mandatory reporting programs, at the national, regional, or local level
  • Participates in GHG markets, cap and trade allowance trading programs
  • Gain recognition of early voluntary actions on climate change responses.
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