GHG accounting: Obtaining the quantities correct for reporting and disclosure

This post is sponsored by Envizi.

As extra corporations dedicate to decarbonizing their business via pledge platforms such as net-zero initiatives, the Weather Group’s RE100 system or science-centered targets, the scrutiny of progress in direction of these aims is also growing. These public commitments combined with escalating tension from traders are intensifying the need for fiscal-quality GHG accounting to underpin sustainability reporting and disclosure.

To facilitate exact GHG accounting, the Earth Means Institute and Globe Business enterprise Council for Sustainable Progress have created a quantity of accounting requirements under the umbrella of the Greenhouse Fuel Protocol to enable companies track and measure their development toward decarbonization. But as ESG reporting results in being ever more intricate, so far too have GHG accounting methodologies and tactics. 

Currently, we spotlight three key regions for focus to demystify and improve GHG accounting for reporting and disclosure.

1. Establish the technical requirements and baseline for reporting 

Be clear on your baseline. All reporting frameworks need corporations to draw a distinct line in the sand against which to measure development. This baseline, or present carbon footprint, is the marker which all foreseeable future improvements will be measured from, so making sure your baseline is accurate and suitable is crucial. When placing your baseline, take into consideration: 

  • how you will define your scope of actions
  • if your organization has entry to the facts expected for the reporting framework
  • how you can structure your knowledge so it can be simply in contrast to foreseeable future activity
  • what day is the most proper to use (you will want to make sure your historic work on carbon reduction initiatives is not discounted)

Realize the complex prerequisites and criteria of the commitments you are creating. Be genuinely clear on your targets, and just take the time to make certain you understand the varying specialized conditions linked with each pledge platform, commitment or reporting framework and how they might conflict with each and every other for occasion, does the pledge system make it possible for for the use of green electrical power currently on the grid?

Can I resource the data needed? Right before any commitments are created, it’s vital to understand what facts forms you will need, and the stage of granularity demanded. Signing up to a dedication when you have no way of accessing the information essential to evaluate development toward your intention occurs a lot more frequently than you’d believe and can be the supply of numerous head aches. 

2. Be diligent in picking and implementing emission factors

Emissions variables kind the foundation for GHG calculation. Applying the proper emissions elements is vital for GHG calculation, but the selection, sourcing, allocation and administration of elements provides a array of difficulties.

How do we pick out the most suitable factors for our group? In this article are a few main concerns.

  • Region: Look at site aspects that are as granular as achievable. Assuming you have presence in multiple places, think about placing condition-amount locations in excess of a comprehensive country-centered location. This will allow for far more nuanced accounting relative to point out policies, recommendations, personal utility businesses, and so forth. 
  • Reporting period and component time period: Use the most new time period with granular element to ensure the most applicable info.
  • Emission source: Make sure to comply with GHG accounting principles closely as deciding upon incorrect things can trigger significant errors. For illustration, for ground journey emissions, are cars jogging on diesel or gasoline? If gasoline, is there a biofuel content?

How do we continue to be arranged? Certification procedures ordinarily command the use of the most the latest factors, as even delicate updates can outcome in substance dissimilarities. This may perhaps feel a sensible necessity, but adhering to this observe can present a challenge when performing with aspect publication schedules that do not line up with reporting schedules. Tackle this by environment schedules for when to source and update aspects. A program stops confusion and maintains consistency concerning reporting periods and variations, even in many years that the commitments are shifting. This routine course of action can be supported by your sustainability reporting system to ensure timing is steady each and every yr. 

What assets are accessible to assistance? Every organization is various, so it’s significant to both make inside awareness or engage a advisor for guidance. When a strategic solution is in area, guarantee that your sustainability system can seize renewable electricity certification allocation choices, store and deal with your emission aspects and estimate your emissions inventory, like your current market-based emissions. Our up coming report will present a deeper explanation of the marketplace-dependent emissions calculation method. 

3. Set up regularity and trustworthiness in info and procedures

Certification is commonly a multi-12 months approach increasingly subject to 3rd-bash audit. Your GHG accounting tactics must support trusted, reliable reporting that eases the audit course of action and makes it possible for for year-on-year repeatability and comparison.

Hold in-depth data. Retaining an up-to-the-moment record of calculations and their inputs will save problems at audit time. It is essential that you keep keep track of of decisions and the motives for them, keep supporting paperwork and keep a crystal clear document of any variations produced to the information employed for certification. 

Retain facts information.Successful facts servicing demands dedicated concentrate, typical focus and distinct lines of responsibility. Use reporting equipment to continue to keep track of info gaps and consistently interrogate knowledge data to evaluate knowledge top quality.

Secure ongoing stakeholder engagement. When commitments, targets, system and GHG accounting may stem from a single workforce within your firm, the information needs to be sourced from a much more substantial pool of inner stakeholders. Preferably, a varied team will be engaged in and accountable for collecting and sharing facts from their representative enterprise units and can aid flag opportunity gaps in the ability to obtain details. Finding everyone’s purchase-in can be tricky so it’s critical to be aware of the worries and to not underestimate the hard work expected to handle this concern up entrance. Sustainability leaders we get the job done with tend to:

  • Have senior amount team visibly engaged in sustainability effectiveness
  • Have an engagement system in area that maps the eyesight and conditions for stakeholder communication efforts 
  • Use inner reporting tools to advise and engage stakeholders

Stay up to day on variations in reporting frameworks. The guidelines affiliated with emissions reductions frameworks, recommendations and pledge platforms are maturing and remain subject matter to standard improve. Maintaining abreast of updates and modifications is critical. Signing up to update alerts from the applicable reporting authority and trying to keep in regular speak to with your facts administration and reporting platform service provider and your specialist specialist can enable assistance your decarbonization initiatives.


Delivering money-grade GHG accounting is the basis of precise reporting on emissions reduction efforts. The method is not without the need of its troubles. Centered on in excess of a 10 years supporting businesses with GHG accounting and reporting, we have determined 3 key places that productive businesses concentrate on to help their endeavours in this component of the decarbonization journey:

  1. Realize and make certain you can meet up with the specialized conditions and prerequisites for reporting.
  2. Adopt a diligent, transparent technique to element range, sourcing, allocation and administration.
  3. Established up procedures and programs to support consistency and reliability of info.

Sustainability and energy groups ready to undertake these ideal tactics will experience the rewards of a robust, auditable GHG accounting system that properly steps the outcomes of their emissions-reduction endeavours and underpins their reporting commitments.

If you’d like to learn far more about applying info and technologies to streamline and accelerate decarbonization, examine our “Pathway to Small-Carbon Tutorial.”