Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standards (Corporate Standard)

January 03, 2014
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The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard provides standards and guidance for companies and other types of organizations preparing a GHG emissions inventory. It covers the accounting and reporting of the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard was expanded in May 2013 to include a seventh greenhouse gas - nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). The standard and guidance were designed with the following objectives in mind:

  • To help companies prepare a GHG inventory that represents a true and fair account of their emissions, through the use of standardized approaches and principles
  • To simplify and reduce the costs of compiling a GHG inventory
  • To provide business with information that can be used to build an effective strategy to manage and reduce GHG emissions
  • To provide information that facilitates participation in voluntary and mandatory GHG programs
  • To increase consistency and transparency in GHG accounting and reporting among various companies and GHG programs.

The Corporate Standard classifies a company’s direct and indirect GHG emissions into three “scopes,” and requires that companies account for and report all scope 1 emissions (i.e., direct emissions from owned or controlled sources) and all scope 2 emissions (i.e., indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy consumed by the reporting company). The Corporate Standard gives companies flexibility in whether and how to account for scope 3 emissions (i.e., all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain).

Who should use this standard?

The standard is written primarily from the perspective of a business developing a GHG inventory. However, it applies equally to other types of organizations with operations that give rise to GHG emissions, e.g., NGOs, government agencies, and universities. It should not be used to quantify the reductions associated with GHG mitigation projects for use as offsets or credits—the GHG Protocol Project Quantification Standard will provide standards and guidance for this purpose. Policy makers and architects of GHG programs can also use relevant parts of this standard as a basis for their own accounting and reporting requirements.

Compatibility with other GHG Programs

The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard focuses only on the accounting and reporting of emissions. It does not require emissions information to be reported to the program secretariat or partners of the India GHG Program. In addition, while this standard is designed to develop a verifiable inventory, it does not provide a standard for how the verification process should be conducted.

The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard has been designed to be program or policy neutral. However, it is compatible with most existing GHG programs and their own accounting and reporting requirements.