To set specific and realistic greenhouse gas (GHG) targets, an organization must first measure and analyze its own corporate inventory, or footprint. The information gleaned from a corporate inventory can be used to:
- develop long-term climate-change strategies and sustainability initiatives; and
- enable an organization to compare its sustainability efforts against benchmarks and industry peers.
Five Steps to Measuring and Reporting Corporate GHG Emissions
Brightspot’s approach to developing a corporate inventory is based on ISO 14069 and described below:
1. Set the Organizational Boundary
The first step of developing a corporate inventory is determining the type of organizational boundary that will be applied to the inventory. Organizational boundaries are determined using either a control approach (including both operational or financial control) or equity share approach. The organization’s mission, goals, operations, and facilities will dictate which control approach is most appropriate for reporting purposes.
2. Set the Operational Boundary
The operational boundary of the reporting organization defines the specific direct and indirect emission sources that are included in the inventory. According to ISO 14064-1, an organization must include 100% of its direct (Scope 1) and indirect energy (Scope 2) emissions. An organization may also include other indirect (Scope 3) emission sources based on its goals and operations and the significance of the potential emission sources.
3. Determine the Relevant Emission Sources
In addition to reporting its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, an organization may choose to report its Scope 3 emissions. Reporting all possible Scope 3 emissions may be overly time consuming and may not be significant when compared to the size of the total inventory. Selecting the Scope 3 emission sources to report can be done via workshops with team members to determine the emissions’ approximate magnitude, significance, and relevance for reporting.
4. Quantify the Relevant Emission Sources
For each selected emission source, an organization can calculate or measure the emissions. Selecting the quantification methodology depends on many factors, including, but not limited to, the geographical location of the operation, data sources, period, and operational boundary of the emission source (i.e., upstream or downstream). Quantification methodologies are selected to reduce any potential for double counting emissions between sources and between other organizations.
5. Report GHG Emissions
The final step in the processes is reporting the GHG emissions. Each organization should consider developing a GHG report, which describes the operational boundary, organizational boundary, quantification methodologies, total GHG emissions, and any excluded emission sources.