In 2020, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most harmful greenhouse gas, hit 413.2 parts per million (PPM), which is 149% of the pre-industrial levels. What is even more distressing is that the levels of greenhouse emissions remain pretty high today, raising the risks of suffering from more severe global warming-related dangers.
We cannot sit back and watch the globe, our only home, getting consumed by global warming and change. It is time to adopt sustainability reporting and craft mechanisms for cutting down greenhouse emissions.
Sustainability and climate reporting, a process of disclosing climate-related risks, is used to inform stakeholders of the efforts and scope adopted by a company to address global warming. So far, climate and sustainability reporting has largely been voluntary, with the big companies setting the pace. As the demand from stakeholders intensifies and governments install sustainability-related laws, such as the Taxonomy legislation, ESG and climate reporting are expected to become mandatory.
The sustainability report you generate must have accurate and verifiable data. If it is not, your work is likely to get labeled greenwashing. To ensure the data you use in the reports is correct, it is prudent to use the greenhouse gas protocol (GHG). So, how exactly do you apply the GHG protocol?
What is the GHG Protocol?
GHG protocol creates a global standard for measuring and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in public corporations, private entities, and value chains. It also provides a clear guidance and outline for mitigation action plans. The protocol builds on the long partnership with World Council for Sustainable Development (WBCD) and Water Resources Institute (WRI). How to be carbon neutral?
The first edition of the GHG standards was released in 2001 and has progressively been updated to suit emerging corporate sustainability reporting needs. In 2015 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reinforced the protocol by committing all the member states to help address the problem of global warming. Now, the protocol has new tools and online training systems to help individual countries track their climate goals.
GHG is designed to help almost every entity that targets to cut down its carbon emissions / footprint. So, GHG protocol works very well for the following entities:
- Government agencies.
- Manufacturing organizations.
- Financial institutions.
Whether you are a CEO for a company, leader of a city, or in-charge of a government department, GHG protocol is the go-to option to help drive emission reduction efforts.
GHG Protocol Principles
GHG accounting and reporting practices are not fixed. Rather, they are evolving to factor in the needs of the modern business and operating environments for different stakeholders. They also reflect the results of collaborative activities, especially those undertaken by stakeholders in the environmental, technical, and accounting disciplines. So, here are the main guidelines or principles that guide GHG protocols. All about SBTI on this article.
For any organization or entity's GHG reporting and report to be considered complete and relevant, it must have the information users need to make their decisions. This means that from the start, you need to be sure that the report is being prepared for stakeholders. So, it is important to ask the big question, "What exactly do they want?"
One crucial attribute of relevance when preparing the GHG report is the boundary of the organization's inventory. The boundary is dependent on the nature of the company, the objective of the information, and stakeholders' preferences. Other factors to target with GHG protocol to increase its relevance include:
- Company structure.
- Business context or scope.
- Operational boundaries.
Today, business stakeholders are more educated and sophisticated. They have access to more information and want conviction beyond reasonable doubt about the value they get from products, GHG reports, and other company efforts.
When applying GHG protocol, you need to factor in consistency that shows the progress of your company.
If your company reports it has achieved a 30% greenhouse gas reduction, investors will check back to see how consistent the results are. The approaches and inventory employed should make it easy for stakeholders to review both long-term and short-term approaches. So, if you are replacing old machinery with more energy-efficient models, demonstrate how the shift is impacting the company’s inventory and main operations.
The information that you provide to clients should enable them to compare your company/organization to others. What greenhouse gasses did the company release within a specific period? How does it impact the standard operations of the company?
The data that you use should be credible and analysis done correctly.
We must indicate that there are situations where the resources, accounting, and data applied calls for estimation. For example, when you make future targets for carbon accounting in the report, some estimates have to be used.
These estimates should be done systematically to reduce the uncertainties for readers. If your targeted readers want to confirm any information on the report, verification should be easy and fast.
You might want to provide the latest trends by the company to demonstrate compliance to global standards, the shift in strategies used by the company, and link these considerations to the shift in sustainability goals. Also, highlight your efforts to address climate change through the entire supply chain.
For example, did you review the contract with suppliers in the supply chain to enforce corporate sustainability reporting? Make sure to include data or inventory that your stakeholders can verify.
Another way of increasing the accuracy of reporting data and adhering to all the principles of GHG protocol is working with good corporate sustainability reporting software. These programs work with the selected framework to help with climate-related data gathering, analysis, and verifiability.
You can even automate data gathering, especially when the information is available in your company or organization’s management system.
These are only a few of the principles you must factor in when applying GHG protocol. Others, which should also inform the process, include completeness, transparency, and comparability.
Why this is the Best Time to Start GHG Reporting
Now that you know the main principles and standards, the next big question might be, "Is this the best time to start GHG reporting?" Many are the entrepreneurs who say, "Look, my company or department does not make significant emissions?"
The truth about using the GHG protocol is that it allows you to gauge the current greenhouse gas emissions, set targets, and work towards that target. By adopting GHG reporting, you are sure of enjoying the following benefits:
- Better connection to stakeholders at all levels: GHG protocol requires you to engage stakeholders when making the decision on the targets for the company. This engagement makes them feel part of the company and its global efforts in bringing positive change.
- Makes it easy to raise more capital for the company: More investors coming to the stock markets or targeting companies directly want to be sure that only those following the best practices are selected. Therefore, using the GHG protocol for sustainability reporting can help to convince them to commit their money to it. So, whether you want capital for faster expansion or product development, the report can help to convince stakeholders / investors to inject it into your company.
- An excellent way to grow your business: The process of GHG reporting starts with a company review to identify areas of challenge. Most approaches adopted to help cut down greenhouse gas emissions also help to improve productivity, access to resources and profitability.
As more people realize the benefits that come with GHG reporting, they make up their minds to join the noble course of helping the globe become a better place for all. So, you, too, should not be left behind. It is time to take your efforts on sustainability a notch higher with GHG reporting.
Why You Should Work with Diginex.com for Your GHG Reporting Needs
The benefits we have listed above are only a few. You will get more by following the principles of sustainability reporting and further working with experts. Diginex.com has stood out in the industry for its efforts to promote sustainability. Our sustainability reporting software is particularly reliable and works in most industries and businesses. In addition to being secure and compatible with most management systems, the reporting apps are also scalable.
So, you will not need to look for a different program when your organization grows or need to factor in more data or parameters.
Diginex.com also works with the best professionals in sustainability. If you are stuck with GHG reporting, looking forward to complying with sustainability regulations or simply want to stand out in the industry, our experts can help. They will hold your hand, helping you to understand GHG protocols and their correct application.