Using Greenhouse Gas Accounting to Drive Actionable Sustainability Strategies2 min read
As businesses target climate action and sustainability as part of their overall energy goals, it can be challenging to understand and calculate your company’s carbon footprint due to the evolving complexity of the process and lack of the right tools and resources. To achieve meaningful sustainability progress, it is essential to have accurate and comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting systems in place.
Greenhouse gas accounting, also known as carbon accounting, is the process of measuring, reporting, and verifying the amount of GHGs emitted or removed from the atmosphere by a business’s activity. Greenhouse gases are emitted from a range of sources, including transportation, electricity generation, agriculture, and industrial processes.
Why Use Greenhouse Gas Accounting?
Greenhouse gas accounting is necessary for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to identify the main sources of GHG emissions, allowing businesses to target their mitigation efforts effectively. Secondly, it provides a basis for tracking progress towards emission reduction targets. Finally, it allows businesses to report their emissions, either voluntarily or as required by federal or state reporting laws in, New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., among others.
How does GHG Accounting Work?
The greenhouse gas accounting process typically involves the following steps:
Identifying the sources of GHG emissions: This involves identifying the activities that generate GHG emissions, such as the use of fossil fuels for transportation or the use of electricity in buildings.
Collecting data on the activity: This involves collecting data on the physical activity that generates emissions, such as the amount of fuel consumed by a vehicle, or the amount of electricity consumed by a building.
Calculating the emissions: This involves using emission factors or other calculation methods to estimate the amount of GHG emissions generated by the activity.
Verifying the emissions: This involves verifying the reported emissions through independent auditing or other verification methods to ensure their accuracy and completeness.
Reporting the emissions: This involves reporting the calculated emissions to relevant stakeholders, such as governments, businesses, or international bodies.
The Constellation Solution
The major challenge of greenhouse gas accounting is the availability of quality data. Collecting accurate data on activities that generate GHG emissions can be difficult, particularly for smaller businesses or businesses with multiple facilities across various geographies. Additionally, the accuracy of emission factors and other calculation methods can be affected by a range of factors, including the age and condition of equipment, the quality of fuel used, and the weather conditions at the time of measurement.
Constellation’s greenhouse gas emissions management platform allows companies to seamlessly develop a baseline of their carbon emissions, report it across multiple frameworks, and identify and prioritize carbon reduction or mitigation strategies for implementation. Our solution will allow you to track your climate targets, projects, and budgets in one place to clearly communicate with stakeholders.
Greenhouse gas accounting is an essential tool for addressing the climate crisis. Accurate and comprehensive greenhouse gas accounting systems provide a basis for effective climate policies, strategic sustainability efforts and can help to drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. As such, it is important for businesses to invest in the development and implementation of robust greenhouse gas accounting.