GHG & Carbon Accounting - ISO 14064-1 2

GHG & Carbon Accounting – ISO 14064-1

Why GHG Accounting or Carbon Accounting is Important?

As part of the effort to fight climate change, on July 30th  2021, the government of Malaysia has approved the unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% based on gross domestic product by 2030 (The Edge, 2021). However, in order to meet the target, various initiatives, policies and instruments may need to be established. In light of this, GHG assessment and reporting from the industrial sector is expected to be one of the critical elements of the action plan. Peter Drucker, the Management guru has famously said; “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Therefore, be it at the level of a country or an organisation, it is critical to determine the current status of GHG emissions and to establish a GHG baseline so that the relevant mitigation strategies and actions could be effectively designed to address the root causes of GHG emissions. 

What is the difference between GHG assessment and carbon assessment?

Before we discuss the difference between GHG assessment and carbon assessment, let’s take a step back and examine the phrases “GHG emissions” and “carbon emissions” to better understand the phrases and context of their use.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) refers to the types of gases which could cause adverse impact on ozone layer and ultimately lead to global warming when released to the environment. Technically speaking, carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the 24 greenhouse gases (GHG) recognised globally. CO2 has been used as the reference to benchmark the impact of other GHGs on global warming. For example, methane (CH4) is 25 times more potent than CO2. Hence, in terms of global warming potential (GWP), 1 ton of CH4 is equivalent to 25 tons of CO2 (or, methane has a GWP of 25 ton of CO2 eq (CO2 equivalent)).

The notion of CO2 equivalent enables carbon emission accounting to refer to equivalent CO2 emissions to represent GHG emissions. The process requires all the GHG emissions to be converted and reported in terms of CO2-eq  value (e.g, ton of CO2-eq). 

Nevertheless, in the everyday communications, the terms carbon emission and GHG emission are often used interchangeably. For example, carbon emissions could be referring to the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere or the amount of GHG (CO2-eq) emitted.

All in all, GHG assessment and Carbon assessment are two different ways of expressing the same approach that fundamentally relates to the process of analysis and accounting of greenhouse gas emissions.

Is there any standard for GHG (or carbon) assessment or reporting?

One of the most prominent standards for GHG reporting is  ISO 14064 series which consist of:

    • ISO 14064-1: 2018 for organisation level quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
    • ISO 14064-2: 2019 for project-level quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions reduction and removal enhancements.
    • ISO 14064-3: 2019 for verification and validation of greenhouse gas statements.

At OPTIMISE, our experts are well equipped with the knowledge of ISO 14064 and other reporting standards such as GHG protocol to develop the most cost-effective reporting mechanism to suit a client’s requirement.

For information related to Carbon Footprint of Product, please refer to:

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Updated at May 3, 2020 by Optimal Systems Engineering

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