Calculation Tools - Progress Report

Cross-sector tools update

The Stationary Combustion tool has been completely rewritten to greatly enhance ease of use and minimize the potential for transcription errors while inputting data. The tool automates the selection and use of emission factors based on information provided by the user, including the type of fuel, units, heating value and industry. The new tool can be downloaded from http://www.ghgprotocol.org/calculation-tools/all-tools.

WRI has also developed a new tool for calculating the emissions from transport sources (business travel, public transport and company-owned fleets, including freight transport). The revised tool incorporates the latest emission factors from the US EPA, the UK DEFRA and the IPCC. It is currently undergoing quality-control checks and will be released by mid-June.

Biocarbon paper

WRI staff are continuing research of the major issues that would need to be addressed by new guidance on corporate GHG accounting by the agriculture and forestry sectors. This research has involved literature reviews and interviews with experts on:

  • Methodologies for calculating emissions and removals.
  • The implications of common business structures and contractual arrangements for how the boundaries of emissions inventories ought to be set.
  • Accounting mechanisms for dealing with: (1) The reversibility of carbon stocks; (2) Temporal fluctuations in emissions rates; and (3) The difficulty in distinguishing anthropogenic effects from natural effects on emissions and removals.
  • Best practices for ensuring the relevance and accuracy of reported GHG data.
  • Treatment of significant indirect emissions stemming from land-use change.
  • Treatment of carbon stored in products (e.g., harvested wood products).
  • Alternatives to reporting GHG data (e.g., reporting information on management practices).

Over the next few months, WRI plans to integrate its two issue papers into a single paper to form the basis of a GHG Protocol for the AFOLU Sector, which would address common conceptual issues, while providing a foundation upon which sector- and region-specific initiatives can be built.

Public Sector Protocol

WRI has collaborated with Logistics Management Institute (LMI) Government Consulting to develop a supplement to the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard for public agencies within the US, including agencies at the federal, state and local level. The Public Sector Protocol aims to address the nuances of operations in the public sector and will provide more contextualized guidance on organizational boundaries and issues such as land-sharing. Together with the US EPA and LMI, WRI is establishing a stakeholder group to review and road-test a draft of the Public Sector Protocol, which will be released to stakeholders for evaluation around mid June. If you are interested in participating in the project, please contact Stephen Russell.

Financial Sector Protocol

WRI is delving deeper into how financial institutions may apply the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard to create a robust inventory for both direct and indirect emissions. The brief identifies two critical business objectives—1) managing reputational risk and 2) managing investment risk/fiduciary duty—that financial institutions should keep in mind while developing an inventory system. Further, the research looks into the merits and challenges of accounting applications for proprietary investments, managed investments and client services both on the equity and debt side. This brief serves as a discussion paper, with the objective of informing the Scope 3 stakeholder process and acting as a catalyst for financial institutions to start thinking about how to improve their GHG accounting methods.