Launch of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for the U.S. Public Sector

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol for the U.S. Public Sector was released in October by the GHG Protocol Initiative and LMI. The protocol outlines how federal, state and local governments can account for their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As a resource to help measure and manage climate impacts, the protocol serves as a reference for implementing Executive Order 13514, which President Obama signed on October 5, 2009. The Executive Order requires federal agencies to report and reduce their GHG emissions over time.

“The U.S. government has shown leadership by taking real steps to track and report their GHG emissions,” said Pankaj Bhatia, Director of the GHG Protocol Initiative at WRI. “The same principles that make for a good corporate inventory— relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency and accuracy— are just as vital for government inventories, and can help governments to effectively meet their goals.”

The protocol interprets and applies the GHG accounting principles established by GHG Protocol’s Corporate Standard to the unique structures and needs of the government.

“This protocol is the foundation upon which the federal government can build a meaningful program for the tracking, measurement and mitigation of GHG emissions,” said LMI Energy & Environment Program Director John R. Selman. “We feel that by developing this protocol, we’re providing the federal government with a timely and critical resource.”

To develop the case studies and best practices featured in the protocol, WRI and LMI convened a stakeholder group with over a hundred federal, state, and local government managers and contractors, as well as leaders from voluntary GHG reporting programs.

The result is that the protocol offers guidance on key areas of concern for government inventories, including:

  • Identifying direct and indirect emissions sources
  • Accounting for emissions from leased assets
  • Estimating emissions from supply chains
  • Consistently tracking emissions over time with departmental restructuring
  • Ensuring high data quality Setting reduction targets

Federal agencies will be reporting their GHG inventories for fiscal year 2010 by the end of January 2011, and annually thereafter for each preceding fiscal year in accordance with EO 13514.

The key content of the protocol will also be discussed at a session on “Federal Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Metrics 101″ at the GreenGov Symposium in Washington D.C. on October 5, 2010. The symposium is a 3-day educational event focused on the performance goals set by Executive Order 13514, and brings together leaders from federal, state and local governments, nonprofit and academic communities.

About LMI
LMI is a government consulting firm committed to helping government leaders and managers reach decisions that make a difference. As a not-for-profit organization, LMI is a trusted advisor to the government—free from commercial or political bias and dedicated to the mission of advancing government management.

About WRI
The World Resources Institute is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the earth and improve people’s lives.

The GHG Protocol Initiative at WRI develops standards and technical resources to help organizations measure and manage their GHG emissions.