Greenhouse Gas Protocol is currently scoping the need for a new standard to help companies quantify and report the avoided emissions of goods and services.
Businesses are constantly reminded of the risks and challenges of climate change, most recently with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth assessment report (AR5). Extreme weather events like flooding, wildfires, and droughts are challenging our infrastructure and disrupting our supply chains. But with risk comes opportunity. One such opportunity is providing goods and services that avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to a low-carbon economy - such as low-temperature detergents, fuel-saving tires, or teleconferencing equipment and services.
For more than a decade, businesses have realized the environmental and economic benefits of measuring their greenhouse gas emissions using GHG Protocol standards and tools, setting emission reduction goals, and achieving those reductions. But reducing carbon footprints is only one part of the solution. Companies can play a key role in developing and promoting products and services that avoid emissions – either by enabling emission reductions or by providing a low-emission version of existing products.
Some companies already quantify, report, and set goals around the climate benefits of their products and services. For example, nearly two-thirds of companies that reported to CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) in 2012 stated that the use of their products directly enable GHG emissions to be avoided by a third party. However, there is no international standard or consistent terminology to describe avoided emissions. Individual companies and industry initiatives are left to develop their own approach—which leads to inconsistency. For example, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have published guidelines for accounting and reporting GHG emissions avoided along the chemical value chain; the ICT sector has published similar guidance.
As a first step, GHG Protocol has released a scoping survey to assess the need and demand for a standard on quantifying and reporting avoided emissions. A link to the survey is available here. The survey will be open until December 11th. Once the survey is closed, we will publish the results of the survey here, along with announcements and summaries of any scoping workshops or webinars.
To join the mailing list and receive information on the survey results and any future standard development, please complete the form at the bottom of the page.
For additional questions, please contact Laura Draucker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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