An increasing number of organizations and governments are responding to the challenges of climate change by introducing programs to report and, ultimately, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some programs are voluntary and focus solely on GHG reporting or provide a platform for GHG reduction and removal projects, while others are mandatory and require certain types of facilities or industries to report. Taking a proactive leadership position on climate change is becoming an essential component of good corporate social responsibility, especially as businesses prepare themselves for a future regulated carbon environment. Many institutional investors are requesting carbon footprint data and using the information in assessing the risk of investments in sectors or companies. Green procurement is also becoming more and more commonplace across the supply chain as organizations start to direct expenditures toward suppliers that are taking proactive steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Many businesses recognize that reducing GHG emissions is a long-term commitment and are choosing to take immediate responsibility for their emissions by balancing them with the purchase of an equivalent amount of credible carbon offsets.

However, the success of any carbon reporting or reduction programs, whether mandatory or voluntary, will depend heavily on the accuracy and transparency of the reported data, especially as new standards and best practices are adopted. One of the major challenges in carbon accounting stem, in part, from the wide array of GHG quantification and verification standards, protocols and methodologies that a professional must be familiar with.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.