GHG Protocol now requires NF3 in GHG inventories

Submitted by: Margaret McKenzie, Friday, June 7, 2013

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol now requires the inclusion of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) in GHG inventories in terms of their Corporate Standard, Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard, and Product Standard. The move by the GHG Protocol is in-line with the UNFCCC which has already included NF3 in its list of gases that must be reported on in national GHG inventories. 

Nitrogen Trifluoride (NF3)

NF3 is used in the electronic industry for the manufacturing of semi-conductors and Liquid Crystal Display panels.  It is also used in the manufacture of certain types of solar photovoltaic cells and chemical lasers.   According to the GHG Protocol “new measurement techniques have revealed much higher atmospheric concentrations of NF3 than expected, which can be partially attributed to the fact that industrial losses of the gas had been underestimated.”

NF3 is of particular concern says the GHG Protocol because it “has a 100-year global warming potential of 17,200, meaning that it is 17,200 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in trapping atmospheric heat over a 100-year time span – much higher than most other GHGs.”

Global Warming Potential of Compulsory GHG’s

The global warming potentials of the GHG’s that need to be included in the GHG Corporate Standard, Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard, and Product Standard are shown in the table below. These figures are Global Warming Potential figures sourced from the UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories.

GHG name

GHG symbol

Global Warming Potential

Carbon dioxide






Nitrous oxide



Sulphur hexafluoride


22 800



Range between 7 390 and 12 200



Range between 12 and 14 800

Nitrogen trifluoride


17 200


For more details of the GHG Protocol amendment that requires the inclusion of NF3 go the GHG Protocol Website.

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Margaret McKenzie