GHG Protocol survey to inform the revision of Corporate and Product Standards

Submitted by: Kathryn Kasavel, Monday, February 3, 2014

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is undertaking a survey of their GHG Protocol standards and tools to determine whether they are meeting the needs of their current users. The Survey entitled: User Needs Assessment for GHG Protocol’s Corporate and Product Standards is available online for comment up until the 28 February 2014.  

The GHG Protocol, together with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have developed a number of standards and tools for corporate GHG accounting since 2001, including  the  GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and the GHG Protocol Value Chain (Scope 3) and Product Life Cycle Standards. Whilst the value chain and product life cycle standards were published in 2011, the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard was last revised in 2004. Stephen Russell, Senior Associate at the WRI explains the rationale behind the survey: “we regard the survey as part of our duty to ensure the standards meet the needs of the practitioner community. It was motivated by the fact that the last edition of the Corporate Standard was published ten years ago and that practitioners have now had several years to use the Product and Scope 3 Standards”.

Since the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard was published there have been a number of developments in the GHG reporting field, “the Greenhouse Gas accounting field has changed considerably over the past 10 years, as voluntary reporting programs have become commonplace, regulatory programs are increasingly requesting corporate data, and companies have generally become more sophisticated in GHG reporting. So, now is an important juncture to take stock of how the standards are used and whether any changes or new standards are needed,” says Russell.

Russell adds that the recommendations provided by stakeholders who participate in the survey will be used to revise their standards and tools, “Because all our standards are developed through open and inclusive multi-stakeholder processes, the decision to update the standards will be based on the community’s feedback”. The results of the survey will be used to develop a revised edition of the Corporate Standard, as well as additional supplements to the existing standards. New standards will also be developed for different types of GHG accounting.

The User Needs Assessment for GHG Protocol’s Corporate and Product Standards survey includes different sections on the different standards and participants are encouraged to complete the questions on the standards they would like to provide feedback on. The closing date for online submissions is 28 February 2014.

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Kathryn Kasavel