Carbon emissions standards are regulations established by governments and international bodies to limit the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. These regulations apply to various sectors such as transportation, energy production, and industry, encouraging the adoption of cleaner technologies and practices.
In this dynamic environment, proactive adaptation to emerging standards not only ensures compliance but also presents opportunities for businesses to enhance their sustainability practices as well as gaining a competitive edge.
Alongside notable international agreements such as the Paris Agreement, carbon emission standards play a crucial role in combating climate change by reducing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, thus mitigating the adverse impacts of climate disruptions.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), is the gold standard for accounting and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. It splits emissions sources into three scopes:
Learn more about GHG protocol
Consisting of three parts, ISO 14064 is an international standard that provides guidelines for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. ISO 14064 is a widely used standard which aims to promote consistency, transparency and credibility in GHG accounting and reporting, allowing organizations to assess their environmental impact accurately and set emission reduction targets.
The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) is a collaborative effort enabling financial institutions to measure and disclose greenhouse gas emissions associated within their investment portfolios (known as financed emissions). PCAF fosters transparency and accountability, encouraging consistent carbon accounting practices within organizations.
PAS 2060 is a Publicly Available Specification developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) that provides guidelines for achieving carbon neutrality. It outlines the requirements and best practices for organizations to quantify, reduce, and offset their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint.
Learn more about international carbon accounting standards
The evolving carbon accounting landscape poses several challenges that organizations and stakeholders need to address:
The landscape of best practices and data requirements is continuously evolving. Companies are increasingly seeking higher accuracy and fidelity, particularly in obtaining better data from scope 3 emissions.
Rebaselining allows organizations or countries to establish new baseline emission levels periodically, enabling them to track progress in reducing emissions more accurately - but this can come with high costs if businesses are continually needing to rebaseline as a result of changing standards.
The dynamic nature of changing carbon accounting standards jeopardizes existing carbon reduction plans for many companies. With evolving requirements, some organizations may struggle to achieve their net-zero goals using their current data architecture and initiatives.
This fluidity necessitates a proactive approach from businesses, ensuring they stay updated with evolving standards and adjust their strategies to align with the latest guidelines to maintain progress towards their carbon reduction targets.
The ever-changing carbon landscape brings several benefits to businesses. For example, by staying updated on regulatory shifts, companies can enhance risk management, future-proof operations, and access green markets for revenue from emission reductions. But those aren’t the only advantages…
Forward-thinking companies that prioritize and invest in reliable data collection and a robust system of record for carbon accounting will gain a competitive advantage.
By placing emphasis on accurate and comprehensive data, these companies can stay ahead of the competition and make informed decisions regarding carbon management and reduction strategies.
Establishing a strong data infrastructure, including a seamless rebaselining system, is crucial for future-proofing against changing standards, ensuring regulatory compliance, and achieving net-zero goals.
With a robust data framework, organizations can adapt to evolving requirements, maintain accurate carbon accounting, and effectively track progress towards their sustainability objectives.
Having emissions software, such as Minimum's, is key for effective carbon accounting and management, offering numerous benefits such as accurate data management, real-time tracking of carbon footprints, and streamlined reporting for compliance and transparency.
The software simplifies sustainability reporting and empowers companies to showcase their environmental initiatives, positioning them as environmentally responsible and competitive in a climate-conscious world.
A system of record (SOR) refers to a centralized and authoritative source where essential data and information are stored and managed within an organization. It serves as the primary repository for critical data, ensuring consistency, accuracy, and reliability of information across the enterprise - and is a cornerstone of any good carbon accounting software such as Minimum’s.
It’s also worth noting how a system of record also helps with sharing this data across organizational boundaries, which is especially useful for organizations looking to reduce their scope 3 emissions.
An adaptable calculation engine is a versatile tool capable of adjusting its methodologies to align with changing carbon accounting standards and regulatory requirements. It handles diverse emission factors and real-time updates, enabling organizations to accurately measure and manage their carbon emissions.
The engine supports scenario analysis , facilitates data integration and ensures compliance with evolving standards.
Detailed data ingestion methods refer to the specific techniques and processes used to gather, collect, and import data into a system for further analysis or processing. One of the common data ingestion methods is through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which allow different software applications to communicate and share data seamlessly.
Rebaselining refers to the process of recalculating or resetting a baseline or reference point to reflect new or updated data or standards. In the context of carbon accounting and emissions management, rebaselining involves reevaluating the initial reference point against which future carbon emissions or reduction targets are measured.
An audit-proof carbon footprint refers to a carbon footprint that has been subjected to thorough scrutiny and verification by an independent third-party auditor, ensuring that the reported emissions data is accurate, reliable, and compliant with established standards and methodologies.
Minimum can help organizations to understand their existing carbon output, and create plans to mitigate climate related risks in the future. Our Emissions Data Platform seamlessly collects and processes emissions data from every corner of your organization and supply chain - no matter the format. Making it the ideal platform for emissions audits and all-round business intelligence.
Learn more about how Minimum's Emission Data Platform can help to power you all the way to Net Zero today.