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Types of Carbon Accounting

When it comes to carbon accounting standards, there is no one-size fits all answer. Each organization has its own targets, limitations and outputs, which can make it difficult to know which standards apply. Minimum can help businesses understand their carbon output and how to take steps to reduce them - here, we delve into which carbon accounting standard may apply to you. 


GHG Protocol Corporate Reporting and Accounting Standard

The GHG Protocol Corporate Reporting and Accounting Standard, commonly referred to as the GHG Protocol  [LINK], is a widely recognized and internationally accepted framework for accounting and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It was developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The GHG Protocol provides guidelines and methodologies for organizations to measure and report their GHG emissions accurately and consistently. The standard helps organizations identify and quantify their emissions sources, set reduction targets, track progress, and make informed decisions to manage and mitigate their climate impact.

ISO 14064-1

ISO 14064-1 is a part of the ISO 14064 series of standards that provide guidance and requirements for organizations to quantify and report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals. 

ISO 14064-1 specifically focuses on the quantification and reporting of GHG emissions and removals at the organizational level. It was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and provides a framework for consistent and transparent accounting of GHG emissions.



PAS 2050, which stands for Publicly Available Specification 2050, is a standard developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI). It provides a methodology for measuring the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of goods and services. 

PAS 2050 is often used by organizations seeking to quantify and reduce the carbon footprint of their products, as well as for labeling and certification purposes. While it was developed in the United Kingdom, PAS 2050 has gained international recognition and serves as a reference for assessing the environmental impact of products in various sectors globally.

GHG Protocol Product Lifecycle Accounting and Reporting Standard

The GHG Protocol Product Lifecycle Accounting and Reporting Standard has been developed to understand the emissions of a product over the course of its life, including:

  • Raw materials
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Storage
  • Use and disposal

It also helps organizations to identify the greatest opportunities for reduction of emissions related to those products, alongside helping companies respond to customer demand for environmental information and make it easier to communicate the products environmental impact.


ISO 14064-2

ISO 14064-2 is a part of the ISO 14064 series of standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It specifically focuses on the quantification, monitoring, and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions or removal enhancements, commonly known as "offsets." 

ISO 14064-2 provides guidance for organizations to implement and demonstrate credible GHG projects that result in emission reductions or removal enhancements.

GHG Protocol for Project Accounting

The GHG Protocol provides guidance for organizations to account for and report GHG emissions - and has a specific standard for Project Accounting. This entails clearly defining the boundaries and objectives of the product life cycle assessment, which includes:

  • Life Cycle Inventory (LCI), which is where detailed data is collected on all inputs and outputs throughout the product life cycle, including raw materials, energy consumption, transportation, manufacturing processes, and waste management. The data is typically collected using methodologies such as process-based modeling or input-output analysis.
  • Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) which involves evaluating the environmental impacts associated with the collected data. This includes assessing the GHG emissions, as well as other relevant impact categories such as water use, land use, and resource depletion. The impacts are often expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to enable comparability.

National & Sub-National

IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

The IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, often referred to as the IPCC Guidelines, are a comprehensive set of methodologies and guidelines developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These guidelines provide a standardized approach for countries to estimate and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals at the national level.

The IPCC Guidelines serve as a globally recognized reference for conducting GHG inventories and are widely used by countries to fulfill their reporting obligations under international agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The guidelines are periodically updated and revised to incorporate the latest scientific knowledge and advancements in emissions estimation methodologies.

GHG Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories

The GHG Protocol for Community-Scale Inventories is designed to help cities, municipalities, and local governments assess their GHG emissions and develop strategies to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change impacts. It provides a framework for measuring and reporting GHG emissions from various sources within a community's geographical boundary.

Policy & Action

GHG Protocol Policy and Action Standard

The Policy and Action Standard assists organizations and policymakers in developing comprehensive strategies to mitigate GHG emissions. It covers aspects such as:

  • Setting baselines
  • Target setting
  • Policy design
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring
  • Reporting

The Policy and Action guidance helps ensure transparency, consistency, and credibility in policy development and reporting on emissions reduction efforts.


London 2012 Olympics Methodology

The London 2012 Olympics Methodology, also known as the "Greenhouse Gas Protocol for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," was a specific methodology developed to calculate and report the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the organization and hosting of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The methodology was designed to capture the emissions arising from various activities and operations related to the Games, including construction and infrastructure development, venue operations, transportation, accommodation, waste management, and spectator travel. It aimed to provide a comprehensive and transparent approach to measuring and reporting the carbon footprint of the Games.

It's important to note that the London 2012 Olympics Methodology was specific to the Olympic Games held in London in 2012 and may not be directly applicable to other events or contexts. However, the methodology and lessons learned from the London 2012 Games have provided valuable insights and best practices for future event organizers in measuring and managing the carbon footprint of similar large-scale sporting or cultural events.


EventIMPACTS is a comprehensive evaluation and measurement framework specifically designed for assessing the impacts of events. Developed by Dr. Donald Getz, a leading expert in event evaluation and research, EventIMPACTS provides a systematic approach to measuring the economic, social, and environmental impacts of events.

The framework considers the various stages of an event lifecycle, including pre-event planning and preparation, event operations, and post-event assessment. It encompasses both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to capture a wide range of impacts and outcomes.