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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an idea that corporations have to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all
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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Mar/Apr 2004 : Special Section

Special Section


The 10 companies who have agreed to participate in the Global Greenhouse Gas Register account for an estimated 800 million tons of CO2-equivalent per year.

* Alcoa
* Anglo American
* Cemex
* Holcim
* Hewlett Packard
* Lafarge
* ScottishPower
* Vattenfall

It was developed in partnership with the following organizations: BrasilConnects, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the International Emissions Trading Association, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Energy Council, the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.


The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative (GHG Protocol) is a broad international coalition of businesses, non-governmental organizations, government and inter-governmental organizations. Operating under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the GHG Protocol Initiative was created to help those companies who desire to understand and manage their carbon risks in order to comply with national or regional policies aimed at reducing corporate GHG emissions and to ensure long-term success in a competitive business environment.

In addition, many governments are implementing national policies to reduce GHG. These policies include the introduction of permit trading systems; voluntary programs; carbon or energy taxes; and regulations and standards on energy efficiency and emissions.

For all of these various systems to function well, and in a wider sphere, there must be
uniformity in accounting processes. For example, Company A may not want to trade with Company B unless it is sure that Company B’s credits will “count” in Company A’s scheme.

The GHG Protocol currently consists of two modules:

* The Corporate GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard and Guidance
This standard helps companies and other organizations identify,calculate and report GHG emissions. It builds on the experience and knowledge of over 350 leading experts drawn from businesses, NGOs, governments and accounting associations. It has been road-tested by over 30 companies in nine countries. The initiative’s vision is to harmonize GHG accounting and reporting standards internationally to ensure that different trading schemes and other climate-related initiatives adopt consistent approaches to GHG accounting. A revised edition of the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard will include a new chapter on voluntary corporate GHG targets, which focuses on the steps to take and options to consider in setting a target, as well as the implications of those options.

* The Project GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard and Guidance
The development of standards and guidelines to assist companies and project developers to account for GHG reduction projects becomes important as national emissions trading schemes are evolving and the trading volume of emission credits is growing. This module was created to help develop accounting and reporting standards and/or general guidance for both emission reduction and land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) projects.

The GHG Protocol builds on the knowledge of and lessons learned by many organizations, practitioners and stakeholders to promote convergence of GHG accounting practices. It is intended to reduce costs, improve comparability and strengthen the capacity of managers to make informed decisions on carbon risks and opportunities. The protocol will also render
reported information credible and reliable in the eyes of external stakeholders.

It is geared toward anyone who is responsible for accounting corporate GHG emissions. Organizers emphasize that the GHG Protocol is not just for big companies. In fact, WRI and WBCSD (both small office-based organizations) have used the protocol to calculate their own emissions. Based on its own experiences developing a GHG emissions inventory, WRI has developed a guide for office-based organizations wanting to estimate their own GHG emissions. The guide, Working 9 to 5 on Climate Change: An Office Guide, is available at


Back to: What Gets Measured Gets Managed

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