Carbon Accounting: Understanding GHG Emissions and Its Importance for Businesses
Carbon accounting is essential in regard to the ongoing effects of climate change, and it is now more crucial than ever for businesses to be aware of their environmental impact. Companies and organizations may quantify their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using a method called carbon accounting. By doing this, companies may better understand how their actions affect the environment and establish goals for lowering their carbon footprint. We will discuss carbon accounting in this post, including what it is, why it's significant, and how it's computed.
GHGs are gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere, raising the temperature of the planet. The biggest contributors to GHG emissions include the burning of fossil fuels, logging of forests, fast urbanization, inappropriate waste management, and the production of cement. The most prevalent GHGs are fluorinated gasses, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and methane (CH4) (such as hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs). The volume of gas released and the influence of the gas on the climate are two crucial aspects to take into account when discussing global GHG emissions. Carbon being the most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted by human activities, it is often used as a reference for quantifying other greenhouse gasses. This is done by expressing the amount of GHG in terms of CO2 equivalents or CO2e. To convert the amount of GHG to CO2e, the amount of GHG is multiplied by its Global Warming Potential.
GHGs have profound impacts on both the environment and human health, leading to climate change, respiratory disease, and disruptions to food supply. Climate change is a complex shift that is affecting our planet's weather and climate systems right now, causing ice to melt worldwide, wildlife to be displaced, and precipitation patterns to shift. Although precipitation has increased on average, some regions are experiencing more severe droughts, while other areas are dealing with increased pests such as mosquitoes, ticks, and jellyfish. The effects of climate change are not just a future concern, as we are already witnessing its impacts through rising sea levels, stronger storms, and less available freshwater. It is imperative that we take immediate action to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gasses and address climate change to protect our planet and all the species that inhabit it.
Quantifying a company's, a government's, or other organizations' GHG emissions is done through carbon accounting. Understanding a company's carbon footprint is the goal of carbon accounting, which may assist pinpoint problem areas and establish goals for emission reduction. Companies that reduce GHG emissions not only contribute to the battle against climate change, but they may also benefit financially from energy-saving and renewable energy initiatives.
Three categories or "scopes" are used to categorize emissions according to the GHG Protocol, a global standard for carbon accounting. Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, such as boilers, furnaces, machinery and equipment emissions, fuel combustion, and fuel-using vehicles, are referred to as Scope 1 emissions. Scope 2 emissions are unintentional emissions from sources that have been acquired, including steam, heating, cooling, and electricity. Any additional indirect emissions that happen upstream and downstream in a company's value chain are referred to as scope 3 emissions.
Emissions measurement is crucial for a number of reasons. First off, knowing how much carbon is released may help businesses create plans to cut emissions and fund offset initiatives. They may do this to save money and lessen their environmental effect. Second, by tracking the effects of their decisions on the environment, businesses may make better environmentally friendly decisions with the aid of emissions reporting. Finally, calculating carbon footprints can assist companies in adhering to rules set forth by the government.
The importance of carbon accounting is rising among enterprises and organizations all around the world. For instance, Nepal has established a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, and several other nations have comparable objectives. Businesses must calculate their carbon footprints to meet legal requirements, demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, and measure progress.
To assist businesses in measuring and disclosing their emissions, a number of carbon accounting systems are available. As an illustration, the carbon accounting platform from Net0 is a thorough solution that enables companies to monitor their emissions across their whole value chain, from Scope 1 to Scope 3. Insights and suggestions are also offered by the platform to assist companies in lowering their carbon footprint and achieving their sustainability objectives.
In summary, carbon accounting is a crucial instrument for organizations to comprehend their environmental effect and create plans to lessen their carbon footprint. It entails monitoring GHG emissions, which are often broken down into three categories or "scopes," and reporting the findings in order to follow rules and make more sustainable decisions. Carbon accounting will play a bigger role in the battle against climate change as it continues to have an impact on the planet.
- Carbon Accounting. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/carbon-accounting
- Greenhouse Gas Protocol. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ghgprotocol.org/
- Net0. (n.d.). Carbon Accounting. Retrieved from https://net0.com/blog/what-is-carbon-accounting
- Carbon dioxide levels are at a record high. Here's what you need to know. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/greenhouse-gases