The GHG Protocol (Greenhouse Gas Protocol) is a global set of guidelines and principles for quantifying, managing, and communicating greenhouse gas emissions. It was developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to help companies and organizations measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions.
The GHG Protocol provides a framework for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions in three areas, called Scopes:
- Scope 1: refers to direct greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal, within the organization’s operations.
- Scope 2: refers to indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the use of energy purchased from external sources, such as electricity, used to power the organization’s operations.
- Scope 3: refers to indirect greenhouse gas emissions from other activities of the organization that do not fall under Scopes 1 and 2, such as the use of products and services, transportation activities, and waste management.
Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions based on Scopes 1, 2, and 3 allows organizations to identify and manage their main sources of emissions and plan actions for reducing emissions.
Additionally, it provides a guide for communicating and disclosing information about greenhouse gas emissions to help organizations make their climate mitigation activities transparent and communicate effectively with their stakeholders.
The GHG Protocol has been adopted as the international standard for quantifying and communicating greenhouse gas emissions by a wide range of organizations, including companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations worldwide. It has been used as the basis for many voluntary and mandatory greenhouse gas reporting initiatives, such as the United States’ Energy Performance Program and the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions reporting system.