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Why Carbon Verification Matters

Many companies disclosing their GHG emissions verify their GHG inventories (aka Carbon Footprint). There are several reasons to complete a carbon verification of your GHG inventory.

Author: Dustin Lawrence – Energy Engineer at GCX Carbon & Energy

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A GHG inventory is a factual and objective statement of a company or project’s performance relating to past GHG emissions. Carbon verification is a systematic process requiring supporting evidence. It serves to verify that a project or organisation’s GHG inventory has been appropriately calculated and truthfully reported. Verification also assesses whether the inventory meets the requirements of the reporting framework chosen, for example, the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

How is a Carbon Verification Carried Out?

There are several methods to verification. All methods require the verifier to obtain supporting documentation and information. This is to confirm that the reported GHG emissions are being reported truthfully and that no material misstatements are present.

Why are Companies Verifying their Carbon Footprint?

The majority of corporate GHG reporting is conducted as per the guidance of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard. The corporate standard consists of 5 GHG accounting principles:

  • Relevance
  • Completeness
  • Consistency
  • Transparency
  • Accuracy

The verification process assesses all these points and ensures transparency. By maintaining a clear audit trail and supporting documentation.

Should you Verify your GHG Inventory?

If you are a large corporate committed to sustainability or disclosing your GHG inventory in your annual report, you definitely should be. Additionally, companies reporting to CDP should also consider verification as CDP awards more points in their scoring to companies that verify their GHG inventories.

For small to medium companies, a peer review of their GHG inventory may be more prudent. A peer review only looks at the calculation methodology used and excludes supporting documentation audits and data checks. It does, however, provide the company with confidence that their GHG statement has been calculated using the correct methodology and emission factors.

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