Laura Draucker on GHG Protocol: How standards and tools drive corporate action on climate change

The importance of GHGP and the impact that it has and continue to have on corporations in the world is not something that can simply be catalogued. Just how important is the GHGP? The World Resources Institute’s Senior Associate of Climate and Energy Laura Draucker stopped by The University of Pennsylvania to give a short presentation on the history and the future of GHGP.Laura started off the presentation talking about the role GHG Protocol (GHGP)has played, and will continue to play, in helping companies measure and manage their GHG emissions. The GHGP, a part of World Resources Institute (WRI), is the poster child of the organization. WRI focuses on 6 major categories: Energy, Climate, Food, Water, Forests, and Cities. Under each category, three specific targets are made: Business markets, institutions governance, and economic finance. GHG Protocol, a collaboration between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD), is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage Greenhouse Gas emissions. 

The goal of GHGP is to develop standards and tools for corporations to use. Furthermore, GHGP is also there as support and monitor at the same time. In the late 90’s, GHGP was created and the first publication, the Corporate Standards was design to help corporations prepare a true and fair inventory of their GHG emissions from direct activities and purchased electricity. The corporate standard is the first publication that define and termed the three scopes. Scope 1, 2, and 3. To date, thousands of companies use GHGP in its GHG inventory.

Two years ago, GHGP launched its Scope 3 Value Chain Standard. A study by GreenBiz in 2013 showed that over 60% of GHG emission is a result of value chain. A full value chain GHG emission analysis by Hewlett-Packard showed that the majority of the GHG inventory from a product perspective is in the manufacturing and consumer use. Over 60% of the GHG emission actually occurs after the product is sold. Using the value chain as well as the product standard, HP is able to frame their operations to specifically target areas that major reduction in GHG emission can occur.

Although there is still many problems surrounding the complete accounting of Scope 3 GHG emissions, Laura believe that the GHGP team is heading in the right direction and the standards and publications that it is prepared to release in the next few years will help corporations on reaching a complete GHG inventory of not only scope 1 and 2 but also 3. The GHGP team will also help corporations prepare their GHG inventory in relation to the other major topics such as energy, water, waste, and recycling.

Laura Draucker is a Senior Associate from World Resources Institute. She is also WRI’s Sustainability Manager in charge of WRI’s own GHG emission inventory.

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About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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