Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Reporting Guide
While the exact legislative framework around climate change is still unclear, it is almost certain that businesses will be operating within a carbon constrained economy during the next few years.
Addressing climate change implications earlier rather than later, and as part of an overall business strategy represents:
- intelligent entrepreneurship
- responsible risk management and
- good corporate citizenship.
For most organisations climate change is a risk management issue, whether formally acknowledged or not. Even though some of the New Zealand Government’s climate change policies will only come into effect in 2007 dealing with the risk can and should be acted on now, to maximise your opportunities, and understand and minimise your risks.
This guide builds on the “Business Opportunities and Global Climate Change” report issued in June 2002 by the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development. The report describes 32 potential business opportunities that the six participating companies have identified within their operations. These opportunities range from the provision of knowledge and services to “climate friendly” branding, to investment in emissions reduction projects at home and in developing countries.
The first step that organisations need to take, to identify and capture GHG opportunities, is to compile a corporate emissions inventory. In other words, account for, calculate and report your GHG emissions. GHG accounting and reporting is not just for big business or heavy industry. Calculating GHG emissions does not require a PhD in science. In fact a good understanding of your systems and accounts payable information is much more important. There are 10 key steps to follow which closely follow the process outlined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a document convened by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute.