Reducing emissions to a net zero balance by the middle of the century requires careful monitoring of annual emissions at all levels (individuals, small and medium-sized companies, cities, large companies, countries).
Measuring greenhouse gas emissions is a key first step in understanding the situation in your organization, identifying the fields that are significant in terms of volume and can be the subject of reduction action plans, and then monitoring over time that the expected reduction is actually taking place. Standards are gradually emerging to define these emission balances, such as the ISO 14064 standard (Parts 1, 2 and 3) or those defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol groups emissions into three main families:
- Scope 1: direct emissions related to the combustion of fossil fuels, industrial processes and leakage from resources directly owned or controlled by the organization,
- Scope 2: indirect emissions related to the consumption of electricity, steam, heat or cold,
- Scope 3: other indirect emissions, related to the purchase of materials, freight, travel of people (professionals, customers, commuting), use of products, end-of-life, waste.
An organization's emissions are rarely measured directly, but rather estimated on the basis of quantities that are easier to measure (electricity or fuel consumed, kilometers traveled, objects purchased) and ratios, known as "emission intensity factors". These are gradually being grouped together in databases, such as that of Ecoinvent, or, in France, ADEME's Base Carbone.
Some countries in the world have adopted regulations on greenhouse gas emission reports. These regulations require the calculation and sometimes the publication of reports on the annual emissions of certain organisations, for example companies exceeding a threshold of employees, turnover or emissions, or all large installations, or all companies in a given sector of activity with particularly high emissions.
This is the case for countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, the European Union, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, etc.
We expect to post open data for these countries in the coming months or years. If you are interested in one of these carbon regulations, or know of another, please contact us.
At the same time, many companies around the world are committing to reducing their emissions, either because they feel concerned about the issue or because they understand that the issue is important to their customers. Examples include Microsoft and Stripe.
Independent organizations are also pushing in this direction. The Carbon Disclosure Project, for example, encourages companies and cities to submit their emissions reports to it, and then gives ratings to help investors make choices. The Science Based Targets initiative encourages companies to make reduction commitments that are consistent with the recommendations of scientific studies, and publishes the list of commitments made.
We monitor the published emission balances, legal obligations and voluntary commitments of organisations. We consolidate information from open data sources to put the pieces of the puzzle together. We believe that bringing all emissions information together on one site will promote consistency through transparency: it will be possible to compare the commitments made "for the planet" by organisations with the reality of their balance sheet. In addition, highlighting organizations that are making significant efforts to reduce their carbon footprint can encourage others to follow their example or benefit from their approaches.