Announcing ClimatePULSE with ClimateCHECK

Welcome to “ClimatePULSE with ClimateCHECK”, a weekly blog on Triple Pundit covering the world of GHG management and GHG markets in North America. ClimateCHECK is a top tier provider of credible, practical and innovative greenhouse gas (GHG) management for carbon commodities and clean technology solutions. We guide our clients through risk management and compliance issues and into innovative GHG management solutions that create value by improving environmental and economic returns; something we like to call the “double dividend” approach.

Our practice is based on the experience that our team has accumulated by working on over 200 GHG and clean technology assignments across several industries in North America and internationally under the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). During the last 10 years we have been involved with most of the leading GHG programs, standards and markets. Our work to date includes being the main author of the ISO 14064-2 International Standard for GHG Projects, which was recently adopted by the Voluntary Carbon Standard – the premier international system for carbon credits. ISO 14064 is also the basis for the Alberta offset system – the first GHG regulated jurisdiction in North America, as well as the emerging national offsets system in Canada. We are also a leading advisor to Greenhouse Gas Services – a joint venture of GE and AES that creates high quality carbon credits. We authored the standards used by the government of Canada for assessing the GHG performance of clean technologies for the TEAM program and Sustainable Development Technologies Canada. We don’t just know the carbon standards – we set them. We are also proud founders and sponsors of the non-profits Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and LiveNeutral – because we truly believe in walking the talk and helping our clients do the same.
Each week in “ClimatePULSE with ClimateCHECK”, a member of the ClimateCHECK team will address a topic related to GHG markets and management issues to shed light on how the markets work and why they are important. Our aim will be, in part, to address technical issues in a way that the average reader can appreciate. As these markets evolve, there is still time for open discussion on various “rules of the game”. Therefore, we will also use this forum as an open dialogue with our colleagues in an effort to share our professional opinions and learn from each other. We think readers of all backgrounds and experiences will appreciate both varieties of posts.
As a sneak preview of what to expect in the coming weeks, here are some topics we intend to cover.

  • GHG Vocabulary. Standards, Protocols, Verification, Certification, Methodologies, etc.
  • What does it all mean?
  • Exploring the link between climate change and clean technology.
  • 1001 Standards. Who writes them? Who approves them? What purpose(s) do they serve? Why are there so many?
  • The Carbon Talent Show. There’s a growing supply of jobs in the carbon markets world these days but where the experts when you need them?
  • Organizational Entity vs. Facility GHG accounting. Why is one method better than the other?
  • ISO 14064 – how can it be applied to carbon products and technologies.
  • Radiative Forcing Index (RFI) and Aircraft GHG emissions.
  • Share your challenging questions about GHG standards, policies, technologies, programs, etc, with us at:

4 responses

  1. I have a question about a new protocol: PAS 2050 on measuring embodied GHG emissions in products and services. How does this standard differ from the Scope 3 standard in the GHG protocol? Are there other standards that deal with full life cycle product emissions?
    It seems that for consumer products retailers (e.g., Tesco, Wal-Mart) the biggest GHG reductions are to come through greening their supply chains. What are the opportunities for monetizing reductions of GHG in the supply chain? Would a company like Wal-Mart be able to claim emissions reductions in their supply chain in any of the voluntary trading markets? Or is there some other mechanism to enable them to monetize reductions (e.g., joint implementation mechanism)?

  2. Great questions Valerie.
    Regarding other GHG standards with a streamlined LCA approach, there is ISO 14064 Part 2 that can be used for project credits, technologies as well as products and services. I am the main author of this standard and have used it with many projects and technologies – everything from a new technology/product to de-ice aircraft, an electric vehicle, composted waste, the blade for a wind turbine, hybrid fishing vessel, and many others – you can see several other examples at and, GHG and clean tech investment funds that account for GHG performance based on ISO 14064 Part 2. Another good point about ISO 14064 Part 2 is that it links products and clean tech with carbon credits. In a few weeks I will do do post to explain the application of ISO 14064 Part 2 for projects and products.
    On your first question about differences between the use of the WRI-WBCSD GHG Protocol for Corporate Accounting (including Scope 3) and the PAS 2050 approach based around the ISO 14040 LCA standards – while Scope 3 considers the life cycle beyond Scope 1 and 2, the GHG Protocol for Corporate Accounting does not specify the same accounting requirements such as “scope and goal definition”, “functional equivalence” and other accounting specifications in ISO 14040. ISO 14064 Part 2 incorporates many of these specifications and allows both simplified and rigorous accounting – depends on the needs of the user of the final GHG claim. Although the GHG Protocol describes general guidance, it can be used, often in conjunction with LCA models, to determine the carbon footprint of products – we’ve used it that way.
    Regarding monetizing opportunities in the GHG supply chain – there are many opportunities as in all other operations. There are also several challenges other than data quality/availability – such as ownership and eligibility. Transaction costs can also be a challenge. Eligibility to claim credits depends on various factors such as location of the reduction and whether or not the emissions are already covered under another GHG program (don’t want double counting) – if the reduction happens upstream at a facility under a cap and trade program, then it might have excess permits/allowances. Ownership can be managed with legal contracts – although not as easy as it might seem to be. Transaction costs can be reduced with IT systems and appropriately defined verification/certification systems. To make this seem really scary, depending on how the scope/boundaries are defined for the assessment, “leakage” – that is unintended (and often unaccounted for) emissions can be very difficult to account for. Leakage is very difficult in project accounting – supply chain accounting is much worse.
    I don’t want to sound discouraging about pursuing credits from reductions throughout the supply chain – I am strongly in favor of initiating reduction plans with suppliers. However, there is more than one way to account, and monetize, the emission reductions – the are many considerations in choosing which way is best.

  3. Sound’s really cool. I’m particularly interested in explaining this to people who don’t understand why a company would voluntarily pay to offset, or otherwise reduce their GHG emissions. Obviously Government regulation plays a big role, but that just sends people kicking and screaming. What are the methods that also make the company more profitable, not just in terms of money, but also quality of life – a factor that too few accountants understand!

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