What is the Greenhouse Gas Protocol?

greenhouse gas protocol

Climate change is a global problem, and we urgently need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts of climate change are currently being experienced across the globe, and more climate disasters are predicted for the future if we do not make changes.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol is a crucial framework helping businesses, organisations, governments, and policymakers to reduce emissions. It offers reporting and accounting standards, training for companies and governments, calculation tools, and sector guidance.

About the Greenhouse Gas Protocol

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the global standard framework for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions. It is the primary worldwide standard for private and public sector entities. The standards listed apply to value chains, operations, and climate change mitigation actions. 

It helps businesses become more resilient, prosperous, and efficient. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol was created in 1998 and was established through a partnership between the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute. It sets standards to help companies reduce and manage their emissions. 

This includes tools, guidance, and training for governments and businesses to track their emissions. The protocol standards are aimed towards value chains, cities, policies, products, and the public and private sectors. Overall, the protocol helps all entities achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement

What Are the GHG Protocol Standards?

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol offers standardised frameworks to help organisations, companies, countries, and cities to achieve their climate goals. Each of the standards addresses the need for different situations. 

For example, reporting corporate-level emissions, reaching long-term emissions reduction, and reporting community emissions, among other things. Below are each of the GHG Protocol Standards.

  • Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard: This standard offers recommendations and instructions to organisations and companies to build effective strategies while also increasing standardisation and transparency and reducing emissions. 
  • Mitigation Goal Standard: This standard gives instructions for developing subnational and national mitigation goals and an approach to reporting and evaluating progress towards achieving goals. Essentially, this standard assists governments in reaching targets and reporting to global organisations. 
  • Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC): This standard recognises that cities are responsible for 75 percent of worldwide emissions and that they have a massive role to play. It is a comprehensive accounting and reporting framework for emissions in cities. It enables transparent and regular measurements and allows for benchmarking across regions. 
  • Policy and Action Standard: This is a standardised framework to evaluate the effectiveness of actions and policies. It is for governments, decision-makers, and policymakers to identify improvements to become more efficient at reducing emissions.
  • Project Accounting: It is a comprehensive accounting tool assisting organisations in quantifying the advantages of climate change mitigation projects. It offers methods and concepts for reporting reductions and targets entities seeking to quantify emissions reductions resulting from projects. 
  • Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard: This standard guides businesses to assess emissions of their complete value chain to see where they can implement emission-reducing activities. 
  • Product Life Cycle Standard: It helps companies create a competitive advantage by looking at the entire life cycle of a product. Businesses can then reduce costs, streamline the production process and remove risks. 


The Greenhouse Gas Protocol provides some of the most widely accepted standards for reporting on and tracking greenhouse gas emissions. Governments, companies, organisations, and cities are utilising its guidance to reduce emissions and fight climate change. It enables all entities to reduce emissions consistently and transparently and helps them better address climate change. 

Share via:

Latest Insights

Diploma in Business Sustainability

Want to gain a comprehensive understanding of sustainability best practices and get equipped with the practical knowledge needed to lead sustainability initiatives at your organisation?