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201 Basics of Organizational GHG Accounting


This training course will cover the basics of GHG accounting for organizations. The course materials are based on the WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, while referring to the ISO 14064: Part 1 international standard for GHG inventories. Each learner will be able to download a personal copy of ISO 14064: Part 1 as part of this course.

Many organizations are starting to think about how to manage their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for a number of reasons: to minimize their impact on the planet, to prepare for regulation and address evolving disclosure requirements, to increase energy efficiency and/or to build their profile as an environmental leader.

Building an inventory of your sources and emissions (eg., carbon footprint) is an essential first step to assessing risks, reducing emissions and tracking your performance.

Learners may also choose to take an optional section that covers reporting to The Climate Registry and provides practical experience using The Registry’s General Reporting Protocol.

The material taught in this course serves as the basis for almost all of the entity-level GHG reporting programs in the world, such as:

  • Carbon Disclosure Project
  • U.S. DOE/EIA 1605(b) program
  • The Climate Registry
  • Mexico GHG Program
  • Philippine GHG Accounting & Reporting Program

The course includes quizzes and exercises to help you learn to apply key lessons. A Certificate of Proficiency is available and requires the passing of an exam for an additional fee.

Learners who complete The Climate Registry course module can opt to take The Climate Registry exam and receive a Certificate of Proficiency in both the Basics of Organizational GHG Accounting and Reporting to The Climate Registry.

Key concepts covered include:

  • GHG accounting principles
  • Defining applications for GHG inventories
  • Design and development of GHG inventories
  • Establishing GHG boundaries for an organization
  • Identifying emission sources
  • Tracking emissions over time, recalculations and establishing a base year
  • Setting GHG reduction targets
  • Inventory quality management
  • Preparing a GHG inventory report
  • Preparing for verification
  • Optional – Reporting emissions according to The Climate Registry’s General Reporting Protocol


  • Introduction and Overview
  • Business Applications
  • Organizational Boundaries
  • Operational Boundaries
  • Tracking, Calculating, Reporting and Managing
  • Data Collection and Calculation
  • Additional Technical Issues
  • Inventory Quality Management
  • Elements of GHG Inventory Reports
  • Next Steps
  • Optional – Reporting to The Climate Registry

Who should attend:

Anyone with an interest in carbon management, in particular GHG inventory managers, corporate environmental and sustainability managers, investors and auditors. For example, a client says he wants his company to be “carbon neutral” and you are asked to help them understand their carbon footprint. This course will enable you to intelligently address the issues necessary to assess this organization’s GHG emissions.

This course was jointly developed by the World Resources Institute, The Climate Registry and the GHG Management Institute.

Approximate number of working hours to complete: 16 to 20 or with The Climate Registry’s module 20 to 24

Course Developer(s): Taryn Fransen and Angel Hsu from WRI as well as The Climate Registry

Availability: This course is available online, 24/7



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Erika Barnett

Erika is a Project Manager at the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute. Her main responsibilities fall within the Education Program, and include overall coordination of program initiatives, facilitating cohort training, and …

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