Resource centre for greenhouse gas accounting
Ministère de la Transition Écologique
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Calculation methods


This site is concerned with environmental accounting exercises for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. These "carbon accounting" exercises differ according to the nature of the studied object. The following broad families may be differentiated:

along with:

  • Carbon LCAs of products
  • Carbon footprint of projects
  • Carbon footprint of investments

GHG Inventories for organizations

GHG Inventories for territories

System under consideration:
An organization

Companies, public institutions and territorial collectivities


  • Regulatory method, article 75
  • ISO 14064 and 14069
  • GHG Protocol
  • Bilan Carbone®

System under consideration: 
A territory

Territorial collectivities


  • Inventory / land register
  • Direct emissions and supply chain
  • Consumption approaches


The most widespread methods

Several methods are today available in France and internationally. These methods are differentiated mainly by their status (standard, private reference standard, etc.), their field of application (scopes covered) and their target (company, sectoral approach, collectivity or territory).

The following table presents the most commonly used methods in France.


Regulatory method

ISO 14064-1

Bilan Carbone®

GHG Protocol



Article 75 - ENE Act

ISO international standard


Association Bilan Carbone

USA – developed by the WBCSD and WRI



2006; undergoing revision



Specific features

Covers Scopes 1 and 2

Complementary method dedicated to collectivities (Patrimony & Competences)

General principles applicable to all methods

Covers all Scopes

Methods available for companies, public institutions, collectivities (Patrimony & Competences) and territories

Covers all Scopes

Since 2014, method available for territories (Global Protocol for Community)



For more information about the methodological principles of these exercises: GHG Inventory for organizations.

Regulatory method

Since June 2011, in the framework of the Grenelle II Act of 12 July 2010, a method must be applied by those eligible (companies with more than 500 employees [250 for overseas departments], territorial collectivities with over 50,000 inhabitants and public establishments with over 250 employees) for carrying out their inventory every 3 years.

The methodological elements have been drawn up in the framework of the work of the national coordination hub for greenhouse gas emission accounting, created by Decree No. 2011-829. Drawing on existing reference standards, in particular those defined on an international scale, the production of this complementary method has been the subject of major technical work with the representatives of the stakeholders concerned by the implementation of article 75 (companies, collectivities [local authorities], State services). This document has also incorporated input from the Emissions Inventories Consultation and Information Group (Groupe de Concertation et d’Information sur les Inventaires d’Émissions - GCIIE).

It is divided into three parts:


ISO 14064-1: 2006 and 14069


The Standard ISO 14064-1:2006, drafted by the ISO/TC207 "environmental management" technical committee specifies, for organizations, the principles and requirements for quantification and for the drafting of reports on greenhouse gas emissions and their elimination.

France proposed its revision, and this was accepted to the tune of more than 80% (voted on in September 2013). This work began in January 2014 in the framework of the TC207/SC7/WG4 and is led by France (President and Secretary).

The contents of the revision will be based on the ISO 14069 Technical Report, available since April 2013. The objective of this technical guide is to help users in the application of the ISO 14064-1 standard by way of guidelines and examples in order to ensure transparency in the quantification of emissions and elimination of GHGs in organizations and in the drafting of their reports. In addition, it provides a listing of the emission categories within each scope.


Bilan Carbone®

In France, ADEME published in 2004 a methodology for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions for organizations, called the Bilan Carbone®. This method is today coordinated and disseminated by the Association Bilan Carbone.

The Bilan Carbone® method takes account of all greenhouse gases defined by the IPCC for all physical flows without which the organization could not function. This method therefore allows companies and territorial collectivities to carry out a global assessment of GHG emissions, whether direct or indirect. A method has been specifically developed on the territorial scale.

At the end of 2013, the number of Bilan Carbone® inventories carried out has been estimated at over 8,000 (source: Association Bilan Carbone).


GHG Protocol

In 1998, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institutes (WRI) developed, in partnership with companies, NGOs and State representatives, the GHG Protocol: "A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard".

This protocol, extensively disseminated internationally, served as the basis for drafting ISO 14064-1:2006

In October 2011, the GHG Protocol was supplemented by the "Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard", which details in particular the potential indirect GHG emission categories for an organization.

Since July 2014, a method dedicated to Territories has been made available: the Global Protocol for Community-scale GHG emissions.

To find out more, click here


Specific and sectoral methods

Other methods, protocols and tools have been developed to address the specific characteristics of sectors.

For example, ADEME, in collaboration with the Ministry for Agriculture, partners and technical institutes in the agricultural sector, developed and made available Dia’terre® in 2010 for GHG emissions accounting on farms, and ClimAgri® for GHG emissions accounting in agriculture and forestry on the territorial scale.

To discover all these sectoral methods, see the page: "sectoral guides"



63464 registered members
5280 validated emission factors
4189 published GHG inventories
19 sector guides