Resource centre for greenhouse gas accounting
Ministère de la Transition Écologique
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GHG accounting steps

The steps

A GHG inventory takes place in the following six steps:

  1. Prepare

This first step is necessary for correctly assessing the exercise. You need to:

  • Assign a project manager
  • Decide if the inventory is to be carried out internally or via an external service provider
  • Determine the year of reference for the inventory
  • Define your operational and organizational scope (for companies)
  • Choose the method to be used for the inventory
  • Raise awareness of the employees who will be concerned by the subsequent data collection by means of the actions implemented

Calling upon external technical aid to carry out your GHG inventory is a choice which does not modify the objectives of the exercise, but which should constitute a supplementary guarantee for the organization in having access to genuine expertise with regard to the required methodology and, in certain cases, mastery of the specifics relating to the industry.

Advisers supporting the organization in this approach are not intended to take the place of the organization in identifying and implementing emission reduction plan actions. They will however encourage the emergence of solutions specific to the organization by providing input for those concerned within the organization thanks to their knowledge of the action levers and of positive lessons learned with other companies.

For information about consulting an external consultancy, help is at hand in the form of the technical brief proposed by ADEME.

  1. Collect data

Essential step in carrying out the GHG inventory for your activity. Often underestimated,the time to be spent on this will depend mainly on the information already available within your organization (primary data). Depending on the chosen operational scope, you will also need to collect data from your suppliers, customers, users, etc., or use statistical data (generic or secondary data).

These are the data that will enable you to complete the spreadsheets for the chosen method.  These data will then be associated with an emission factor enabling calculation of its carbon equivalent. These emission factors are available in the Base Carbone®. It should be noted that certain methods draw directly on the Base Carbone®, with no specific manipulations or research required on the part of the user. This is the case in particular with the Bilan Carbone®.

Concerning Territories, a table of public sources is available.

  1. Calculate the GHG inventory for your entity

This step is technical and it is preferable to have pursued training in greenhouse gas emissions accounting. Such training may be carried out internally or with the aid of an external service provider.

The simplicity of the calculation and the level of detail of the results will be highly dependent on the collected data and method used. You are recommended to identify, for each category documented, the associated uncertainties.

If you wish to call upon an external service provider, you will find here a guide to drafting a technical brief and the presentation of any subsidies to which you may be entitled.

If you wish to carry out your inventory internally, you will find on this site the following information:

  • A guide for establishing your own emission factors (as from Q1 2015)
  1. Present your GHG inventory

Once the inventory is completed, it is essential to present it to the policymakers. The result highlights in particular the carbon vulnerability of the entity, and aims to draw the attention of the policymakers to the environmental and energy issues associated with their structure.

It is on this basis that you will be able to construct in conjunction with your colleagues the action plan for reducing the emissions of the structure.

If you wish to situate your activity compared to equivalent structures, you can consult the GHG inventories online (as from Q1 2015).

  1. Plan your emission reduction actions

This is the logical follow-up to the GHG inventory. You are advised to define this action plan in collaboration with the stakeholders of your organization (internal and external).

To help you to draw up a strategic and pertinent action plan, you will find on this site:

  1. Publish your inventory

Publishing one's GHG inventory is mandatory for the organizations concerned by the regulation. External communication, even if done voluntarily, makes it possible to publicize your procedure and your contribution toward combating climate change, and to promote your environmental policy.

This site offers you the following publication options:

  • Publishing the GHG inventory of your organization (voluntary or regulatory) (as from Q1 2015)
  • Publishing your emission factors (as from Q1 2015)


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