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  • Writer's pictureGraham Harris

What’s new in ISO 14064-1:2018? Updates to version 2 of the GHG standard for inventories.

The international standard for GHG inventories – ISO 14064-1 – was updated almost one year ago, in December 2018. With the end of the year fast approaching, you may be turning your mind to producing your 2019 calendar year GHG inventory, which is likely the first you’ll produce using the new version of the standard.

Like ISO 14064-3, there have been a number of changes made (you can read about changes to that part of the standard here). Some relate to definitions, some are clarifications, some are additions. Here’s a summary of some of the most important changes you should be aware of:

1) There have been a few changes to key terms:

a) The term ‘justify’ has an expanded meaning. As before, this requires you to say why an approach was chosen and why alternatives were not. In addition, you must now also “provide supporting data and analysis”;

b) The term ‘GHG assertion’ is gone, replaced by the term ‘GHG statement’;

c) You won’t be sorry to learn that the confusing term ‘operational boundary’ is also gone and has been replaced by the much more intuitive ‘reporting boundary’;

d) Another confusing term from Version 1, ‘directed actions’, has been renamed ‘greenhouse gas reduction initiatives'.

2) More substantive changes have been made to how GHG emissions are classified and reported.

a) Direct emissions remain unchanged. However, Indirect emissions – which was previously split into only ‘Energy’ and ‘Other’ sub-categories – now has five sub-categories: Imported Energy, Transportation, Product Use, End Use of Product and Other;

b) A GHG inventory previously had to quantify Direct and Indirect – Energy emissions only. It is now a requirement for an inventory to quantify Direct emissions and any significant Indirect emissions, regardless of which sub-category they belong to;

c) ‘Significant’ Indirect emissions is a new concept to the standard. An organization must develop a significance policy to outline what will/not be considered significant;

d) The exclusion of any significant Indirect emissions from the inventory must be justified.

3) Another substantial change is that an uncertainty assessment – which was previously recommended – is now required.

4) A GHG report is also now required, not just recommended, where an organization is having its inventory verified.

5) Verification and validation were previously discussed in some detail. The standard now essentially refers the reader to ISO 14064-3.

Depending on the existing scope of your inventory and your current analysis and reporting practices, these changes may have little practical impact, or be quite substantial. Now is a good time to review the new version of the standard in detail, and to conduct a gap analysis to determine what changes, if any, you need to make to ensure you continue to follow international best practice in producing your GHG inventory.

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