The absence of federal greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation in the United States has not diminished the importance of businesses assessing their impact on global climate change. Growing concern among shareholder and investor groups has motivated many organizations to quantify their greenhouse (GHG) emissions and commit to GHG reductions. Accurate quantification and detailed documentation of GHG emissions data enables a company to demonstrate transparency and enhance the credibility of its corporate climate change strategy. Establishing a comprehensive corporate GHG inventory is an important first step in developing a climate change strategy. However, conducting a baseline corporate GHG inventory can be a challenging process, particularly with respect to data gathering and data validation.
This paper will present a general approach for preparing the inventory with case study in conducting a baseline GHG inventory using Environmental Management Information Systems (EMIS). The paper will present best practices in establishing the organizational and operational boundaries of a corporate GHG emissions inventory, conducting data collection and data validation process using an EMIS, completing the calculation procedures, and establishing appropriate performance metrics. In addition, methods for improving data quality and integrating the GHG inventory with energy management systems will be presented. Finally, the paper provides guidance on continuous improvement and maintenance of the GHG inventory.