ISO 14064 on Greenhouse Gases

The ISO 14064 standards for greenhouse gas accounting and verification published in March 2006 provide government and industry with an integrated set of tools for programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as for emissions trading.

ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented: “Claims made about reductions of the greenhouse gas emissions widely held responsible for climate change may have political and financial implications, in addition to environmental and technical ones. Ensuring their credibility is thus vital.”

ISO launched the development of ISO 14064 in 2002 as a solution to the problems posed by the fact that governments, business corporations, and voluntary initiatives were using a number of approaches to account for organization- and project-level GHG emissions and removals with no generally accepted validation or verification protocols.

Dr. Chan Kook Weng, convenor of the ISO working group that developed the standard explains: “ISO’s goal is to provide a set of unambiguous and verifiable requirements or specifications to support organizations and proponents of GHG emission reduction projects. ISO 14064 will provide clarity and consistency between those reporting GHG emissions and stakeholders.”

In order to produce an accounting and verification tool that would have broad international backing, ISO embarked on three years of detailed study and engagement with the international community of governmental and business organizations with a stake in climate change. ISO 14064 has resulted from the work of some 175 international experts from 45 countries and 11 international business, development or environmental organizations, and eight international meetings.

Kevin Boehmer, secretary of the ISO working group, comments: “We are confident that ISO 14064 will prove to be an important building block for organizations or project proponents participating in various voluntary or regulatory initiatives, or to administrators responsible for designing and implementing GHG schemes or programs.”

Implementing ISO 14064 is intended to achieve the following benefits:

  • Promote consistency, transparency, and credibility in GHG quantification, monitoring, reporting, and verification;
  • Enable organizations to identify and manage GHG-related liabilities, assets, and risks;
  • Facilitate the trade of GHG allowances or credits, and
  • Support the design, development, and implementation of comparable and consistent GHG schemes or programs.

ISO 14064 is comprised of three standards, respectively detailing specifications and guidance for the organizational and project levels, and for validation and verification. They can be used independently, or as an integrated set of tools to meet the varied needs of GHG accounting and verification. They are:

1. ISO 14064-1:2006Greenhouse gases – Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

ISO 14064-1 details principles and requirements for designing, developing, managing, and reporting organization or company-level greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. It includes requirements for determining GHG emission boundaries, quantifying an organization’s GHG emissions and removals, and identifying specific company actions or activities aimed at improving GHG management. The standard also includes requirements and guidance on inventory quality management, reporting, internal auditing, and the organization’s responsibilities in verification activities.

2. ISO 14064-2:2006Greenhouse gases – Part 2: Specification with guidance at the project level for the quantification, monitoring, and reporting of greenhouse gas emission reductions and removal enhancements.

ISO 14064-2 focuses on GHG projects or project-based activities specifically designed to reduce GHG emissions or increase GHG removals. It includes principles and requirements for determining project baseline scenarios and for monitoring, quantifying, and reporting project performance relative to the baseline scenario and provides the basis for GHG projects to be validated and verified.

3. ISO 14064-3:2006Greenhouse gases – Part 3: Specification with guidance for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions.

ISO 14064-3 details principles and requirements for verifying GHG inventories and validating or verifying GHG projects. It describes the process for GHG-related validation or verification and specifies components such as validation or verification planning, assessment procedures, and the evaluation of organization or project GHG assertions. It can be used by organizations or independent parties to validate or verify GHG assertions.

ISO 14064 will be complemented by ISO 14065, which specifies requirements to accredit or otherwise recognize bodies that undertake GHG validation or verification using ISO 14064 or other relevant standards or specifications. ISO 14065 is expected to be published in early 2007.