Where do I start?

Once a decision is made to embark on your sustainability journey, the first step is to understand your carbon footprint by way of measuring your greenhouse gas emissions – known as GHG Accounting, and to set a reporting period and base year. Below outlines a few of the steps required:

Identify Sources of GHG Emissions / Data Collection

GHG emissions are typically calculated using the following steps:

To take effective decarbonization measures, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the company’s emissions footprint.  The first step of calculating GHG emissions is to categorize GHG sources within emission boundaries.  Some examples being:

  • Stationary Combustion: combustion of natural gas in offices
  • Mobile Combustion: Combustion of purchased fuel for company owned vehicules.
  • Consumption of purchased electricity for offices.
  • Emissions from employee commuting from automobile and train use.
  • Emissions from employee business travel
  • Emissions from capital goods such as computer equipment, office expenses, and supplies.
  • Emissions from waste generated in offices, including disposal.


Reporting Period and Base Year:

Companies may need to track emissions over time in response to a variety of business goals, including public reporting, establishing GHG targets, and managing risks. A meaningful and consistent comparison of emissions over time requires that companies set a performance datum with which to compare current emissions. This performance datum is referred to as base year emissions.

A base year is a reference point in the past with which current emissions can be compared over time. The first step in tracking emissions is the selection of a base year. Companies shall choose and report a base year for which verifiable emissions data are available. The inventory base year can also be used as a basis for setting and tracking progress towards a GHG reduction target.  

In conformance with the GHG Protocol (GHGP), companies must select an inventory base year to allow for like-to-like comparisons over time, that enables tracking progress towards a GHG target.   as a base year to provide a fair baseline for accurately monitoring trends over time.

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Nick Houseman
+1 514 449-0877
1375 Trans Canada, Suite 601
Dorval, QC
H9P 2W8
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