Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting

Greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting in the existing building environment involves the assessment and quantification of the emissions associated with the operation, maintenance, and occupancy of buildings. This process aims to measure the amount of GHG emissions that are released into the atmosphere as a result of energy consumption, transportation, waste management, and other activities related to the building’s operation.

Take the First Step Towards Sustainability

Here are the key steps involved in GHG accounting for existing buildings:

  • Data Collection: Gather information on energy consumption, water usage, waste generation, transportation, and other relevant activities within the building.
  • Emission Factors: Use emission factors provided by recognized sources such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or local government agencies to convert energy consumption and other activities into CO2-equivalent emissions.
  • Calculations: Apply the appropriate emission factors to the data collected to calculate the total GHG emissions associated with the building’s operation.
  • Scope of Emissions: GHG emissions are typically categorized into three scopes:
    • Scope 1: Direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the building owner, such as on-site fuel combustion.
    • Scope 2: Indirect emissions associated with purchased electricity, heating, cooling, or steam used by the building.
    • Scope 3: Indirect emissions from activities such as employee commuting, business travel, waste generation, and supply chain activities.
  • Verification: It’s essential to verify the accuracy of the data collected and the calculations performed to ensure the reliability of the GHG inventory.
  • Reporting: Once the GHG emissions have been quantified, they can be reported to stakeholders, including building owners, tenants, investors, regulatory authorities, and the public. Reporting may follow established frameworks such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
  • Reduction Strategies: Based on the results of the GHG accounting, strategies can be developed to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, and mitigate the building’s environmental impact. These strategies may include energy efficiency retrofits, renewable energy installations, waste reduction programs, and transportation management initiatives.
  • By conducting GHG accounting for existing buildings, stakeholders can gain insights into their carbon footprint, identify opportunities for emissions reductions, and contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.