This report takes a first step in helping financial institutions create more robust GHG inventories, by discussing objectives, options, and challenges for financial institutions and stakeholders to consider when creating and evaluating a GHG emissions inventory.
Compiling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories is no longer the province of only first-mover corporations: Approximately two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies now use the standards developed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol — an initiative of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) — to compile their GHG emissions inventories. While the standards set forth by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative are broadly applicable, the diverse, complex, and service-focused nature of financial services has triggered discussion about the appropriate application methods for financial institution users. Accordingly, financial institutions and their stakeholders are seeking additional clarification on developing and evaluating GHG inventories for financial institutions.
In response, this issue brief draws from the widely used WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, Revised Edition, to discuss objectives, options, and challenges for financial institutions and stakeholders to consider when creating and evaluating a GHG emissions inventory.
Because emissions related to investments and services may contribute to a significant portion of financial institutions’ GHG inventories and potential business risk, this brief discusses such options as
Given the practical and conceptual complexity in creating an inventory that includes emissions from investments and services, we encourage financial institutions to keep the following business objectives in mind during the development process:
The inventory ultimately should facilitate positive environmental outcomes, namely, the reduction of GHG emissions, and serve a business imperative. To achieve these business and environmental objectives, setting GHG reduction targets as well as tracking and reporting on progress are critical.