Continuing the positive trend in corporate greenhouse gas accounting, over 40 Indian companies launched the India GHG Inventory Program this week. The program is the latest national-level program for corporations to measure and manage their GHG emissions based on internationally recognized standards.
The India GHG Inventory Program comes out of a partnership between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), The US EPA, and WRI. CII’s The Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Center will lead the implementation of the program.
Following the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and modeled after the US EPA Climate Leaders program, the India program will help companies to monitor their progress towards voluntary reduction goals in a consistent and credible manner. Over 40 companies from sectors such as iron and steel, cement, building, chemicals, and services have agreed to join the program.
A key component of CII-GBC’s Mission on Sustainable Growth (MSG), this business initiative will provide tools and technical assistance to companies to build inventories, identify reduction opportunities, establish both annual and long-term reduction goals, and track their progress based on the GHG Protocol. This program is unique in its basis in a broader set of principles established under the umbrella of MSG that aims to promote a holistic approach to environmental stewardship by encouraging businesses to pursue reduction goals on energy use, water use, waste, GHGs from a life cycle perspective.
The GHG Inventory Program will be a crucial step in establishing a national model on emissions accounting using a consistent standard, and in creating business and institutional capacity in the country to undertake comprehensive and credible GHG inventories and programs that can serve multiple business objectives nationally as well as globally. Accounting and measuring emissions can help businesses identify opportunities to reduce waste and costs, participate in GHG emission markets, and achieve corporate social responsibility goals.
India ranks seventh in the world in terms of annual GHG emissions, being responsible for 3.6% of world emissions. On a per capita basis, the country ranks 171st with 1.5 tons of CO2 emitted per person.
First launched in 2001, the GHG Protocol has become the most widely used accounting and reporting standard used by businesses, governments and other climate initiatives to inventory, report and track GHG emissions. According to a 2008 study by Corporate Register, out of the 335 Global FT500 companies studied, 63% aligned with the GHG Protocol, with companies from Japan and Europe leading the way.