Why assessing carbon footprint is important for your organization?

ISO14064 is the specification developed by International Organization for Standardization. Being part of the the ISO 14000 series, ISO 14064 standards provide an integrated set of tools for programs aimed at measuring and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions. ISO14064-1 is used for organizational level quantification and reporting of GHG emissions and removals. Bringing credibility in GHG inventory is a very crucial aspect and hence ISO 14064-1 has provisions of third party verification of the inventory. Independent party for external assurance can audit the quantified GHG emission and removals. Organization can derive many benefits by undertaking accounting and management of its GHG emission and removals.

 

Greenhouse effect schematic

 

Calculating GHG emissions from the various operations of the organization can help in readiness for future regulatory environment.  Government of India is under pressure from international community to curb GHG emissions through various measures. It is already making policy level interventions through the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). NAPCC envisage eight national plans which emphasis on energy efficiency, renewable energy usage, forestation and sustainability. Indian government has regulated carbon emissions for nine sectors which are energy intensive and eventually will roll out carbon regulations for other sectors too.

In addition, Investors around the world are increasingly asking companies to prepare for climate change risks and opportunities. It is anticipated that the future investments would be made in the companies that are energy efficient, low carbon intensive and subsequently have low impacts on the environment and society. Disclosing carbon footprint and company’s commitment toward carbon management as demonstrated through ISO14064-1 can enhance a potential investor’s confidence and thus meet their expectations. Factoring in climate change readiness in investment decisions is becoming a standard practice. World’s largest investors, 551 in total, with more than $ 71 trillion assets worldwide, are signatories of Carbon Disclosure Project – a voluntary project wherein more than 3500 organizations around the world have disclosed their carbon footprint and their action plan to adapt to climate change. Organizations in Europe and USA prefer business partners or suppliers who have carbon (GHG) management practices in place.

Corporate are more concerned about their brand image and hence they need to be more adaptive in understanding the impacts of their operation on environment. Carbon footprint assessment helps the organization in Brand value enhancement. A certification of ISO14064 can put the company in a league of companies worldwide who are established environmental leaders.  In addition, companies with measured and disclosed carbon footprint of their operations can earn goodwill and improve brand image by demonstrating commitment toward environment and sustainable business practices.

References:  ISO, CDP Organization, IPCC

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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