GHG Accounting Tutorial

Accurately measure and record a company’s carbon footprint

This will assist in measuring the emissions of an organisation using the internationally recognised GHG Corporate Protocol Accounting Standard

These tutorials and resources are provided free of charge to enable organisations to conduct a GHG emission survey and carbon footprint calculation. It can be done by the company’s own staff without the delay involved in engaging consultants. This tutorial will help managers implement and document the climate neutral process for their company.

The GHG accounting tutorial is based on the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard which is used by most Fortune 500 companies. Emission factors are from the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and the UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

You must be able to substantiate your carbon neutral claims to government or consumer groups by having the proper documentation that is based on recognised GHG accounting standards and practices.

The templates will ensure that your organisation has the correct documentation including copies of the standards and emission factors. It is a relatively straight forward accounting process.

The GHG Accounting tutorial comprises:

1. Principles and procedures

2. Understanding the scopes of emissions

3. How to collect the necessary data.

There are two spreadsheet calculators from internationally recognised bodies, the UNFCC and the EPA.

Emission Reduction

The Institute also provides an emission reduction program which should be used in conjunction with these resources. Companies that just buy carbon offsets to become carbon neutral are routinely called out for ‘greenwashing’ the public.


The problem for businesses that use private companies, or an online calculator, to measure their footprint is that they may not be neccessarily be conforming to valid GHG accounting principles.. You should have proper records including the emission factors.

GHG Accounting

This tutorial will give you an understanding of the policies and procedures needed to measure the emissions and carbon footprint of an organisation based on the GHG Protocol Greenhouse Gas Accounting Standard.

To download:

GHG Accounting tutorial: click here

GHG Corporate Standard: click here

UNFCC GHG Calculator

This tutorial and spreadsheet will assist you to calculate the carbon footprint of an organisation using emission factors from the UNFCC- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

To download:

UNFCC calculator tutorial: click here

UNFCC spreadsheet: click here

EPA GHG Calculator

This tutorial and spreadsheet will assist you to calculate the carbon footprint of an organisation using American standards and emission factors from the EPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency.

To download:

EPA calculator tutorial: click here

EPA calculator spreadsheet: click here

The Climate Change Institute recommends that companies follow the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard. It is an emissions accounting tool used by many businesses and organizations worldwide. More than 9out of 10 Fortune 500 companies use the GHG Protocol. It provides the accounting platform for virtually every corporate GHG reporting program in the world and it establishes comprehensive global standardized framework for GHG emissions from private and public sector operations.


What are GHG standards?

Standards provide guidance on the principles and requirements for reporting GHG emissions. Theses include ISO 14064 environmental management standard and the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

What are calculation tools?

Footprint calculation tools use formulas to calculate the amount of emissions a business generates from its different activities based on emission factors from industry and government bodies.

What are emission factors?

These are numbers put out by various agencies which are multiplied by an activity, such as vehicle use, to give you the the amount of CO2 emitted. You should only use emission factors from reputable, internationally recognised bodies.

Disclaimer: The CLIMATE CHANGE INSTITUTE has provided this greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions tutorials and calculators to provide businesses and the general public with a free and up-to-date methodology for estimating GHG emissions. The aim is to support organizations to estimate their GHG emissions in order to raise awareness and to promote climate action. However, the CLIMATE CHANGE INSTITUTE makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any of his information or Spreadsheet and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an “as-is” basis. All data and information provided on this Spreadsheet are for reference purposes only. The emission factors used on this Spreadsheet are publicly available on third parties’ websites. The contents in, and linked to, this spreadsheet may not always reflect the policy or position of the CLIMATE CHANGE INSTITUTE nor does it imply endorsement. Under no circumstances shall the CLIMATE CHANGE INSTITUTE be liable for any loss, damage, liability or expense incurred or suffered that is claimed to have resulted from the use of this information and spreadsheet, its data or its methodology, or from the conduct of any user. Use of this Spreadsheet and reliance upon the content in or linked to it is solely at the user’s own risk. Furthermore, this Spreadsheet does not replace a formal, tailored GHG inventory development process nor third-party verified GHG inventories and should be not used for certification purposes. The emission factors used in this spreadsheet are sourced from references that may not be applicable to all geographic locations. The user is encouraged to use more suitable emission factors when they are available. Each user agrees to decide if, when and how to use this Spreadsheet, and does so at his or her sole risk.