Climate change is a global issue. Therefore, numerous international standards enable companies to monitor their impact. ISO 14064, which exists in three parts, two of which were revised in 2019, addresses a range of interrelated concepts that help organizations measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reduction activities.
About Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
Greenhouse gases have existed in various atmospheric concentrations throughout natural history, adjusting the temperatures of the earth by absorbing and releasing energy in the atmosphere. However, since the Industrial Revolution, humans have played a significant role in this once-natural process.
By burning fossil fuels, anthropogenic activities have permitted substantial amounts of carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere. In 1900, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were at 295.3 parts per million (ppm). As of March 2019, atmospheric CO2 was at 411.97 ppm, according to the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
The impact of rising greenhouse gas levels is multifold. As stated in the Introduction to the ISO 14064 standards:
“Climate change arising from anthropogenic activity has been identified as one of the greatest challenges facing the world and will continue to affect business and citizens over future decades.”
With this powerful statement in mind, the second editions of GHG emissions and removals standards—ISO 14064-1:2018, ISO 14064-2:2019, and ISO 14064-3:2019—help to quantify and report GHG emissions and removals (as well as greenhouse gas removal enhancement) and verify and validate GHG statements.
ISO 14064-1:2018 – Greenhouse Gases – Part 1: Specification With Guidance At The Organization Level For Quantification And Reporting Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Removals
The first editions of all ISO 14064 parts were released in 2006. Part 1 of this standard, ISO 14064-1:2018, was revised in 2018.
ISO 14064-1:2018 covers guidelines for the design, development, management, and verification of an organization’s GHG inventory. Furthermore, it helps to assure that greenhouse gas-related information is a true and fair account.
You can learn more about this standard and its changes from our past post: ISO 14064-1:2018 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals Quantification and Reporting.
ISO 14064-2:2019 – Greenhouse Gases – Part 2: Specification With Guidance At The Project Level For Quantification, Monitoring And Reporting Of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions Or Removal Enhancements
The second part, ISO 14064-2:2019, specifies principles and offers guidance at the project level for the quantification, monitoring, and reporting of activities intended to cause GHG emission reductions or removal enhancements. Specifically, this standard covers guidance for planning a GHG project, identifying and selecting GHG sources, sinks and reservoirs (SSRs) relevant to the project and baseline scenario, managing data quality, and monitoring, quantifying, documenting, and reporting GHG project performance.
ISO 14064-2:2019, like parts 1 and 3 of the ISO 14064 standard, revises the first, 2006 edition of the same document. The second, 2019 edition of ISO 14064 has undergone the following changes:
- The concept of additionality and the baseline scenario were changed.
- Text regarding the Kyoto mechanism was deleted.
ISO 14064-3:2019 – Greenhouse Gases – Part 3: Specification With Guidance For The Verification And Validation Of Greenhouse Gas Statements
Part 3, ISO 14064-3:2019, specifies principles and provides guidance for verifying and validating GHG statements.
Compared to the previous two standards, Part 3 of 14064 has been subject to the most changes from its corresponding first edition. ISO 14064-3:2019 has undergone the following changes:
- Due to differences between the processes of verification and validation, this international standard was altered in structure so verification and validation are discussed in sequence (in Clause 6, “Verification,” and Clause 7, “Validation), rather than in parallel.
- Definitions of verification and validation, as well as some other key terms, were changed.
- Clause 7, “Validation,” was added. This new section is applicable to future estimates of emissions, removals, emission reductions, and removal enhancements. This helps to provide assurance on assumptions, limitations, and methods used to develop a GHG statement.
- New normative Annex A, “Limited level of assurance verifications,” was added.
- New informative Annex B, “Considerations for verifications,” was added.
- New informative Annex C, “Agreed-upon procedures (AUP),” was added.
- New informative Annex D, “Mixed engagement,” was added.
- Guidance on the use levels of assurance were added.
ANAB Accreditation for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Validation and Verification Bodies
Standards in the ISO 14060 series enable organizations to play their part in the pursuit to combat climate change by measuring and mitigating their greenhouse gas emissions. Validation and verification bodies (V/VBs) determine whether these claims are correct, and accreditation for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies helps determine whether the certification coming from these bodies is accurate and trusted.
ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accreditation to ISO 14065 is the highest level of competence assessment available in this sphere, and it transfers that assurance down to the validation and verification bodies, and, in turn, the organizations being certified for emissions claims.
You can learn more about ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accreditation for GHG validation and verification bodies in our past post, ANAB Accreditation: Adding Trust to Emissions Claims.