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Define and analyze the relevant metrics to prepare for action

How to leverage your company GHG inventory results and start your decarbonization journey

One of the main purposes of GHG inventory, beyond reporting considerations, is to bring transparency to the GHG emissions hot spots of your company to identify and prioritize relevant decarbonization actions.

In this section, you will learn how to leverage key insights from your company GHG footprint to prepare for the next steps of your company's decarbonization journey, such as setting decarbonization targets and reducing emissions.

Three main metrics

To assess your company's GHG emissions (and eventually benchmark them against peers), there are three main types of metrics you can leverage:

  • Absolute emissions

Without normalization, which can include just operational emissions (Scope 1 & 2) or all emissions including supply chain emissions (Scope 1, 2, & 3). Emissions are typically expressed in metric tonnes of CO2 (tCO2) or metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e).

  • Financial emissions intensity

Which are the amount of emissions per financial unit. Emissions are normalized by financial performance (usually, revenue) and typically expressed in metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent per million USD or EUR of revenue.

  • Productivity emissions intensity

Which are the total emissions normalized by productivity (typically, number of kg or units produced). This metric is most appropriate for commodity producers.

Best practice is to leverage these three types of metrics at different levels of your company and its value chain to identify GHG emissions' hot spots and targeted decarbonization levers.

Illustrative GHG footprint data visualizations

  • GHG emissions profile at value chain level

Breaks down the GHG footprint by scope and categories. Best practice is to replicate this at different levels within the company (e.g., at site level) to enable the identification of targeted decarbonization levers.

  • Benchmarking of productivity GHG emissions intensity at company site level

Internal benchmarking of sites or facilities can inform the abatement potential of all sites reaching top or medium quartile performance.

GHG footprint

Once your company GHG footprint is quantified, it should allow you to answer the following questions:
  • ​What are the most significant GHG emission sources of your company?

  • ​Which specific assets/processes generate the most emissions across operations?

  • ​What drives emissions and how much control does your company have on drivers?

  • ​What are alternative, less emitting ways to reach the same outcome?

  • ​At a high level, what would be the trade-offs to reduce emissions from the most polluting sources?

  • How can decarbonization create value for your company?