Introduction of ISO 14064
Greenhouse Gases (GHG) are affecting human life on this planet in many ways to a great extent. These gases pose a big threat to the environment and our society. We are facing the negative outcomes of these gases in our daily life. They get mixed with the atmosphere and prevent the heat to escape. This energy results in an overall rise in the atmospheric temperature on Earth which is global warming. This trapped heat inside the atmosphere of Earth also translates into heat waves in some regions. Studies show that human activities are responsible for the emission of such gases on a large scale. There are also some natural factors but the impact is minimal in comparison to human activities.
Table of Contents
- Introduction of ISO 14064
- What are Greenhouse Gases?
- Role of ISO 14064 in Environment Protection
- Scope of ISO 14064
- Applicability of ISO 14064 in India
- Benefits of ISO 14064
- Structure of ISO 14064
- Role of Organisation - ISO 14064 Part 1
- Role of GHG Projects - ISO 14064 Part 2
- Principles of ISO 14064-2
- Introduction to GHG Projects under ISO 14064-2
- Requirements for GHG Projects under ISO 14064-2
- Project Plan under ISO 14064-2
- Quantification under ISO 14064-2
- Data Quality and Documentation under ISO 14064-2
- Monitoring, Validation, Verification and Reporting under ISO 14064-2
- Validation and Verification - ISO 14064 Part 3
--------------Blog Contact Form-------------
The nations are coming together to solve this problem. International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) is a great example of international collaboration to fight climate change and reverse the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. ISO develops the standards which are followed by various countries to maintain quality in products, and services and prevent the environment from the negative impacts of industrialization at the same time. The 14000 series of ISO standards contains standards that are developed for global environmental management. In this series, ISO 14064 deals with the management of greenhouse gases. It was developed by 175 experts from 45 countries and took four years to fully get developed. In this article, we will discuss everything about the standards laid down in ISO 14064, their applicability, compliance and benefits.
What are Greenhouse Gases?
Before we move forward, it's important to know what greenhouse gases are. Greenhouse Gas is defined as a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. The greenhouse gases are trapped inside the lower atmosphere of the planet and act as a blanket which results in the higher temperature on the earth’s surface. Some major greenhouse gases are as follows-
- Carbon Dioxide,
- Nitrous Oxide,
- Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs),
- Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCS) And
Role of ISO 14064 in Environment Protection
ISO 14064 sets standards for the quantification, monitoring, reporting, reduction, removal, validation and verification of greenhouse gas emissions at the project level and then at the organizational level. It prescribes the rules to the organisation regarding the management of greenhouse gas emissions, keeping records and producing them at the time of audit so that the emission levels are validated and verified. There is also the credit system to encourage the stakeholders to reduce emissions which will help to reverse the negative effects of greenhouse gases that we triggered over the last few decades. These standards also talk about monitoring at the project level so that the emissions coming from a single project are monitored separately and the overall emissions of an organization are divided for better management and decision-making.
Scope of ISO 14064
ISO 14064 helps organizations, governments, project proponents and other stakeholders worldwide to monitor their emission levels in a standardized manner. ISO 14064 is adopted by various countries and this joint initiative will help to achieve significant positive results on global climate change. Although the standards are not binding to all countries, when a country adopts it and makes it their national standard then as per the rules of their country, these standards are maintained by all companies, factories, institutions, businesses, organizations etc. throughout the country. When this initiative is taken at a large scale, the impact can be huge and we may succeed in our objective to reverse global warming and save this planet for future generations.
Applicability of ISO 14064 in India
These standards relating to greenhouse gas emissions were released in 2006 by the International Organisation for Standardization. These were adopted in India by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in 2009. ISO 14064 is divided into three parts. The first part was updated in 2018 by ISO and in 2019 the remaining two parts were updated. The National Standards Body of India reviewed these updates but did not change the first and third parts. The second part of ISO 14064 was reviewed in 2017 and updated with the newer version published by ISO in 2019. Two major changes took place in the update as follows-
- The concept of additionally and the baseline scenario has been altered.
- The text related to the Kyoto mechanism has been deleted.
Except for these changes, the standards prescribed in the version of 2006 are still in force regarding the monitoring, reporting reduction, removal, quantification, validation and verification of greenhouse gas emissions.
When an ISO standard is adopted in India as it is by the Bureau of Indian Standards, it is listed on the website of BIS as IS/ISO 14064 followed by the year. Here IS represents Indian Standards and ISO represents the International Organisation for Standardization which developed these standards. The government of India then notifies these adopted and revised standards in the Gazette of India.
Benefits of ISO 14064
These standards are developed after prolonged research and development by a huge number of experts from multiple countries. This diversification in the team brought different experiences of different regions into consideration and the standards are drafted accordingly considering the global need for action. These standards provide various environmental, administrative and cooperative benefits to the stakeholders. Some of the major benefits are described below-
- It prescribes a better way of quantifying greenhouse gas emissions.
- The methods of quantification used in these standards are well integrated with the environment.
- It brings transparency to the quantification, monitoring and reporting process of greenhouse gas emissions.
- It brings credibility and consistency to the reduction and removal of GHG emissions at the project level.
- It provides reliable data that can be used for the development and implementation of the organization’s policies regarding GHG emissions.
- It supports the seamless implementation of GHG projects.
- It facilitates the tracking of stats regarding GHG emissions & their reduction.
- It makes it possible to trade GHG emission removal credits.
- It identifies and helps to manage the risk and opportunities.
- It encourages the stakeholders to take voluntary initiatives.
Structure of ISO 14064
The standard is divided into three parts to separately address three different issues regarding GHG emissions. These three parts are as follows-
- Quantification, Reporting and Removal of GHG Emissions at Organisation Level
- Quantification, Monitoring, Reporting, Reduction and Removal of GHG Emissions at the Project Level
- Validation and Verification of GHG Assertions
Role of Organisation - ISO 14064 Part 1
The first part of ISO 14064 deals with the standards specified for organizations. It helps organizations measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions. It talks about how to create a plan to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of an organisation and how to report that information. ISO 14064 doesn't favour one greenhouse gas program over another. If an organization already has a greenhouse gas program, they need to follow both that program's rules and the rules in ISO 14064. If there is a rule in ISO 14064 that conflicts with a rule in a greenhouse gas program, the greenhouse gas program's rule is more important. Let's have a look at the detailed rules laid out in this part of ISO 14064.
Principles of ISO 14064-1
The principles on which a document is based are very important for the implementation of the rules set out in that document. Similarly, this part of ISO 14064 also has some principles which may guide the stakeholders in case of any ambiguity arise at any time.
- It prescribes the guidelines but also recommends making changes that are appropriate to the needs of the intended user. These changes may be with respect to the GHG sources, GHG sinks, GHG reservoirs, data and methodologies.
- It advocates the completeness of the records and prescribes that organisations include all data regarding GHG emissions and removals.
- It promotes accuracy and consistency enabling meaningful comparisons in GHG-related information and reducing bias and uncertainties.
- The records should disclose reliable and appropriate GHG-related information to facilitate intended users to make better decisions based on the data provided.
GHG Inventory Design and Development under ISO 14064-1
The organisation should consolidate the GHG emissions and removals of all the facilities that fall under its control. It includes GHG sources and GHG sinks in all the facilities. The organisation should define a consolidation methodology through a GHG programme and the same programme has to be followed in all the facilities and organisations that are connected by a common facility. Further, it is required to establish its operational boundaries that include any direct and indirect GHG emission or removal by the operations of that organisation.
The organisation should quantify and report all direct and indirect emissions if they are generated within the organisation even if they are transported or distributed later on. These emissions may be reported separately but shall also be included in the total GHG emission of the organisation. It should also include the emission from imported energy as indirect emissions.
The organisation is required to quantify all the emission and removal and document it by identifying the GHG sinks and sources and selecting an appropriate quantification methodology. The methodology can be calculation-based, measurement-based or a combination of both. The quantification methodology shall be consistent with the chosen method. The calculation and measurement methods being used shall be explained in the GHG programme.
GHG Inventory Components under ISO 14064-1
The quantification of the GHG emissions and removals shall be done in tonnes at the facility level and organisation level by including direct emissions, indirect and other emissions, GHG removals, and Co2 emissions from the combustion of biogas. The organisation may direct actions to reduce GHG emissions and increase GHG removals. When such directed action results in a difference in GHG emissions or removals, it shall be quantified, documented and reported in detail. The organisation can also purchase the GHG reduction and removal enhancement from GHG projects that are quantified but in that case, the stats shall be reported separately.
A base year shall be defined for the purposes of comparative analysis. If historical GHG inventory data is not available then the first GHG inventory period shall be defined as the base year if GHG emission and removal data for that year is verifiable. The organisation should explain the selection of the base year and if there is any change, the same shall also be explained similarly. It should also develop a document for the procedure of base year data recalculation for the reasons being the change in operational boundaries, the change in the used methodology and the change in the ownership of GHG sinks and sources. This is why the organisation needs to ensure that the data of the base year is verifiable before defining a base year. Such recalculations shall be documented in the next GHG inventory.
GHG Inventory Quality Management under ISO 14064-1
Organisations are required to draft rules for document retention and record keeping. These rules shall ensure that documents are available at any time for verification purposes. Organizations are required to create and follow procedures for managing their GHG information. These procedures should ensure that the organization follows the principles of ISO 14064, GHG inventory is accurate and complete, and that any errors or omissions are identified and addressed. The organization should also document and archive all relevant GHG inventory records and information management activities.
Organizations should keep some points in mind when creating GHG information management procedures. These include identifying the responsibilities and authority of those responsible for developing the GHG inventory, providing appropriate training for the team, identifying organizational boundaries, reviewing GHG sources and sinks, selecting and reviewing quantification methodologies, ensuring consistency across multiple facilities, maintaining and calibrating measurement equipment, establishing a robust data-collection system, conducting regular accuracy checks, performing periodic internal audits and technical reviews, and periodically reviewing opportunities to improve information management processes.
Reporting of GHG under ISO 14064-1
Organisations should prepare GHG reports for inventory verification, participation in GHG programs or to inform internal and external users. It should be complete, accurate, consistent, relevant, and transparent. The organization should determine the content, structure, public availability, and dissemination methods based on applicable requirements and user needs. If the organization makes a public GHG assertion, it must provide a GHG report or third-party verification statement to the public, and if independently verified, the verification statement must be provided to intended users.
Verification Activities for Organisations under ISO 14064-1
The aim of the verification is to impartially and objectively review the data regarding GHG emissions and removal. The organisations are required to prepare and plan the verification on a regular basis. Considering the requirements of the GHG program and the intended user, the organisations should determine the appropriate level of assurance and conduct the verification as per the principles described and requirements of the third part.
The organization must ensure that personnel involved in the verification process are aware of GHG management issues, have an understanding of the operations and processes being verified, possess the necessary technical expertise to support the verification process, and are familiar with the contents and objectives of ISO 14064. In the end, the verifier has to give the verification statement which should at least include a description of the scope, objective and criteria of verification activities, the level of assurance and the verifier’s conclusion containing any qualifications or limitations.
Role of GHG Projects - ISO 14064 Part 2
The second part of ISO 14064 provides principles, requirements, and guidance at the project level for quantifying, monitoring, and reporting activities that intend to reduce GHG emissions or enhance removal. The standard includes requirements for planning a GHG project, identifying relevant sources, sinks, and reservoirs, monitoring, quantifying, documenting and reporting GHG project performance, and managing data quality. If an organization already has a greenhouse gas program, they need to follow both that program's rules and the rules in ISO 14064. If there is a rule in ISO 14064 that conflicts with a rule in a greenhouse gas program, the greenhouse gas program's rule is more important. Let's have a look at the detailed rules laid out in this part of ISO 14064.
Principles of ISO 14064-2
The principles of this part of ISO 14064 are in line with the principles mentioned in the first part. One additional principle is added to this part with respect to conservativeness. It is prescribed that the procedures, values and assumptions should be conservative in nature. The GHG emission reduction and removal enhancements through GHG projects should not be overestimated.
Introduction to GHG Projects under ISO 14064-2
A GHG project has to be established after considering the requirements given in this part. The first phase of a GHG project is planning which includes the assessment of the project, consultation with the stakeholders, obtaining approval, validation and certification. Then comes the second phase which includes the initiation of project activities, periodic verification, certification and recognition of GHG units by the GHG program. GHG programs may prescribe more rules which can be the official registration, validation and public distribution of the GHG before implementation.
Requirements for GHG Projects under ISO 14064-2
The project should meet the requirements established by the GHG program including eligibility or approval criteria. It should be planned while adhering to the relevant legislation and other requirements. The project proponent should identify the best practices from a recognized origin and implement them in the project. If the project departs from the procedures of a selected recognized origin or the project proponent chose a recognized origin out of more than one available recognized origin, he should justify the same. In the absence of established procedures, the project proponent should establish and implement those procedures which fulfil the requirements as mentioned in this part of ISO 14064.
Project Plan under ISO 14064-2
The project plan should be drafted by the project proponent. The plan should include basic information like project title, objective, type, and location. Apart from that it should also include additional details such as the prior conditions to project initiation, procedure, expected results, possible risks, roles and responsibilities of involved personnel, environmental impact assessment, and a chronological plan with respect to the dates of various events during the project.
The project proponent should identify and select GHG sinks, sources and reservoirs that are involved in the project. These may be affected by the project, related to the project or in control of the project proponent. The sinks, sources and reservoirs shall be selected for the purpose of monitoring and calculation of estimations. If the project proponent does not select a particular sink, source or reservoir, he should provide an explanation and justify the decision.
Quantification under ISO 14064-2
The project proponent should select a quantification methodology and quantify the GHG emission and removals for the selected sink, source and reservoirs. The quantification shall be done separately for each body. If he relies on uncertain data and assumptions are made it has to be ensured that the quantification does not lead to an overestimation of GHG emissions, reductions and removal. They shall be measured in tonnes and compared with the baseline emissions reduction and removal to calculate the effective GHG emission, reduction and removal from the GHG project.
Data Quality and Documentation under ISO 14064-2
The project proponent should establish and apply appropriate procedures to maintain the quality of collected data and information. He should reduce the uncertainties as far as possible in the data derived from the quantification of GHG emissions, reductions and removals. All such data is required to be documented in such a manner as required for the validation and verification processes. The documentation should also indicate the conformance of the GHG Project with the requirements as described in this part of ISO 14064.
Monitoring, Validation, Verification and Reporting under ISO 14064-2
The project proponent should monitor the GHG project and establish the procedures for obtaining, recording, compiling and analysing the data relevant to the quantifying and reporting GHG emission reduction and removal. The monitoring procedures should include the purpose, types, and origin of data. The monitoring methodologies, times, periods, roles and responsibilities shall be prescribed in the procedural document. The project proponent is required to provide his GHG assertion to the validators or verifiers when he requests the validation and verification under the third part of ISO 14064.
The project proponent should prepare a GHG report for the intended user. It should identify the intended user and follow the format and include content that is relevant to the intended user. The report should include the GHG assertion by the proponent, validation or verification statement from an independent third party, details of the GHG program, details of the GHG project, a statement of aggregate GHG emission and removal of the GHG project and the baseline separately, a statement of comparative analysis of both scenarios and calculation of effective GHG emission and removal. Lastly, the report should end with a description of procedures followed for such calculation and information regarding the date, time and targeted period of the report.
Validation and Verification - ISO 14064 Part 3
The third part of ISO 14064 deals with the rules and procedures for verification and validation of the GHG assertions made by the project proponent. This document provides guidance to the validators and verifiers of GHG assertions. It talks about choosing GHG validators and verifiers, setting assurance levels and objectives, determining the validation and verification approach, assessing GHG data and information, evaluating GHG assertions, and preparing validation/verification statements. Like the other two parts, it is also neutral regarding the GHG programs. Any rules prescribed in the GHG program shall also be followed in addition to the procedures established in this part of ISO 14064.
Principles of ISO 14064-3
The rules prescribed in this document shall be applied in consonance with the below-mentioned principles-
1. The validators and verifiers are required to be independent of any activity which has to be validated and verified. This is very important to ensure that the inferences are based on objective evidence and free from biases.
2. The conclusions and reports should fairly represent the facts and data with accuracy. If any obstacle or diverging opinions arise during the validation or verification process, it should be reported to the responsible party and client.
3. The validators and verifiers should exercise due professional care and show trust, integrity and confidentiality throughout the validation and verification process. They should have the necessary skills and competencies to undertake this responsibility.
Validation and Verification Process under ISO 14064-3
The process comprises various steps. The validator and verifier team should agree with the client on the level of assurance, objectives, criteria, scope, and materiality required by intended users. Objectives may include the assessment of whether the targets set by the GHG project are achieved or not. The scope decides which sinks, sources and reservoirs are included in the project along with the time period, types of GHGs, physical infrastructure and organisational boundaries. After this, an approach is developed by them with a validation or verification plan and a sampling plan. Then the team assess the GHG information control system and GHG data against the set criteria. Lastly, the GHG assertion is evaluated and the statement is issued for validation and verification.
Validation and Verification Approach under ISO 14064-3
The validator and verifier assess the information given by the responsible party regarding the GHG project in terms of nature, scale, complexity, confidence and completeness. They should also assess the eligibility of the responsible party to participate in the GHG program. If the information is not sufficient, the validator and verifier should not proceed with the validation and verification. They should also assess the data for potential errors, omissions and misrepresentations. After assessing the data provided by the responsible parties the validator and verifier prepare two plans- one for the validation and verification, and the other for the sampling. While making a plan the level of assurance, scope, criteria, objectives, materiality and risks have to be taken into consideration and included in the plan.
Assessment under ISO 14064-3
During the assessment, the validators and verifiers should review the process, methods, selection, procedures and related justification regarding the GHG information system and its integrity. They should review information with respect to the GHG resources in terms of the approach to assign roles, responsibilities, time and personnel competencies. They should analyse the error-checking routines at the organisation and project levels by incorporating the input, transformation and output methods. Similarly, the GHG information has to be assessed with respect to its completeness, consistency, accuracy, transparency and relevance.
The validators and verifiers collect evidence including physical, documentary and testimonial evidence. Then the collected GHG information is crosschecked to find out any discrepancies if exist. If an organisation or the project proponent has subscribed to a GHG program the validator and verifier also asses and verify whether the organisation and the project proponent are eligible to participate in the GHG program and if so, then whether they followed the procedures as per the requirements of the program or not. Thereafter the evaluation of the GHG assertions is done based on the findings during the assessment.
Validation and Verification Records under ISO 14064
The validators and verifiers are required to keep the records so obtained and developed during the validation and verification process. The retention and destruction of such records depend on the agreement between the responsible party and the validators or verifiers, any applicable GHG program, contractual requirements and the validation or verification plan. Although the validators and verifiers are required to collect all relevant and necessary information during the validation and verification process, if any information is discovered later on which can materially affect the validation then the validator and verifier can take appropriate action.
As we just went through all three parts of the ISO 14064, a standard created by the International Organisation for Standardisation and adopted by the Bureau of Indian Standards, it is very clear that the standards set down in this document are created to quantify and reduce the GHG emissions, increase GHG emission removal and provide a framework to assist the government and organisations to implement their policies to prevent the environment from the GHG emissions and their negative effects. The first part of ISO 14064 provides the responsibilities of the organisation, the second part provides guidance for GHG projects, and the third part talks about the validation and verification process of GHG assertions. Together it serves the purpose of a very comprehensive document that can be utilised to standardise the processes relating to GHG emissions, their management and their control.
This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.
BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION
Get help from an experienced legal adviser. Schedule your consultation at a time that works for you and it's absolutely FREE.