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What is GHG inventory®?

Global warming is here to stay, with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) resulting from human activities. This has prompted us to assess our emissions using the GHG inventory® method.

The GHG inventory® aims to assess the environmental impact of an organization or product/service. It is measured by the quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) and GHG emitted. It is an essential carbon inventory for identifying the main sources of emissions and determining the actions needed to reduce the organization's carbon footprint.

With growing awareness of the challenges posed by climate change, the issue of decarbonization has become a major global concern. Indeed, to limit our environmental footprint, the first step is to assess the impact of our activities using the Carbon Footprint®.

The calculation of greenhouse gas emissions is divided into three scopes:

  • Scope 1: direct emissions,
  • Scope 2: energy-related indirect emissions,
  • Scope 3: indirect emissions from other activities.

Enabling :

  • Measure an organization's impact on climate and the environment
  • Evaluate progress made in reducing GHG emissions and move towards carbon neutrality.

And is mandatory for a category of companies, local authorities, public establishments and government departments under the French Grenelle II Act of July 12, 2010.

In this article, we'll explore in more detail what a GHG inventory® and a BEGES are, as well as the issues and penalties associated with this approach. By fully understanding this methodology, we'll be better equipped to act responsibly and sustainably in the face of the challenges of climate change.

1. Difference between GHG inventory® and GHG assessment

1.1. Carbon footprint

1.2. GHG balance

2. What are the regulations and penalties in France?

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Difference between GHG inventory® and GHG assessment

📊 GHG inventory® (Carbon Balance)

The Carbon Footprint® identifies and calculates the total amount and distribution of greenhouse gas emissions within an organization.

It must be carried out in accordance with approved rules and methods (in France, by Ademe), and allows companies to :

✅ Know the breakdown of their sources of greenhouse gas emissions, in order to then draw up a specific action plan to reduce them, particularly on energy consumption and costly inputs,

✅ Anticipate fluctuations in the price of fossil fuels and carbon-sensitive raw materials,

✅To reduce the company's energy expenditure; by being aware of its main emission factors, the company will be able to reduce them and anticipate paying too high a carbon tax,

✅ To show that it has taken initiatives to measure its emissions with a view to reducing them. This is often an advantage when inviting tenders.

📝 The GHG Emissions Balance Sheet

The statutory greenhouse gas emissions inventory (Bilan GES – GHG inventory), also known as the mandatory carbon report, is based on Article 75 of Act 2010-788 of 12 July 2010, known as the Grenelle II Act.

In the application decree for the regulatory GHG balance, the obligations contained concern emissions from :

🎯 Scope 1: direct emissions

🎯 Scope 2: indirect emissions (electricity/heat)

It is recommended but not compulsory to take into account Scope 3 of the Bilan Carbone:

🎯 Scope 3: other indirect emissions

However, it is strongly recommended to draw up a complete carbon footprint covering all 3 scopes, i.e. all direct and indirect emissions, as around 75% of an activity's emissions are represented by Scope 3 emissions.

Decarbonization is an unavoidable challenge, a source of structural transformation for companies and a source of meaning for employees.

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What are the regulations and penalties in France?

Since June 2011, as part of the Grenelle II Law of July 12, 2010, a method has been mandatory for eligible companies to carry out their carbon footprint:

👉 Every 4 years for companies with over 500 employees - 250 for overseas departments

👉 Every 3 years for local authorities with more than 50,000 inhabitants and public establishments with more than 250 employees

This is the regulatory method supported by Article 75 of the Grenelle II Law, which covers, in addition to Scopes 1 and 2, the company's upstream and downstream related activities (Scope 3) since Decree no. 2016-1138 of August 19, 2016 on the environmental information that must be included in companies' management reports.

❌ PENALTIES: Since Law no. 2019-1147 of November 8, 2019 on energy and climate, failures to carry out or publish the GHG Emissions Balance may be punished by a fine of up to €10,000 with a maximum of €20,000 if repeated.

Let's also recall the framework of systematic carbon footprint calculations in order procedures:

"Under the environmental aspects that may be retained among the criteria evaluated, a buyer is perfectly entitled to require, in its consultation regulations, the production, by candidates, of the carbon footprint of their bids " (reference: Question AN published in the JO on: 28/05/2019 / Answer published in the JO on: 27/08/2019 page: 7760).

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