It is mandatory for certain types of company, local authority, public establishment and State service to draw up a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory, under the terms of the Grenelle II Act of 12 July 2010.

The objective of this GHG Emissions Inventory is to establish an appraisal of the direct and indirect emissions of public and private players across all types of sectors of activity, in order to identify actions to reduce these emissions.

What is

the carbon footprint?

The carbon footprint report makes it possible to identify and then calculate the total amount and distribution of greenhouse gas emissions in an organisation.

It must be carried out in accordance with the approved rules and methods (in France these are laid down by Ademe, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) and enables companies:

  • To know the distribution of their sources of greenhouse gas emissions, in order to then draw up a specific action plan to reduce them, in particular in the area of energy consumption and costly inputs
  • To anticipate fluctuations in the price of fossil fuels and carbon-sensitive raw materials,
  • To reduce the company’s energy costs; by being aware of its main emission factors, the company will be able to reduce them and pre-empt payment of a significant carbon tax.
  • To show that it has taken the initiative to measure its emissions with a view to reducing them. This is often an advantage in calls for tender.

What is


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 decree implementing the statutory GHG report, the obligations it contains cover emissions from:

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions (electricity/heat)

It is recommended but not mandatory to take into account Scope 3 of the Carbon report:

  • Scope 3: all other indirect emissions

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

Let us also add that reduction actions should be included in this assessment.

Better understanding of direct and indirect emissions

See the mapping of scopes 1, 2 and 3 based on the GHG protocol.

Better understanding of direct and indirect emissions

Discover the mapping of scopes 1, 2 and 3 according to the GHG protocol



Since June 2011, under the Grenelle II Law of 12 July 2010, a method has been required for organisations falling within the act’s remit to draw up their inventory:

  • Every 4 years for companies with over 500 employees – 250 for overseas departments
  • Every 3 years for local authorities with over 50,000 inhabitants and public institutions with more than 250 employees.

This is the statutory method required by Article 75 of the Grenelle II Law, which covers, in addition to Scopes 1 and 2, activities related to upstream and downstream activities (Scope 3) since the introduction of Decree no. 2016-1138 of 19 August 2016 relating to environmental information to be included in the company’s annual report.

PENALTIES: Since the introduction of the law n° 2019-1147 of November 8, 2019 relating to energy and the climate, failure to produce or publish the GHG emissions inventory may be sanctioned by a fine of up to €10,000 to a maximum €20,000 if a repeat offence is committed.

We should also note the structure for standardised calculation of a carbon inventory in tendering procedures :

  • As regards the environmental aspects that may be included among the criteria evaluated, a buyer is perfectly entitled to require in its bidding procedure that the candidates produce the carbon inventory of their offering (reference:Question AN published in the OJ on: 28/05/2019 / Answer published in the OJ on: 27/08/2019 page: 7760)





Let’s share climate news, the latest regulations, get our e-publications and our ecological-gestures applicable in your activity sector.

Be fully compliant by calculating your company's carbon footprint.

Be fully compliant by calculating your company's carbon footprint.

GCI offers a set of calculators which will enable a company to carry out its own calculations and reports that can be compared with third party data for each Scopes.

Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions through positive climate action

Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions through positive climate action

GCI’s digital platform offers everyone, from small businesses to large corporations, a set of tips and tools to reduce their carbon footprint.

Offset by committing to projects that work with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Offset by committing to projects that work with the SDG

As an international stakeholder, Global Climate Initiatives offers carbon offset projects selected and (co-)developed by our experts directly on site.

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