Home " Committing to a decarbonization strategy? " Carrying out a GHG assessment, an essential first step in a company's decarbonization process

Carrying out a GHG assessment, an essential first step in a company's decarbonization process


The energy transition of companies is a major challenge that they must share in thegoal of carbon neutrality by 2050 set out in the Paris Agreement. Reducing emissions thus becomes the linchpin of an approach to decarbonizing corporate activities.

For this approach to be optimal, it is important for companies to draw up a detailed inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions, also known as a GHG inventory®. This accounting serves as the basis for any company to draw up an exhaustive inventory of its emissions.

This is a prerequisite for designing a robust reduction plan. The plan focuses on reducing consumption in quantitative terms, by cutting waste and improving energy performance. At the same time, it requires strategic choices focused on solutions with a reduced carbon footprint, with particular emphasis on renewable energies.

1. Decarbonizing companies: an imperative

1.1. Decarbonation and its objectives
1.2. The SNBC in France

2. Acting for decarbonation

2.1. Stages of decarbonation and the role of the GHG balance sheet
2.2. Emissions awareness and reduction opportunities

3. Feedback from two GCI customers

3.1. Pierre Montagne, President of Terneo, an energy consultancy.
3.2 Cécile Suquet, CSR Manager at LCL.

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Decarbonizing companies: an imperative

🌿 Decarbonation and its objectives :

Decarbonization refers to the commitment to take action to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of a company, an industry or a country.

The main aim of this initiative is to reduce the consumption of primary energy sources such as oil, gas and coal, which are major emitters of greenhouse gases. It advocates their gradual replacement by renewable energies such as wind, hydro, biomass and solar, which are renowned for their considerably reduced carbon footprint. The use of non-carbon energies, such as nuclear power, is also a viable option for achieving carbon neutrality.

📃 France's National Low Carbon Strategy (SNBC)

The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies is proving to be an effective way of rapidly reducing CO2 emissions, thereby helping to combat global warming. However, it is crucial to note that simply replacing energy sources is not enough; a reduction in energy consumption remains just as essential.

In France, the National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC ), established since 2015, offers a roadmap to guide the transition to a low-carbon, circular and sustainable economy in all sectors of activity. It has two major ambitions: to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and to reduce the carbon footprint of French consumption.

To this end, four objectives have been defined:

  • decarbonize electricity generation,
  • halve energy consumption,
  • reduce non-energy related emissions
  • increase carbon sinks.

Decarbonization is therefore an imperative, enabling companies to meet environmental challenges while preserving their economic performance. This is particularly important forindustry, which is responsible for around 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in France. Through these actions, organizations actively contribute to the reduction of climate change, thus playing an essential role in building a more sustainable future.

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Acting for decarbonation

☁️ The stages of decarbonation and the role of the GHG Balance

Decarbonizing a business is a process that takes time and effective planning.

According to ADEME, four key stages are necessary for successful decarbonization:

  1. Taking stock
  2. Build your strategy
  3. Taking action to decarbonize our industry
  4. Evaluate and certify your approach

For a complete inventory of emissions, going beyond the energy audit, the full GHG Balance remains the most appropriate tool.

🚀 The GCI platform, accessible to all types of organizations, facilitates this inventory in full compliance with recognized regulations, standards and methodologies (ISO I14064-1, GHG Protocol, Bilan Carbone, Grenelle II Law).

Since the decree of July 1, 2022, a comprehensive corporate carbon footprint has been based on six emissions items, making it possible to analyze the impact of activity on the climate and prioritize reduction actions:

  • Direct emissions (Scope 1 equivalent)
  • Indirect emissions associated with energy (Scope 2 equivalent)
  • Indirect emissions associated with transport (Scope 3 equivalent)
  • Indirect emissions associated with purchased products (Scope 3 equivalent)
  • Indirect emissions associated with products sold (Scope 3 equivalent)
  • Other Indirect Emissions (Scope 3 Equivalent)

Once emissions have been identified and reduced, voluntary offsetting can be envisaged through participation in carbon offset or carbon contribution projects.

🌍 Raising awareness of emissions and reduction opportunities

To limit emissions and reduce its carbon footprint, a company needs to rethink and modernize its processes. Although the fight against climate change may seem complex, it remains essential to ensure the sustainability of today's businesses.

The first step is to improve the company's energy efficiency. This encompasses initiatives such as heat recovery, building renovation, the use of less energy-intensive equipment, or the installation of more efficient equipment.

An alternative lies in the substitution of energy sources. Replacing carbon-based primary energies with cleaner sources initiates the process of decarbonizing the company. It is imperative to reduce the use of fossil fuels as much as possible in favor of less carbon-intensive energies, such as renewable energies or nuclear power.

The electrification of processes plays an essential role, particularly in various industrial sectors, by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. It's worth pointing out that in France, 87% of the electricity generated in 2022 was decarbonized, according to RTE.

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Feedback from two GCI customers

💬 Pierre Montagne, president of Terneo, an energy consultancy.

Pierre Montagne, President of Terneo, an energy consultancy for local authorities and businesses, shares his experience of using carbon footprints.

His company helps customers reduce their energy consumption and set up photovoltaic projects. Carbon audits are offered to customers already involved in energy issues, to provide a comprehensive approach to the energy transition.

Pierre Montagne chose the GCI platform for its compromise between support and autonomy. Customers can take full ownership of their carbon footprint, while still being able to call on experts for assistance. The GCI platform is praised for its ease of use, ergonomics and adaptability to different types of users.

Carrying out a complete carbon footprint® for Pierre Montagne is a fantastic tool for prioritizing actions in favor of the energy transition. In addition to reducing energy-related expenses, it enhances the attractiveness of the region or company.

To find out more, see the differences between carbon footprint and GHG footprint.


💬 Cécile Suquet, CSR Manager at LCL

Cécile Suquet, CSR Manager at LCL, highlights LCL's commitment to combating climate change.

LCL began exploring its carbon footprint in 2014 for regulatory reasons, simultaneously committing to carbon neutrality on all its financial and operational emissions. The use of the GCI platform was motivated by its ability to enable independent carbon footprinting, with the possibility of progressing from year to year by refining emissions factors by nature of activity. This guarantees a carbon footprint that is enforceable against third parties, compliant with regulations, reliable and can be integrated autonomously into the business.

Cécile encourages entrepreneurs to consider carbon footprinting as an accessible and differentiating tool. She emphasizes that carbon footprinting and emissions reduction are a competitive advantage. Corporate carbon neutrality is presented as a collective effort, a "team sport" in which everyone's participation is essential for a lasting impact.

Carry out your company's carbon inventory with the CGI platform

Carbon offset projects