Alliance Encourages Regulation, Standardization for Carbon Accounting

Emissions from a factory rising over a hillside that has some wind turbines

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Nov 27, 2023

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The Carbon Accounting Alliance (CAA) has been founded in order to engage policymakers, regulators, and international bodies with corporations toward effective emissions tracking.

Founded by ClimatePartner, the new alliance represents more than 35 software companies, consultancies, auditors, and bodies working to measure emissions for over 23,000 organizations. Currently, a number of standardized practices, such as the Science Based initiatives targets, Integrated Science Assessments, and PAS, work to measure emissions, but they reportedly still leave some room for interpretation. The alliance may address potential ambiguity attached to carbon reporting by setting formal qualifications across jurisdictions, and working to create consistent carbon accounting services.

Some organizations involved in the alliance include PlanetMark, Anthesis, Normative, Ecologi, and Sage, among many others.

The alliance calls for commitments to action in meeting global net-zero goals beyond just measuring and reporting emissions, and they intend for carbon accounting to drive transition plans and emissions reductions.

Alliance Engages with Government Policy, Works to Avoid Greenwashing

As demand for carbon accounting services increases, the CAA plans to campaign to ensure governments’ green skills and jobs policies include carbon accounting as a key feature, also pushing for government regulations that encourage quality reporting. The alliance has already asked the United Kingdom’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to set a policy-driven timeline requiring businesses to report on at least Scope 1 and 2 emissions each year for better emissions transparency. Further, the CAA is calling for data sharing of energy, water, and waste amongst commercial landlords and tenants to support this goal.

The alliance also aims to help its clients avoid greenwashing, or false sustainability claims, that may occur if measurement and reporting is done incorrectly or in a misleading way.

Companies face skepticism from consumers and investors alike that the claims they make about emissions reductions and sustainability efforts are at least partially unfounded. According to PwC’s recently released Global Investor Survey, 94% of investors believe that corporate reporting on sustainability performance contains at least some unsupported claims.

According to the CAA, the group will allow for an open forum to address challenges faced in reporting and measurement, working toward better understanding of carbon accounting methodologies, rules, and databases.

“I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Carbon Accounting Alliance and to bring together leading companies across the industry to help organizations on their net zero journeys,” said Andrew Griffiths, Director of policy and partnerships at Planet Mark and co-founder of the CAA. To efficiently tackle the climate crisis, we need to work through a unified voice, and this Alliance has created a mechanism to do just that.”

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