Introduction to Carbon Accounting - For Advisors

Designed for accountants, bookkeepers and other professionals responsible for GHG accounting

Introduction to Carbon Accounting Course

Who is it for?

This course is designed for the people who will be performing the GHG accounting, including accountants, bookkeepers and other advisors. It’s practical and comprehensive.

We don’t mean to brag, but we think this is the best course in the market for those who are actually doing the work when it comes to GHG accounting.

What does the carbon accounting course cover?

18 Chapters including videos, notes, worked examples and quizzes.

How long does it take?

Some people have finished the course in a few days, some a few weeks.

The course is designed to be self-paced.

We estimate each chapter will take around 30 minutes without all additional reading, so around 10 hours in total.

Watch Chapter 1 for free

🎬 Introduction to Carbon Accounting Course - Chapter 1

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Course Content - 18 Modules

Module 1: Introduction to Carbon Accounting

Video: 13 Minutes

Chapters: 9

Module Objectives:

  • Understand what's involved in carbon accounting
  • Understand the greenhouse effect
  • Gain insight into the science behind carbon accounting
  • Understand why carbon accounting is important
  • Understand different frameworks such as TCFD, GRI and SBTi

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  • The GHG Protocol
  • Glossary

Chapters:

  • An Introduction to Carbon Accounting 
  • Why the Focus on Carbon Accounting?
  • The Greenhouse Gases
  • What Does Carbon Accounting Involve?
  • The Human-induced Greenhouse Effect
  • The Changing Social Landscape
  • The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
  • Common Things You've Probably Heard About – Explainer
  • Wrap-up
  • Quiz

Module 2: Carbon Accounting Framework

Video: 13 Minutes

Chapters: 12

Module Objectives:

  • Become aware of the GHG Protocol and understand key principles
  • Understand the purpose of the GHG Protocol
  • Understand what's involved in an emissions assessment at a high level
  • Understand why carbon accounting is important
  • Understand different frameworks such as TCFD, GRI and SBTi

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  • The Corporate Standard

Chapters:

  • What Is the GHG Protocol?
  • Key Principles
  • Setting a Boundary
  • The Three 'Scopes'
  • Overview of Scope 1
  • Overview of Scope 2
  • Overview of Scope 3
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • The Sumday Emissions Factor Database
  • Assurance Framework
  • Other Frameworks
  • Quiz

Module 3: Setting Boundaries

Video: 11 Minutes

Chapters: 7

Module Objectives:

  • Understand organisational boundaries and related concepts
  • Understand different accounting categories and how the boundaries apply
  • Understand operational boundaries and the 3 scopes
  • Begin to understand the intricacies of Scope 3 emissions

Additional Reading:

  • The Corporate Standard - Chapter 3 and 4

Chapters:

  • Operational and Organisational Boundaries
  • Organisational Boundaries
  • Considerations for Selecting Equity or Control
  • Operational Boundaries
  • The Cradle-to-Gate Approach
  • Upstream vs. Downstream
  • Quiz

Module 4: Scope 1 & 2 Overview

Video: 22 Minutes

Chapters: 14

Module Objectives:

  • Understand organisational boundaries and related concepts
  • Understand the workpapers prepared under each scope
  • Understand how to account for them
  • Explore opportunities to reduce them

Additional Reading:

  • GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance
  • Template workpapers

Chapters:

  • Scope 1 – Direct GHG Emissions
  • Stationary Combustion
  • Mobile Combustion
  • Fugitive Emissions
  • Physical or Chemical Processing
  • Benefits of Measuring Fuel by Asset
  • Leased Assets
  • Scope 2 – Electricity Indirect GHG Emissions
  • Opportunities from Scope 2 Reduction
  • Electricity Generation vs. Distribution
  • Accounting for Scope 2 – Location- or Market-based Method
  • Calculating Emissions for Scope 2
  • Emissions Factors Differences by Region
  • Quiz

Module 5: Scope 3 Overview

Video: 18 Minutes

Chapters: 8

Module Objectives:

  • Understand what Scope 3 emissions are and how they differ from Scope 1 and 2 emissions
  • Understand why we can no longer ignore Scope 3 emissions
  • Understand what constitutes Scope 3 emission, and how they can be categorised.

Additional Reading:

  • Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard
  • Technical Guidance for Calculating Scope 3 Emissions

Chapters:

  • Scope 3 Overview
  • Why Account for Scope 3 Supply Chain Emissions?
  • How Scope 3 Emissions Differ from Scope 1 and 2 – Recap
  • What Constitutes Scope 3 Emissions?
  • Primary Emissions vs. Industry Emissions Factors
  • Ask the Question
  • Scope 3 Workpaper
  • Quiz

Module 6: Scope 1 - Mobile Combustion

Video: 13 Minutes

Chapters: 8

Module Objectives:

  • Define mobile combustion
  • Understand the data required for the assessment
  • Understand the calculation of mobile combustion.
  • Understand the difference between Scope 1 and Scope 3 mobile combustion.
  • Understand the greenhouse gases that are emitted.

Additional Reading:

  • Scope 1 & 2 GHG Inventory Guidance
  • National Greenhouse Accounts Factors
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory Guidance: Direct Emissions from Mobile Combustion Sources

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • What is Mobile Combustion?
  • Collecting Activity Data
  • Calculating Mobile Emissions
  • Scope 1 vs. Scope 3 Mobile Emissions
  • Biofuels
  • Mobile Combustion Workpaper
  • Quiz

Module 7: Scope 1 - Stationary Combustion

Video: 9 Minutes

Chapters: 8

Module Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of what stationary combustion includes
  • Understanding the combustion process
  • Understand the calculation of stationary combustion within the framework

Additional Reading:

  • Scope 1 & 2 GHG Inventory Guidance

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • The Combustion Process and the Release of CO2
  • What About the Other Greenhouse Gases?
  • Types of Stationary Combustion Assets
  • Collecting Activity Data
  • Use of Biofuels
  • The Calculation Process
  • Quiz

Module 8: Scope 1 - Fugitive and Process Emissions

Video: 9 Minutes

Chapters: 7

Module Objectives:

  • Understand fugitive emissions in general
  • Formulate an understanding of how to account for fugitive emissions
  • Understand the formation of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and chlorofluorocarbons (PFC) greenhouse gases

Additional Reading:

  • Cold Hard Facts 2021: An example of industry average leakage factors from common refrigerant assets in Australia
  • IPCC AR5 Report

Chapters:

  • What Are Fugitive Emissions?
  • Manufacturing vs. Use Phase Emissions
  • Collect Activity Data
  • Global Warming Potential (GWP)
  • The Calculation
  • Sources of Fugitive Emissions
  • Quiz

Module 9: Purchased Electricity

Video: 9 Minutes

Chapters: 7

Module Objectives:

  • Account correctly for emissions from purchased electricity
  • Understand the importance of Scope 2 emissions as an emissions source
  • Learn about location based and market bases methods

Additional Reading:

  • Scope 2 guidance
  • National greenhouse gas account factors

Chapters:

  • Scope 2 Overview
  • Purchased Electricity as an Emissions Source
  • Emissions Factors for Purchased Electricity
  • Location-based vs. Market-based
  • Calculating Emissions for Scope 2
  • Measurement by Generation Source
  • What About Solar Panels?
  • Quiz

Module 10: Scope 3 – Purchased Goods and Services & Capital Goods

Video: 12 Minutes

Chapters: 9

Module Objectives:

  • Understand what the purchased goods and services category looks like, and when to categorise emissions under purchased goods and services.
  • Understand how to account for emissions from capital goods
  • Explore different calculation methods to calculate emissions from purchased goods and services and capital goods

Additional Reading:

  • GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain Standard
  • GHG Protocol Technical Guidance - Scope 3
  • US EPA Scope 3 Inventory Guidance

Chapters:

  • Refresher on Scope 3 Emissions
  • Purchased Goods and Services
  • Capital Goods
  • Capital Goods and Purchased Goods and Services – How Do They Differ?
  • Carbon Accounting for Capital Goods
  • Calculation Methods and Reporting Period
  • Time Boundaries
  • Cradle to Gate
  • Quiz

Module 11: Scope 3 – Upstream Transportation and Distribution

Video: 12 Minutes

Chapters: 9

Module Objectives:

  • Understand what is included in upstream transportation and distribution
  • Understand the different methods of calculating emissions from upstream transportation and distribution
  • Understand the importance of setting boundaries when accounting for upstream transportation and distribution

Additional Reading:

  • GHG (Green House Gases) Protocol – Category 4
  • DEFRA Emissions Factors

Chapters:

  • What Is Included?
  • Calculating Emissions from Transportation
  • The Fuel-based Method
  • The Distance-based Method
  • The Spend-based Method
  • Calculating Emissions from Distribution
  • The Site-specific Method
  • The Average Data Method
  • The Importance of Setting the Boundary
  • Quiz

Module 12: Scope 3 – Waste Generated in Operations

Chapters: 9

Module Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of the emissions associated with waste generated in operations
  • Understand the difference between waste-based emissions, and emissions coming from transportation of waste

Additional Reading:

  • Chapter 5 of the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Technical Guidance
  • GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Reporting in Future Periods
  • Accounting for Waste Generated in Operations
  • Waste Treatment Activities
  • Accounting for Emissions from Recycling
  • Emissions from Incineration with Energy Recovery
  • Accounting for Emissions from Wastewater
  • What Is the Recycled Content Method?
  • Quiz

Module 13: Scope 3 - Business Travel

Video: -

Chapters: 6

Module Objectives:

  • Understand what Business Travel expenditures are and when to categorise emissions under this category.
  • Understand the three different calculation methods, and learn when to use which method.

Additional Reading:

  • GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain Standard
  • GHG Protocol Technical Guidance - Scope 3
  • World Resource Institute - Business Travel Working Paper (2021)

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • What is Included?
  • Calculating Emissions from Business Travel
  • The Distance-based Method
  • Other Methods
  • Quiz

Module 14: Scope 3 Employee Commuting

Video: -

Chapters: 8

Module Objectives:

  • Understand what falls under the employee commuting category under Scope 3.
  • Understand the different methods available under the GHG Protocol that can be used to calculate emissions from employee commuting.
  • Understand the sources of emission factor data is used to quantify emission-based employee activity data.
  • Understand the benefits and opportunities that arise from measuring commuting emissions and from engaging with the workforce on the topic.

Additional Reading:

  • GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain Standard
  • GHG Protocol Technical Guidance - Scope 3

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Calculating Emissions from Employee Commuting
  • Fuel-Based vs Distance-Based Method
  • Average-Data Method
  • Working From Home
  • Data Collection Practicalities
  • Employee commuting matters!
  • Quiz

Module 15: Scope 3 Upstream Leased Assets

Video: -

Chapters: 8

Module Objectives:

  • Understand the definition of leased assets
  • Understand how the equity and control approaches impact the treatment of leased assets under the GHG Protocol
  • Understand calculation methods for leased assets.

Chapters:

  • What are Upstream Leased Assets?
  • Treatment of Finance vs Operating Leases
  • Calculating Emissions From Leased Assets
  • Asset-Specific Method
  • Lessor-Specific Method
  • Average Data Method
  • Other Important Considerations
  • Quiz

Module 16: Scope 3 Other Categories

Video: -

Chapters: 10

Module Objectives:

  • Understand each of the downstream Scope 3 subcategories at a high level.
  • Understand and be able to apply the available calculation methods to quantify emissions from each of the subcategories.
  • Be aware of the key challenges associated with quantifying downstream emissions.

Chapters:

  • Overview of Downstream Scope 3 Categories
  • Downstream Transportation and Distribution
  • Processing of Sold Products
  • Use of Sold Products
  • End-of-Life Treatment of Sold Products
  • Downstream Leased Assets
  • Franchises
  • Investments
  • Wrap-up
  • Quiz

Module 17: Emissions Intensity Reporting

Video: 17 Minutes

Chapters: 10

Module Objectives:

  • Understand the purpose of emissions intensity reporting.
  • Learn how to collect the relevant information to report on emissions intensity.
  • Understand the guidance around intensity reporting.
  • Identify the parallels between management accounting and emissions intensity reporting.
  • Learn how an emissions intensity measure can be used as a primary factor.

Chapters:

  • Why Report Emissions Intensity?
  • How Do You Calculate Emissions Intensity?
  • Examples of Intensity Metrics
  • Moving from Intensity Metrics to Emissions Factors
  • So How Do We Actually Calculate Primary Factors?
  • Allocation Methods and Avoiding Allocations
  • Activity-based Costing – the OG Emissions Intensity Tool
  • Example from the GHG Protocol
  • What Are We Actually Doing with the Primary Data?
  • Quiz

Module 18: Business Cases - Advisory Work 101

Video: 14 Minutes

Chapters: 14

Module Objectives:

  • Understand what a business case is and how carbon accounting is relevant.
  • Understand how to read a Marginal Abatement Cost Curve.
  • View some examples of typical business cases for emissions reductions.

Chapters:

  • Introduction
  • What Is a Business Case?
  • Relevance of Carbon Accounting to a Business Case
  • Risk Mitigation – Climate
  • Risk Mitigation – Corporate
  • Compliance
  • Societal Pressure
  • Finding Inefficiencies
  • Marginal Abatement Cost Curves
  • Marginal Abatement Cost Curves – Example
  • Business Case Examples – EV Purchasing
  • Business Case Examples – Waste Reduction
  • Business Case Examples – Virtual Meetings Instead of Travel
  • MAC Curves for Business Cases
  • Quiz
 
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Last updated on August 4, 2021