The ISO 14064 series of standards has a been the primary source of specification and guidance for Carbon Accounting) since 2006. The standards themselves were developed to allow the world to properly measure whether it was making progress in limiting greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Prior to the standards, well intentioned efforts to measure and control GHG emissions were inconsistent, incomplete and incapable of providing a basis for progress. Without proper measurement, little progress was made, hence the introduction of the standards, which were the combined work of 197 countries, with a secretariat provided by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Twelve years on, the standards have now been updated. The changes broadly, are to make GHG Accounting simpler and more accurate. ISO 14064-1 (GHG Inventories or “Carbon Footprinting”) has enhanced its definitions and guidance on how to treat indirect emissions – creating five new classifications for them that must now be included in professional GHG reports. The ne standard also provides for treatment of biogenic carbon, which is carbon arising from the processing, fermentation and decay of biological materials. Previously these matters were not counted: including them now is a positive step towards understanding the scope of the global warming problem.

Part 3 also sees substantial change. It recognises that GHG Validation and Verification, are distinctly different disciplines. Previously they were treated in parallel: now they are treated sequentially. Four new annexes have been added, each providing new guidance for Verifiers including a new process known as Agreed Upon Procedures (AUP), which allows for a selection of verification activities to be performed and reported upon.

Overall, the consensus is that the changes represent a positive development in what the standards cover and how they work. Professionals trained in the 2006 standard should seriously consider appraising themselves f the changes to ensure their activities meet the requirements of the both the statutory schemes around the world, but also the diverse stakeholders in government, international trade and investment groups.

For more information please contact Brian Murnane at or by calling +44 207 397 8500