CSA launches GHG CleanStart Registry
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has become a business necessity for Canadian companies of all sizes. The success of Canadian organizations whose business decisions and operations affect, and are affected by climate change will depend on their proactive efforts in improving their carbon performance and achieving carbon neutrality. For this reason, the Canadian Standards Association has launched the GHG CleanStart Registry – to help businesses of all sizes with the process of improving their carbon performance and working towards carbon neutrality.
“We are working to help organizations of all sizes establish their carbon footprint baselines and, from there, develop a plan to manage them,” says Michel Girard, CSA’s director of climate change. “This allows companies to publicly showcase their efforts and receive recognition for it as well.”
CSA acquired the Voluntary Challenge Registry in 2005, a registry focused on large organizations across the country. “For SMEs, the depth of that registry is too complex,” says Girard. The new service lays out the steps needed to reach carbon neutrality under ISO 14064-1 standards.
But the initial steps are the most critical.
“The hardest thing for most companies to do initially is getting the data,” says Girard. “Companies have to ask, ‘what are our heating and cooling bills? What are our other utility bills?’ With that information in hand, it doesn’t take that much to calculate your footprint, but we have the resources to help companies with that. Once you’ve gone through the process once, you just replicate it for the next year.”
“CEO’s say to us, ‘I’m prepared to work on my carbon footprint, but make it easy and make the business case for me,’” says Girard. “Once they see what energy is being wasted, they see the opportunities for savings.”
Registration involves four essential steps:
1. Complete an application form to make intent public.
2. Measure current carbon footprint and complete the Carbon Footprint Report (the GHG CleanStart Registry website offers a number of calculators, templates, checklists and guidance materials).
3. Document actions, purchases of renewable energy certificates and ownership of verified emission reductions to offset emissions in the Carbon Neutral Report.
4. Make a self-declaration of carbon-neutral status, or obtain third-party verification in a manner consistent with ISO 14064-3.
Organizations who complete steps satisfactorily as determined by CSA will receive a CSA carbon neutral certificate and/or a letter of participation.
The value of such a registry is that it offers participants an opportunity to benchmark themselves against their peers.
“If your company hasn’t started considering this issue, you should get ready because legislative change is going to come,” says Girard. “This gives companies an opportunity to get ahead of the crowd and create recognizable change.”
For more information visit www.ghgregistries.ca/cleanstart.