Greenhouse Gas Management

Greenhouse gas (GHG) management standards help organizations assess, monitor and manage their GHG emissions associated with their activities, products and supply chains. Standards in this area are primarily designed to help mitigate GHG emissions and do not necessarily take into consideration organizations' other environmental and social impacts.

As a group, GHG management standards fit within the wider environmental management theme.


GHG management standards provide organizations with reliable tools to assess, monitor and reduce their GHG emissions and costs. They can support compliance with legal requirements, e.g. reporting on GHG emissions. The results achieved through the application of GHG management standards can make an organization’s activities more resilient and therefore support the organization's ability to adapt to the pressing challenge of climate change. 

Standards for GHG management can be divided into four categories: GHG Assessment, GHG Reduction, GHG Offsetting and GHG Communications


Trends and future work in GHG Management

Environmental footprinting

It is recognized that GHG management thinking, and particularly its assessment (‘footprinting’) aspect, should evolve to consider other environmental and social impacts in line with the wider sustainability agenda. Environmental footprinting is a subject of growing importance that goes beyond climate change to consider the wider footprint of an organization, activity, product or supply chain, such as impacts on water, biodiversity, etc. Of particular relevance is the standardization work around water management / water footprinting (see Resource Management/ Water Management), Biodiversity, as well as the Single Market for Green Products (Environmental footprinting) initiative of the European Commission.

Organizations referring to standards for environmental footprinting are better positioned to identify, understand and effectively manage, i.e. reduce, their key environmental impacts, often better controlling costs, achieving savings and improvements, and increasing brand recognition in the process.


Environmental hotspotting

Environmental ‘hotspotting’ or ‘hotspot analysis’ refers to pinpointing areas of the product life cycle with significant environmental impacts, thereby identifying opportunities to reduce these impacts across a product’s supply chain and/or within a sector. For many organizations, hotspotting offers a pragmatic approach to environmental impact assessment, and an opportunity to control costs and realize (process) efficiencies. It is based on life cycle thinking, which involves looking at all stages of the life cycle of a product, from raw material through product use, to disposal. The action points are then placed on high risk areas (i.e. ‘hotspots’) of relevance to the individual organization, or an entire sector. 

Leading the effort in the UK is The Product Sustainability Forum (PSF) – a collaboration of organizations made up of grocery and home improvement retailers and suppliers, academics, NGOs and UK Government representatives. The PSF provides a platform for these organizations to work together to measure, improve and communicate the environmental performance of grocery and home improvement products. WRAP provides the secretariat for the forum. 


Climate Change Adaptation

Adaptation involves changing the way organizations, individuals and communities do things to prepare for the potential impacts of climate change. This means we will be better protected against negative impacts, like flooding, and better prepared for new opportunities, like the chance to grow different crops, make business models more resilient to resource scarcity and price volatility.

Standards are being developed to help organizations adapt to climate change. 


Links to other standards related to the theme of GHG Management

BS ISO 31000

Risk management. Principles and guidelines.

BS EN ISO 14001

Environmental management systems. Requirements with guidance for use.

BS EN ISO 9001

Quality management systems. Requirements.

BS 65000

Guidance on organizational resilience.

BS ISO 31000

Risk management. Principles and guidelines.

BS EN ISO 22301

Societal security. Business continuity management systems. Requirements. 


Links to other related support materials

BIP 2178

Climate change adaptation. Adapting to climate risks using ISO 9001, ISO 14001, BS 25999 and BS 31100.

Adapting to Climate Change using your Business Continuity Management System

A practical guide to help business continuity professionals understand and manage severe weather risks as part of their existing business continuity management system.

CEN Guide 4

Guide for the inclusion of environmental aspects in product standards.


Guide for addressing climate change adaptation in standards.


Note: All other standards and related support materials are listed under the sub-theme pages of GHG management.

View the sustainability themes map