Greenhouse gas reporting schemes

Learn how the most important greenhouse gas reporting schemes work, and see how Ducky's climate calculator fits in

Greenhouse gas reporting schemes vary widely in their methodologies, meaning they are often incomparable. They are also often open to subjective interpretation (or misinterpretation), leaving some of the most impactful decisions completely up to the reporter. As such, they can’t be readily used to assess whether an entity is sustainable or not. In particular, it’s near impossible to assess whether a sold product or service is sustainable. However, we aim to make the best out of what we have!

Ducky has chosen to follow the GHG Protocol when we supply data for greenhouse gas reporting. We continuously update our offerings to adhere to the reporting requirements that are being introduced through the European green deal over the next few years. See also the Norwegian government's info page about the EU taxonomy for the legal status right now.

What is the GHG Protocol?

The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) created the GHG Protocol to help countries and companies account for, report, and mitigate emissions. Launched in 1998, the GHG Protocol defines a standardised framework for managing and measuring emissions from private and public sector operations, value chains, products, cities and policies to enable greenhouse gas reductions across the board. It classifies GHG emissions into three “scopes” (scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3) to improve transparency and provide utility for different organisations and business goals. The standard’s primary audience is businesses developing a GHG inventory. However, all kinds of organisations that give rise to GHG emissions can use this standard, e.g. NGOs, government agencies and universities.

Figure: Definitions of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (left); Scope 3 emissions categories (right). Source: Wrap Scope 3 GHG Measurement & Reporting Protocols.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions

According to the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, a company’s greenhouse gas emissions are classified into three scopes: Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned assets. In other words, emissions are released into the atmosphere as a direct result of a set of activities, at a firm level. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy (electricity and heat). Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including upstream and downstream emissions. Scope 1 and 2 emissions are mandatory and rather easy to calculate, whereas Scope 3 is voluntary and very hard to monitor.

Head over to our specific articles for details on the reporting standards:


Head over to our guide on company level emissions reporting and see our endpoints to deliver reporting to read more about this use case and get started.

Overview of standards

Global standards


Target audience

About the standard

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)


  • Most widespread framework
  • Most comprehensive range of sustainability criteria
  • Covers environmental, economical and social aspects
  • Simple comparisons across companies year-to-year
  • Companies choose themselves which standard to report on

UN Global Compact (UNGC)


  • The UN's initiative to contribute to a more sustainable commercial sector
  • 13,000 member companies and organisations in 160 countries
  • Objective: To create a global network for responsible and sustainable companies
  • As a UN Global Compact member, you commit to run your business with  respect for human rights, the environment, labour standards and anti-corruption
  • Annual reporting based on progression according to the 10 principles

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Organisations, public sectors, municipalities, companies

  • International standardisation organisation with 165 national members. Since 1947, they have made 21,500 global standard
  • The Standard for Environmental Management (ISO 14 000) and the Standard for socially responsible behaviour (ISO 21 000) can either be used as reporting tools, and/or guidance on sustainability work
  • Principles: Human rights, working conditions, environment, fair business, consumer issues, working conditions, organisational management, local involvement and development

Task force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)


  • The TCFD framework is the central framework for analysing and reporting climate risks in business. By calculating climate risk, the business also gains better insight into financial risk linked to climate change. Finans Norge has produced a guide for how reporting takes place.

Science-Based Targets (SBT)


  • Science-Based Targets is an international collaboration and framework based on climate targets from the Paris Agreement. The aim is for business, especially banking and finance, to have a concrete target for cutting emissions

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)


  • Aid for companies that want to report on the sustainability of their financial structure
  • SASB aims at investors
  • Sector- and industry-adapted frameworks distributed among 11 sectors and 77 industries
  • The framework consists of 26 identified sustainability indicators divided into the categories environment, social, capital, human capital, business model, innovation and management

The GHG Protocol

Public and private sector

  • Global framework and accounting standard used in both the public and private sector for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions are divided into direct and indirect
  • The standard requires reporting on the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol
  • The calculations are consistent and comparable over time

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Municipalities, cities, states, organisations, companies

  • Platform where cities, companies and countries can compare and measure emissions and exchange strategies
  • Companies, organisations and businesses that contribute do not have the option to omit selected numbers
  • Figures that are not reported will remain open and made clear
  • Companies get scores between 0 and 100, and are ranked as "low", "mid-range" and "high" 
  • Works as a good aid for companies that want a better overview of their own emissions

Norwegian and nordic standards


Target audience

About the standard

Eco-Lighthouse (Miljøfyrtårn)

Municipalities, counties, companies

  • Eco-Lighthouse is Norway's most used certification for businesses that want to document their environmental efforts and demonstrate social responsibility. The aim is to raise companies' environmental performance. Businesses that meet defined industry criteria can be certified as Eco-Lighthouses
  • The climate and environmental report is a digital management tool that helps you get an overview of the company's positive and negative environmental effects.

Klimakost, Asplan Viak

Municipalities, companies

  • Klimakost calculates the entire footprint of your organisation, both direct and indirect emissions, from expenses. Klimakost is available both as a tool for municipalities and as a tool for companies.

TCFD guide, Finans Norge

Finance, companies

  • Finans Norge has created a guide to the global TCFD standard, so that Norwegian companies and enterprises can more easily use the framework to calculate climate risk

Nordic Sustainability Reporting Standard (NSRS), Regnskap Norge

Small and medium-sized companies

  • New Nordic standard for sustainability reporting for small and medium-sized companies
  • The standard has been developed because sustainability standards are often complex. NSRS is the first standard tailored for small and medium-sized businesses
  • End users are investors, banks, authorities and consumers

The Norwegian Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet)


  • Municipalities today obtain numbers from the Norwegian Environment Agency on direct emissions, which they must report on.
  • The Norwegian Environment Agency maintains an emissions account showing direct greenhouse gas emissions across nine sectors in Norwegian municipalities and counties.

UN sustainable development goals

  • The UN's sustainability goals are the world's joint work plan to eradicate poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change by 2030
  • The UN's sustainability goals consist of 17 goals and 169 sub-goals. The goals should act as a common global direction for countries, businesses and civil society
  • Many companies, municipalities and organisations choose some sustainability measures to focus more on as part of a larger strategy. In order to make the work with the goals more concrete, it may be wise to divide the sustainability goals into subgoals and link this to selected KPIs
  • Beware that the sustainability measures are thematic, and more difficult to use in precise climate reporting
  • Read more about reporting on the sustainability goals on the UN SDG Compass