Carbon Quantification and Verification Consultancy- What You Need to Know | Climate Change, Carbon Emissions and Footprinting Training Courses

Carbon Quantification and Verification Consultancy- What You Need to Know

Date: 14/11/2009 in Carbon Consultancy

The Carbon Quantification and Verification industry is becoming more relevant and structured daily, and there are challenges and opportunities for both organisations and practitioners in keeping current and complying with standards and developments. There is undoubtedly still confusion and uncertainty in the carbon consultancy industry due to the lack of a formal standard. However, at this point the ISO 14064 standard looks set to become the internationally agreed standard that is so desperately required.

Many progressive companies are implementing carbon management and are prepared for the change that is inevitable. It’s also clear that many firms to date are not actively reducing carbon emissions, and so therefore have not been recruiting or developing individuals in-house or contracting consultants. One thing is for sure- whatever about the social responsibility aspect of this- it is inevitable that companies will soon be compelled by legislative requirement to manage their carbon footprint. From a societal perspective, it is to be sincerely hoped that agreement will be reached at COP15.   

In the UK market where the CRC becomes law in April 2010, some 8000 firms are registered as high energy users and shall be compelled to reduce their emissions.  Today many of these organisations are not in a position to handle the CRC challenge robustly – in fact some research indicates up to 60% of firms may not yet be fully aware of their obligations under CRC.  So when these factors change, what resources are available?

CRC firms will need to be able to quantify and report their emissions annually – with ISO 14064 they be assured and more importantly they can assure the Environment Agency that their footprint and annual reports are robust and verifiable. As only 20% of CRC will be audited, a firm using ISO14064 or the Carbon Trust Standards can expect to avoid an audit as they will have demonstrated best practice.  As the Carbon Footprint Forum has stated on the growth of online transactions and data exchange, data warehouses serving financial transactions, government and NHS issues have doubled in energy requirements and emissions since 2000. Banks, NHS, Revenue, the aviation and travel sectors and other organisations dealing with mass markets use massive amounts of energy and emit very significant GHGs, and will face significant financial liabilities under the CRC.  

In the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), uncertainty exists around the actual outcomes of COP15. A failure at Copenhagen may, according to some commentators, lead to a reduced use of CDM-type projects-this would be a backwards step as offsetting does reduce global emissions.  In order to reinforce and make CDM–type initiatives more acceptable globally, it would enhance the carbon markets if everyone played on a level played field.

GHG emissions and reductions have today become a commodity with a clear need for an infrastructure to support carbon initiatives. An industry base of competent, credible GHG verifiers and GHG quantifiers is required to support emerging market mechanisms.

There is a major shortage of qualified carbon verifiers in the market, as the following survey highlights indicate:

  • 80% said not enough professionals in this area
  • 80% said likely Enron-type scandal could emerge
  • 80% said area will be professionalized in next few years

This shortage of skilled and competent professionals is going to magnify in the medium term. The large consultancies DNV, SGS, KPMG, PWC, Ernst & Young, WYG, Mott MacDonald and many others are taking an interest in this area. As demand balloons, employment opportunities are likely to materialise within these organisations and within their larger client companies.  Competent individuals would also be able to verify and provide consultancy services of their own accord. 

So what is the process to demonstrate competence in this new field? Well, high quality training is available to help fill this skills gap in the main GHG sectors of:

  • GHG Inventories
  • GHG Projects
  • GHG Validation and Verification

If an individual obtains the necessary grade in ISO 16064 exams, they are provided with a Certificate of Distinction, which permits them to be considered as having the necessary knowledge to carry out Quantification, Projects or Verification Programme for any organisation in any location, in any jurisdiction in any industry sector, globally. This is the benefit of the ISO 14064 standard.

In addition GHG professionals having gone through a rigorous training program can apply for a Personal Certification qualification – recently developed by the Canadian Standards Association and approved by the American National Standards Association (ANSI).  This is facilitated in Europe by Carbon Action.

Carbon Action trains carbon specialists to prepare them for professional work and to take Personal Certification Programs.


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