Measuring, reporting and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions

Quick and detailed guidance to help New Zealand organisations measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions. Plus guidance on how to credibly and robustly offset greenhouse gas emissions.



Measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions

Why measure your emissions?

Measuring and reporting emissions can help your organisation to:

  • increase its awareness of energy and resource use
  • identify greater efficiencies and cost savings and lower resource use
  • manage risks more effectively
  • demonstrate social responsibility
  • identify business opportunities
  • develop a competitive edge
  • inspire peers and motivate others 
  • prepare for potential disclosure requirements
  • be transparent and communicate impacts to its customers
  • contribute more effectively to New Zealand’s collective effort to reduce its emissions.

Read about the experiences of three organisations measuring and reporting their emissions

7 steps to measure your emissions










An outline of the steps your organisation can take to measure and report its emissions. For more information see the quick or detailed guide.

Guidance documents

This guidance is for organisations of all sizes and levels of expertise. This includes organisations measuring their emissions for the first time and those producing their latest greenhouse gas emissions report.

The go-to document to find out how to produce an inventory, what data you need to work out emissions from your activities and what has changed since the last update.

Quick look-up tables providing the main emission factors for each emission source.

Use this to work out your organisation’s emissions and produce an inventory (simply input your activity data).

Support documents

These are also available from the linked web pages above.

For users who need to know the methodologies used to work out the emission factors for each emission source.

As per the Emissions factor summary above but in Excel format across multiple tabs.

Simple format for integration with software.

What a finished inventory report might look like.

What a finished inventory might look like.

About the guidance

  • This 2020 guidance uses the 2019 national inventory as the basis for its emission factors which draws on 2018 data.
  • This guide does not represent or form part of, any mandatory reporting framework or scheme.
  • This information is not appropriate for use in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). Organisations required to participate in the NZ ETS need to comply with the scheme-specific reporting requirements. The NZ ETS regulations determine which emission factors and methods to use to calculate and report emissions.

Feedback on the guidance 

Understanding our users’ needs enables us to make future improvements to this guidance.

Email your feedback to

Related information

Measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions: Organisations share their experiences

Annual series for guidance for voluntary greenhouse gas reporting

Voluntary emissions offsetting

Why offset emissions?

Many New Zealand organisations are working to become carbon neutral. Their efforts will help international ambitions to limit global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees this century under the Paris Agreement. To be carbon neutral, an organisation needs to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Voluntary emissions offsetting allows an organisation or individual to buy or use certified greenhouse gas emissions reductions or removals that were achieved through actions that reduce emissions. These emissions reductions or removals can offset an organisation's carbon footprint. For example, an organisation could fund native forest regeneration, which will remove CO2 from the atmosphere. The CO2 removed from this forest can offset their organisation’s carbon footprint. 

About the guidance

This guidance outlines steps and principles New Zealand organisations can take to ensure any voluntary offsetting of emissions is done credibly. Before offsetting, organisations should measure their own emissions, then reduce them as much as is practical. Only after these steps have been taken should remaining emissions be offset.