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1. Guidance on reporting

1.1   Introduction

This publication has been prepared to meet demand for guidance on voluntary, corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting, including emission factors to facilitate this.

It is intended to encourage best practice in GHG monitoring and reporting and to support voluntary GHG reporting initiatives. Its purpose is both to endorse the referenced reporting frameworks and to provide information (emission factors and methods) to enable organisations to apply them.

This guide will be regularly updated in order to maintain consistency with international best practice and the New Zealand Government’s national greenhouse gas inventory reporting.

1.2   Who is this guide intended for?

This guide is intended to assist those who wish to voluntarily monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions on an organisational (sometimes called “corporate” or “entity” level) basis for their New Zealand operations.

Note that this guidance publication is solely intended for use in voluntary GHG reporting and does not represent, or form part of, a mandatory reporting framework or scheme.

The emission factors and methods contained in this guide are provided for emission sources deemed common for commercial organisations; however, this guide also applies to industrial organisations who wish to voluntarily report on the same emission sources.

These emission factors and methods are not appropriate for a full life cycle assessment or for the purposes of complying with the British Standards Institution PAS 2050 product carbon footprinting standard, or with the draft International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 14067 standard on the carbon footprint of products.1

1.3   Is this information for use in an emissions trading scheme (ETS)?

No. The information in this guide is intended to help organisations who want to monitor and report their greenhouse gas emissions on a voluntary basis. Organisations that are required to participate in a mandatory emissions trading scheme will need to comply with the reporting requirements specific to that scheme.

Firms with obligations to report greenhouse gases under mandatory schemes (including emissions trading) or who choose to participate in voluntary greenhouse gas emission reporting schemes should check the rules and requirements of those schemes.

The information in this guide may, however, be useful to firms that have a reporting obligation under an emissions trading scheme for a particular activity within their business, but still wish to publish comprehensive emission reports for their organisation on a voluntary basis. Although this monitoring and reporting would not constitute compliance with an emissions trading scheme, it may be useful to help organisations prepare for, or understand how, an emissions trading scheme might impact on their business.

1.4   What rules should I follow to monitor and report emissions?

The Ministry for the Environment (the Ministry) recommends firms use the Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (The GHG Protocol) or ISO 14064-1:2006 Greenhouse gasesPart 1 Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions (ISO 14064-1).

The GHG Protocol is a standard developed jointly by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It is available at

The ISO 14064-1 standard is published by the International Standards Organisation. This standard is closely based on The GHG Protocol.

The Ministry for the Environment endorses both The GHG Protocol and ISO 14064-1 for voluntary corporate GHG monitoring and reporting.

1.5   What do The GHG Protocol and ISO 14064-1 cover?

These standards provide comprehensive guidance on the core issues of GHG monitoring and reporting, at an organisational level, including:

  • principles underlying monitoring and reporting
  • setting organisational boundaries
  • setting operational boundaries
  • establishing a base year
  • managing the quality of a GHG inventory
  • content of GHG reports.

1.6   What is the difference between these standards?

ISO 14064-1 is a shorter, more direct document than The GHG Protocol, which is more descriptive and discusses, for example, motivational reasons for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. ISO 14064-1 refers users to The GHG Protocol for further detail on some issues.

In general, those choosing to report against the ISO standard would usefully be informed by reading The GHG Protocol for context.

1.7   What other information do I need?

In order to report emissions, organisations require a method of converting data they gather about activities (eg, vehicle travel) in their organisation into information about their emissions (or tonnes of CO2-equivalent). These methods involve using what are sometimes called “emission factors”. An emission factor allows GHG emissions to be estimated from a unit of available activity data (eg, litres of fuel consumed).

Emission factors are available from a number of sources (including from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative website). However, there has been demand for the Ministry to publish a consistent list of emission factors and methods (how the emission factors should be applied) specifically for use in New Zealand, for common corporate emission sources.

This guide draws on technical information provided by New Zealand government agencies, and presents it in a form suitable for voluntary, corporate GHG reporting. It also uses some international data where New Zealand-specific information is not yet available.

This guide provides emission factors and methods for common emission sources, for the most recent calendar year. The Ministry will update the information on emission factors annually.

This guide also details how these emission factors were derived and assumptions surrounding their use.

1.8   Verification

1.8.1   Should I have my emissions inventory verified?

The term “verification” is generally used to refer to scrutiny by a suitably qualified, independent body or person to confirm the extent to which an emissions inventory is a fair representation of the actual situation.

Verification provides you and your stakeholders with confidence about the accuracy of an emissions inventory. If an emissions inventory is intended for public release then the Ministry for the Environment recommends that firms obtain independent verification of the inventory to confirm that calculations are accurate, and the correct methodology has been followed.

1.8.2   Who should verify my inventory?

An accreditation framework has been developed by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) which accredits verifiers to the ISO 14065 standard. This confirms that these verifiers are suitably qualified and enables them to certify an inventory as being prepared in accordance with ISO 14064-1.2

The Ministry recommends that organisations use verifiers who:

  • are independent
  • are members of a suitable professional organisation
  • can demonstrate they have experience with emissions inventories
  • understand ISO 14064 and The GHG Protocol
  • have effective internal peer review and quality control procedures. 

Firms that have achieved the status of Designated Operational Entity (DOE) and/or Accredited Independent Entity (AIE) under the Kyoto Protocol framework will have experience in verifying greenhouse gas emission reductions on a project basis.3 While verification of greenhouse gas emission reductions from projects is a different task than verification of organisation-level greenhouse gas emissions inventories, there are many similarities, and providers who have achieved DOE or AIE status will have many of the competencies required to verify emissions inventories.

Verification should be undertaken by independent organisations who can demonstrate they have experience with emissions inventories, ISO 14064 and The GHG Protocol.

1. The United Kingdom Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) publish emission factors for a number of emissions sources that take into account the life cycle of those activities.

2. Accredited bodies under the JAS-ANZ Register may be found at:

3. A list of DOEs can be found at