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GRI 305: Emissions 2016

GRI 305 talks about emissions into air, which are the discharge of substances from a source into the atmosphere.

Robin Sigl avatar
Written by Robin Sigl
Updated over a week ago
Universal Reporting Standard GRI 305: Emissions 2016 with purple colour background

GRI 305: Emissions 2016

Contains disclosures for organizations to report information about their emissions-related impacts, and how they manage these impacts 💥.

The Standard is structured as follows:

  • Section 1 contains requirements, which provide information about how the organization manages its emissions-related impacts.

  • Section 2 contains seven disclosures, which provide information about the organization’s emissions-related impacts.

  • The Glossary contains defined terms with a specific meaning when used in the GRI Standards. The terms are underlined in the text of the GRI Standards and linked to the definitions.

  • The Bibliography lists authoritative intergovernmental instruments and additional references used in developing this Standard.

The rest of the Introduction section provides a background on the topic, an overview of the system of GRI Standards, and further information on using this Standard.

Background on the topic

This Standard addresses emissions into the air, which are the discharge of substances from a source into the atmosphere. Types of emissions include greenhouse gas (GHG), ozone-depleting substances (ODS), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and sulfur oxides (SOX), among other significant air emissions.

GHG emissions are a major contributor to climate change and are governed by the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change’ and the subsequent UN Kyoto Protocol.

This Standard covers the following GHGs:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)

  • Methane (CH4)

  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)

  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

  • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)

  • Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)

Some GHGs, including methane, are also air pollutants that have significant negative impacts on ecosystems, air quality, agriculture, and human and animal health.

As a result, different national and international regulations and incentive systems, such as emissions trading, aim to control the volume and reward the reduction of GHG emissions. The requirements for GHG emissions in this Standard are based on the requirements of the ‘GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol Corporate Standard) and the GHG Protocol Corporate Value

Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain Standard). These two standards are part of the GHG Protocol developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The GHG Protocol has established a classification of GHG emissions called Scope: Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3.

The GHG emissions standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 14064, represents these classifications of Scope with the following terms:

  • Direct GHG emissions = Scope 1

  • Energy indirect GHG emissions = Scope 2

  • Other indirect GHG emissions = Scope 3

In this Standard, these terms are combined in the following way, as defined in the Glossary section:

  • Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions

  • Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions

  • Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions

Ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

The ozone layer filters out most of the sun’s biologically harmful ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation. Observed and projected ozone depletion due to ODS generates worldwide concern. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) regulates the phase-out of ODS


Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOX), and other significant air emissions

Pollutants such as NO and SO have negative impacts on climate, ecosystems, air quality, habitats, agriculture, and human and animal health. Deterioration of air quality, acidification, forest degradation, and public health concerns have led to local and international regulations to control emissions of these pollutants.

Reductions in the emission of regulated pollutants lead to improved health conditions for workers and local communities and can enhance relations with affected stakeholders. In regions with emission caps, the volume of emissions also has direct cost implications.

Other significant air emissions include, for example, persistent organic pollutants or particulate matter, as well as air emissions that are regulated under international conventions and/or national laws or regulations, including those listed on an organization’s environmental permits.

To learn more about GRI 305: Emissions 2016, click the button below to download the complete version 👇.

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