Designed for voluntary and self reporting by the reporting entities, the Guidelines have been mapped out by making reference to two well accepted international protocols, “the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard” of the World Resources Institute/World Business Council on Sustainable Development and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14064-1, to ensure its consistency with international practice.
The Guidelines are intended primarily to be used to account for and to report on emissions and removals from buildings which are entirely used for commercial or residential purposes. They are also applicable to most of the buildings used for institutional purposes, which include schools/universities, community centres, sports complexes, etc. However, the Guidelines may not be applicable to buildings for industrial or other special purposes because of the complexities of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting processes in these buildings.
Carbon Audit Guidelines
As the first essential step in the reporting process, the Guidelines provide guidance for the reporting entities to determine the physical boundary and to identify operations for reporting purpose. In line with other international protocols mentioned in paragraph 4 above, all operations in relation to direct emissions and removals (the Scope 1, see Note) and energy-related indirect emissions (the Scope 2, see Note) are required to be accounted for and reported. The report of other indirect emissions (the Scope 3, see Note) is optional.
The Guidelines also set out local conversion factors for estimating GHG emissions of some common operations to facilitate reporting entities to quantify their GHG emissions and removals. The approaches and conversion factors in the Guidelines cover Scope 1 and Scope 2 operations which are commonly found in Hong Kong buildings. Additional approaches and conversion factors for some of the Scope 3 operations such as electricity consumption for processing fresh water and sewerage, as well as methane production at landfills due to paper waste are also included in the draft Guidelines to facilitate those users who wish to cover indirect emissions from these sources in their reports.
A sample reporting format, together with summary tables on emissions and removals, as well as guidance on reporting, is provided in the Guidelines to facilitate reporting entities to prepare the necessary document to report on their GHG emissions.
Some examples of Scope 1 operations are on-site electricity generators, boilers, gas stoves, dedicated motor vehicle fleets, leakage from refrigeration systems, and additional trees planted on site.
Scope 2 operations include production and transportation of electricity and Towngas purchased by the buildings.
Some examples of Scope 3 operations are commuting and business travel by employees; transportation of products, materials, people or waste by third parties; outsourced activities; GHG emissions arising from the production and distribution of energy products, other than those covered under Scope 2; GHG emissions from production of purchased materials and products.
To download a copy of the revised Guidelines, please click here