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THE GSES system
The CO2 pillar of GSE-Standard is for the most part based on ISO 14064-1:2019 and ISO 50001:2018. The GSES CO2 pillar standard further contains specific requirements for reporting and verification of the organization’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and CO2 offset/compensation.
Each organization is responsible for a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions (either direct or indirect). What organizations can do is:
- Minimizing their own GHG emissions (using less fossil fuel, increase share of sustainable electricity),
- Compensation of CO2 (e.g. via planting of trees)
- Prepare for a changing climate (adaptation).
By working on the CO2 Pillar of the GSE-Standard, an organization can contribute to the realization of the following SDGs: 7, 13 and 17.
CO2 Pillar content
The CO2 Pillar checks context analysis in the same way as the other pillars:
- Issues (both internal and external) related to CO2 and the value chain need to be analysed.
- The organization should identify the stakeholders who are directly or indirectly involved.
- After the context and stakeholder analysis, CO2 specific risks and opportunities should be addressed
The Pillar checks if management is committed and shows leadership with regard to CO2.
According to this standard, a company’s policy must include:
- policies for climate and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.).
- involving employees in their greenhouse gas policy
- as a plan to eventually do as much as possible in a CO2-neutral way
- quantitative targets against which actions and results in terms of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be assessed
- communicating with their suppliers and customers about greenhouse gas and climate emissions
ISO 26000 has ordered CSR into seven interrelated core subjects:
• Management of the organization (governance)
• Human rights
• Working conditions/labour practices
• The environment
• Fair operating practices
• Consumer issues
• Involvement with and community development
In the CSR assessment it is checked which of these subjects are addressed in the company policy.
To support choosing the actions with the most impact, insight is required. Starting with a scope analysis enables the organization to map its current ‘greenhouse gas footprint’. The emission flows can be divided into three different scopes:
- Scope 1: these are direct emissions; emissions as a result of activities within the organization itself. This includes diesel generators, fuel consumption such as petrol, diesel and gas, heating installations, but also coolant in cooling equipment.
- Scope 2: these are indirect emissions; the emissions are generated elsewhere. Examples of this are purchased electricity consumption, air travel or fuel consumption of rental cars.
- Scope 3: this concerns indirect emissions that are generated in the supply chain.
The CO2 Pillar asks about which scopes have been including and if CO2 management is implemented and supported by:
- a practical action plan for CO2 that is regularly reviewed and updated;
- a CO2 management system and;
- training and education of employees in CO2 management and tooling.
Looking at what an organization actually achieves, the CO2 Pillar asks about:
- Reduction of the CO2 emissions from their building(s), and – if applicable – site(s)/factories, fleet and vehicle fleet.
- Use of renewable energy produced from wind or sun, produced by themselves or purchased with guarantees of domestic origin.
- The proportion of CO2 emissions from energy use, mobility and transport that is compensated for and a plan to maximize the compensation of CO2 emissions in scope 1, 2 and 3
- Energy-neutrality and energy-generating = 20 points
- Encouragement of parties in their value chain to reduce CO2 emissions
The GSES system checks if performance is measured, monitored and assessed with quantitative targets, if this assessment is audited and if the organization draws conclusions from the assessment and works towards continuous improvement.