Several organizations (e.g., RTCs, CCSD, WCSD, cities, CCDOA), including several private entities (and in 2020, NDOT), have completed GHG emissions inventories of agency operations. These include assessments of GHG Protocol Scope 1 (direct emissions associated with burning fossil fuels, such as natural gas for space heating and hot water or gasoline and diesel for internal combustion engine cars ), Scope 2 (indirect emissions associated with purchased energy, especially for electricity consumption ), and in limited cases Scope 3 (emissions associated with upstream and downstream supply-chain) emissions sources.
Platforms and reporting mechanisms used include those provided by the Carbon Footprint Registry (formerly the Climate Registry), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), and the EPA Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator.
These detailed, bottom-up inventories are very important to understand the carbon footprint of individual government agencies and individual entity operations. They provide the underlying basis for illustrating and defining “lead-by-example” practices and help to identify opportunities for improvements in efficiency, cost-savings, and procurement policies that can reduce GHG emissions. However, these inventories are limited in their potential to contribute to statewide inventories across all sectors or for understanding the relative impact of policies across sectors and jurisdictions.