Select Page

Climate Strategy Tool

Make your GHG reporting credible by connecting it to project-specific LCA data

Bridge the gap between LCA data and GHG reporting

Project-specific life-cycle assessment (LCA) data is as high quality as greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting data gets. Making use of this data is essential to be able to demonstrate your improvements and to report meaningful figures towards your company objectives as well as to your stakeholders.

If your business is involved in the built environment and reporting GHG emissions, you very likely need to translate project-specific LCA data to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol scopes and categories.

It can be daunting to apply LCA data to GHG Protocol reporting because of core differences in approach between the GHG Protocol and construction LCAs. One Click LCA’s Climate Strategy Tool solves this problem by reliably translating your LCA project data into GHG reporting in line with the GHG Protocol.

How the GHG Protocol works

The GHG Protocol groups emissions sources according to whether or not they are direct emissions from sources controlled by the reporting organisation.

Results are reported as: Direct emissions (Scope 1); Indirect Emissions from Energy (Scope 2), or; Indirect Emissions (Scope 3). Scope 3 itself is further split into 15 different categories based on the type of activity.

The GHG Protocol reports emissions based on the period in which they arose, often a calendar year or a quarter. Where future emissions are locked-in by sold products, they are accounted for in Scope 3 emissions in specific categories.

How LCAs differ from the GHG protocol

Construction LCAs apply a completely different approach to the GHG Protocol. There are three main differences:

  1. In an LCA it doesn’t matter who controls an activity, just the fact that it happens. 
  2. LCA results are grouped into life-cycle stages A to D, covering phases from manufacture to end-of-life and impacts beyond the system boundary.
  3. The standard emission factors basis is different: Scopes 1 and 2 of GHG reporting only take into account direct (combustion) emissions from the six Kyoto protocol gases, whereas LCAs always use life-cycle based emission factors and consider all GHG gases.

How LCA results differ from GHG Protocol reporting

Who controls the emissions-releasing activity

The GHG Protocol groups emissions into three scopes according to who controls the activity: the reporting company or a separate organisation. By contrast, an LCA is not concerned with who controls an activity, just the fact that it happens.

The three GHG Protocol scopes are:

  • Scope 1: direct emissions released as a result of company activities.
  • Scope 2: indirect emissions from purchased energy.
  • Scope 3: all other indirect emissions, not included in scope 2.

When emissions are reported

An LCA looks at the entire life-cycle of a product or service. whereas the GHG Protocol reports emissions based on the period in which they arose. This is often a calendar year or a quarter. Where future emissions are locked-in to sold products, they are accounted for in Scope 3 emissions in specific categories.

Construction LCA results are grouped into life-cycle stages ranging from A to D, covering life-cycle phases from construction to use phase to end of life and impacts beyond the system boundary. 

Which emissions are reported

The standard emission factors basis is different between the GHG Protocol and construction LCAs.

GHG Protocol Scopes 1 and 2 only cover direct combustion emissions from the 7 Kyoto protocol gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PCFs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

Whereas LCAs always use life-cycle based emission factors and consider all GHG gases.

Introducing One Click LCA’s Climate Strategy Tool

Generate reliable GHG reports directly from project LCA data

The One Click LCA Climate Strategy Tool solves the problem of translating LCA results for GHG reporting reliably.

Use your existing project LCA data

Project LCA data is the highest quality GHG data available. Import your LCA results into the tool for accurate GHG reporting.

Select the activities you control

Tick off all the project activities that are owned or controlled by your organisation and which are controlled by a third party, for example a supplier.

Get GHG reporting-ready results

Generate results in a format that meets the requirements of the GHG Protocol reporting. 

The tool is compatible with any standards-aligned One Click LCA Building LCA tool and is available as part of the One Click LCA Carbon Strategy Pack. It does not apply future emissions discounting and it separates biogenic carbon emissions. The tool currently has limited compatibility with our RE2020 and Énergie Carbone tools. Only building materials are directly transposed to GHG Protocol reporting when using these tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to use LCA data for GHG reporting?

Project-specific life-cycle assessment (LCA) data is the most accurate greenhouse gas (GHG) data available. Using this data in GHG reporting enables companies to demonstrate improvements and report meaningful figures towards corporate climate strategy objectives and to comply with GHG reporting initiatives including the GHG Protocol and GRESB.

What emission sources can be reported?
    • You can report emission sources according to ISO 14069, the GHG protocol, and CDP standard categories. These include:
  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from stationary and mobile combustion sources, fugitive emissions, processes and biomass emissions
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from electricity, heating and cooling consumption
  • Scope 3: Purchased goods and services, capital goods, waste, business travel and commuting , investments, freight, use and end-of-life of sold products, downstream leasing and franchises
What emissions data is included?
One Click LCA integrates emissions factors for energy (IEA, local energy agencies and providers, and One Click LCA’s own datasets), goods and services (DEFRA, WWF, Base Carbone), extended capital goods from the Carbon Heroes Benchmark Program, and additional datasets.

You can also add your private emission factor data or ask us to add compliant data for your sector if anything is missing.

Not all data sources break down data based on gases, and in such cases, the assessment considers all greenhouse gases. The assessment considers at a minimum all Kyoto Protocol gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3) on a 100-year timeframe.

How does GHG reporting differ from life-cycle assessment?

The GHG Protocol groups emissions into different scopes according to who directly controls the emissions-releasing activity – the reporting company or another organisation. By contrast, an LCA is not concerned with who controls an activity, just that it happens.

The standard emission factors basis is different: The GHG Protocol scopes 1 and 2 only take into account direct (combustion) emissions, whereas LCAs always use life-cycle based emission factors and consider all GHG gases.

The GHG Protocol reports emissions based on the period in which they arose, often a calendar year or a quarter. Where future emissions are locked-in by sold products, they are accounted for in Scope 3 emissions in specific categories. An LCA looks at the entire life-cycle of a product or service: from first manufacture to end-of-life, as well as impacts beyond the system boundary. LCA results are grouped into life-cycle modules A to D.

Can this be added to One Click LCA for Buildings or Products license?

Yes. One Click LCA Climate Strategy Tool is available as an add-on to all One Click LCA licenses, both for named user and floating user licenses.

Is this suitable for consultants?
Yes. Consultants can work on as many client assignments as needed.

Get started today with

One Click LCA Climate Strategy Tool

Resource Hub

Ebook, Guides & Webinars

A one-stop hub for everything you need to know about building life cycle assessment, data, and business cases around low-carbon design & construction.