Program Basics

Members calculated their GHG emissions on an annual basis according to the California Registry’s protocols. They reported both direct and indirect emissions, as defined in the California Registry’s General Reporting Protocol. Emission sources required to be reported include:
Indirect emissions from:

  • Purchased electricity
  • Purchased co-generation, imported steam
  • District heating/cooling

Direct emissions from:

  • Stationary combustion
  • Mobile combustion
  • Industry-specific process emissions
  • Industry-specific fugitive releases

Common sources of GHG emissions include electricity use (indirect emissions from purchased electricity), natural gas combustion for heating (direct emissions from stationary combustion), and fuel use in company fleet vehicles (direct emissions from mobile combustion).
California Registry members were only required to report CO2 for the first three years of reporting, but must have reported all six Kyoto gases starting in their fourth year (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6).
California Registry members were only required to report emissions from operations located within California, although many organizations chose to report all of their U.S. emissions, or even all of their emissions worldwide.
Once all of their emission sources were identified and back-up documentation on annual consumption collected, members used the calculation methodologies found in the California Registry protocols to calculate their GHG emissions.

Members reported annual GHG emissions data to the California Registry using the Climate Action Registry Reporting On-Line Tool (CARROT). The California Registry developed this web-based software to calculate members’ GHG emissions data.  CARROT uses built-in emission factors and conversion factors to automate calculation of GHG inventories and improve consistency and comparability. Users input annual energy usage data (i.e. kWh of electricity or MMBtu of natural gas) and CARROT calculates the associated GHG emissions.
CARROT allows the public to view entity-level emissions data for organizations that report to the California Registry. Once a member’s annual emissions report is verified, public users can utilize CARROT to see a company’s GHG emissions broken down by emission category (indirect, direct mobile, direct stationary, direct process and direct fugitive emissions) and by gas. View Public Reports.

Members were required to have their emission reports verified by a California Registry approved third-party verification body every year. Beginning December 31, 2009, all verification bodies were required to be ISO 14065 accredited through ANSI, enrolled in the program or ARB accredited to be eligible to perform the verification of California Registry inventories. (See list of approved verifiers)

Verification ensures that reported emissions meet the California Registry’s reporting requirements and achieve a minimum quality standard (95 percent accuracy). Independent third-party verification is integral to the California Registry’s program in maintaining accuracy within the reported data for early action compliance under future state, federal, and international GHG regulations.

Core verification activities include:

  • Identifying an organization’s emission sources (to check for the omission of sources)
  • Reviewing its management systems & methodologies
  • Verifying its emission estimates

The California Registry’s General Reporting Protocol and General Verification Protocol provide more information on the verification process.