PCF 2024.01.20
The GHG Protocol and CBAM: Emissions Calculations & Reporting

By Glassdome

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We looked at the basics of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in our overview. We examined how to collect and inventory your data in our Data Collection & Inventory Development insight. Now it’s time to calculate your emissions and report your findings.

GHG Emission Calculations

GHG Protocol and CBAM

Once an inventory is developed (for either methodology), the next step is to calculate the GHG emissions associated with each data input/output. Fortunately for us all, the GHG Protocol and CBAM use the same math.


The following equation is typically used to calculate the GHG emissions associated with a particular process:


GHG emissions = Activity Data x Emission Factor


For example, take a car using 13 gallons of gasoline in one week. Its emissions would be calculated in the following manner:


GHG emissions = (13 gallons gasoline) x (8.887 × 10-3 metric tons CO2eq/gallon of gasoline*) = 0.12 metric tons CO2eq


*The emission factor value used here is provided by the US EPA: Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator - Calculations and References


This means that 0.12 metric tons of carbon dioxide are emitted in a week of using 13 gallons of gasoline. 


The total GHG emissions for an inventory are determined by adding together all of the individual processes involved in the production, transportation, and use of goods or services. That’s true whether an organization is calculating corporate emissions or emissions related to a specific CBAM goods sector.


This comprehensive approach allows for a thorough assessment of the environmental impact. So you can consider each step of the supply chain and identify areas where you can reduce emissions.



You’ve done your inventory, collected your data, and calculated your emissions. It’s time to report them back.


The crucial difference in GHG Protocol and CBAM reporting lies in identifying the relevant activity data for the chosen reporting methodology.

GHG Protocol 

Reporting under the GHG Protocol is voluntary. It helps organizations assess their environmental impact and set emission reduction targets.


Under the GHG Protocol, the company measuring its emissions is the reporting entity. Reporting includes:

  • Detailed emissions data for Scopes 1, 2, and 3.
  • Additional relevant information such as intensity metrics, emissions reduction initiatives, and contextual information about the organization.

Detailed guidance is available here


Reporting under CBAM protocol is required quarterly by the European Union. It’s designed to help monitor carbon leakage and ensure fair trade.

CBAM is focused on the carbon intensity of products rather than the overall greenhouse gas emissions of the companies involved. Reporting (as of 1/20/2024) includes the:

  • Total quantity of each type of CBAM good
  • Actual total embedded emissions
  • Total indirect emissions
  • Carbon price due in the country of origin for embedded emissions in the CBAM goods

According to the CBAM guidance documents, a reporting declarant is responsible for reporting the embedded emissions. Examples of a reporting declarant include:

  • Importer: the company or person bringing in the CBAM goods.
  • Authorized Person: someone with special permission to handle customs paperwork who can declare the importation of goods.
  • Indirect Customs Representative: an importer located outside the EU or if the importer has agreed to let someone else handle the customs declaration.

Additional guidance regarding reporting under CBAM can be found here.

In Conclusion

Navigating new regulations can be daunting and full of unforeseen challenges.


At Glassdome, our dedicated team of experts is committed to guiding manufacturers through regulatory complexities, offering comprehensive support, validation and reporting.


Whether you are looking for a Life Cycle Assessment, Product Carbon Footprint, or just need help with evolving regulations like CBAM, Glassdome’s cloud-based platform is engineered to integrate with existing manufacturing and reporting systems at any point in your sustainability journey.


 Learn more about our emission tracking software and start getting greener and more compliant today.


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