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Greenhouse Gas Protocols

Authoritative guidance for communities to account for carbon pollution accurately and consistently. 

Useful For

Local Governments

and their technical staff and consultants to complete inventories.

Academic Researchers

and other organizations seeking to understand how local GHG inventories are compiled

State Agencies

looking for a standardized approach to local GHG accounting across their state.

The Sustainable Communities Suite- U.S. Community Protocol Family

ICLEI USA has worked closely with the U.S. Community Protocol Steering Committee to develop the Sustainable Communities Suite to support communities with a snapshot of mitigation, adaptation and equity analyses. This Suite will provide guidance for conducting a community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions profile, equity assessment and climate vulnerability assessment. Communities can start thinking about their GHG emissions, equity, and climate change adaptation in their local context with support from the Sustainable Communities Suite.

The Protocols

U.S. Community Protocol

This is the rulebook for community-scale inventories, with detailed methods tailored to the needs and data availability of US local governments. The protocol was updated in 2019, adding guidance on accounting for emissions and removal of carbon from the atmosphere due to forests and trees.

Global Protocol for Community-scale GHG Emissions (GPC)

The rulebook for community-scale inventories for local governments wanting to be aligned with their global peers.

Local Government Operations (LGO) Protocol

The rulebook for accounting for GHG emissions associated with local government operated buildings, vehicles, and other operations.

Recycling and Composting Protocol

This is a supplement to the US Community Protocol, allowing communities to estimate upstream emissions benefits from recycling, composting and waste reduction efforts.

We have protocol experts so you don’t have to be

The protocols are necessarily long technical documents, needing to cover a wide range of cases with precision.  We provide members focused training to help you easily learn what you need to know to complete a greenhouse gas inventory, and our experts are on call when questions come up.