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50001 Ready Decarbonization Management Guidance

The 50001 Ready Decarbonization Management Guidance provides additional guidance for organizations seeking to use 50001 Ready to manage their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

In the US, nearly 80% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are energy related. For organizations, these emissions can come from:

  • Direct GHG emissions from the combustion of energy (e.g. natural gas used in process heating) at the facility.
  • Indirect GHG emissions that come from consumption of delivered energy (e.g. electricity consumed) at the facility.
  • Indirect GHG emissions that come from energy consumed by activities (e.g. outsourced production processes) throughout an organization’s value chain.

50001 Ready Navigator is designed to help industrial, commercial, and institutional organizations improve their energy performance by implementing a structured energy management system (EnMS). For any facility that is interested in reducing GHG emissions, 50001 Ready Navigator provides guidance on managing and lowering energy-related GHG emissions through the EnMS. Specifically, the 50001 Ready Navigator provides guidance for facilities and organizations to:

  1. Develop or improve a data collection, analysis, and reporting process for energy-related GHG emissions.
  2. Establish a systematic approach to managing and reducing energy-related GHG emissions.

This systematic approach can help facilities and organizations:

  1. Align internal systems, processes, and stakeholders to more effectively and efficiently reduce energy-related GHG emissions.
  2. Improve the quality and rigor of energy-related GHG emissions data and information shared internally and with key stakeholders such as regulatory authorities, customers and investors.
  3. Create a culture for continual improvement of energy and GHG emissions performance, capture synergies among various investments (e.g. energy efficiency and renewable energy), and create sustained energy and cost savings.

Organizations that are interested in using Navigator to manage energy-related GHGs should first read the energy management guidance given for each task and then read the recommendations given in the “Decarbonization” tab for each task. Recommendations in each task are separated into how to:

  1. Enhance an existing 50001 Ready-based energy management system to consider the management of energy-related GHG emissions.
  2. Incorporate the management of energy-related GHG emissions when developing a 50001 Ready energy management system.

The 50001 Ready Navigator decarbonization guidance is enhanced with DOE's Framework for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Planning (ERP) guidance. The ERP Framework has been developed for both industrial and commercial companies. Coupling the technical specifics from the ERP Framework with the business practice guidance from 50001 Ready provides sound footing for lasting organizational change and deep GHG reductions. By using these resources in parallel, an organization will create a detailed portfolio-level plan for emissions reduction, and it will have the organizational structures to implement the plan successfully over time. Details of how the ERP Framework and 50001 Ready Navigator work together can be found in this fact sheet. Language used in the commercial and industrial ERP Frameworks can be found in the “Decarbonization” tab for relevant 50001 Ready Navigator tasks.

An organization might face other climate-related challenges and risks beyond those arising from its energy-related GHG emissions. These could include facility damage from sea-level rise, higher likelihood of storm damage or mandated decreased use of HFCs. These challenges are not directly addressed by the expanded use of Navigator presented here.

Following the 50001 Ready Decarbonization Management Guidance is not necessary to obtain DOE 50001 Ready recognition. Please see recognition requirements on the 50001 Ready Navigator Recognition Requirements page.

To access the 50001 Ready Decarbonization Management Guidance select the “Decarbonization” tab on any of the 25 Navigator tasks.

Decarbonization Tab

Resources Referenced in the 50001 Ready Decarbonization Management Guidance

This table provides a list of additional resources that can be helpful to organizations that want to comprehensively manage energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through an energy management system.

Organization Resource Description
CDP CDP Disclosure Guidance for Companies CDP Disclosure Guidance for Companies contains information on responding to requests for disclosure from investors or customers, including a section on climate risks. The CDP also published the CDP report on company reported climate risks and opportunities.
Major Risk or Rosy Opportunity: Are companies ready for climate change? This CDP report analyzes responses from companies to CDP’s questionnaire and focuses on the risks and opportunities organizations may face from climate change and its potential financial implications.
CDP Climate Change responses Many companies (including all companies with a CDP score of “A”) make their CDP disclosures public on CDP’s websites. Review publicly available reports from companies around the world for details on the types of energy and energy-related GHG improvement opportunities are being implemented.
CERES Chapter on Business Accountability in Ceres Roadmap 2030 A 10-year action plan for sustainable business leadership, outlines how integration of sustainability risks and opportunities into governance systems enables opportunity for improved performance, risk mitigation, cost reduction, increased revenue and competitive differentiation.
Environmental Protection Agency Corporate GHG Inventorying and Target Setting Self-Assessment This technical resource is designed to help organizations evaluate their approaches to GHG inventorying and target-setting.
Sustainable Materials Management Prioritization Tools These life cycle-based tools are designed to quickly help highlight potentially significant environmental issues and hotspots and improvement opportunities (including energy and energy-related GHG hotspots and opportunities) in the production and consumption of goods and services. They can provide a useful starting place to help consider potential opportunities and prioritize actions before more detailed analyses for selected actions are performed.
Small Business and Low Emitter Guide to Greenhouse Gas Management This document provides an overview of the four steps to developing a GHG inventory. It is intended for small businesses and low emitters, but the concepts are applicable to all organizations. It is one of several resources EPA has developed as part of its Inventory for Low Emitters.
GHG Emission Factors Hub EPA’s GHG Emission Factors Hub provides a regularly updated, easy-to-use, and consolidated set of default emission factors with streamlined units for organizational GHG reporting.
Environmental Protection Agency Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator EPA’s Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator is designed as a simplified calculation tool to help small business and low emitter organizations estimate and inventory their annual GHG emissions. The calculator will determine the direct and indirect emissions from all sources at a company when activity data are entered into the various sections of the workbook for one annual period.
Scope 1 and Scope 2 Inventory Guidance EPA’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 Guidance provides methods to calculate and report GHG emissions from these sources.
Scope 3 Inventory Guidance EPA’s Scope 3 Inventory Guidance provides resources and emission factors to help organizations develop a scope 3 emissions inventory.
EPA Scope 1 guidance for identifying and estimating stationary combustion emissions Guidance for calculating direct emissions from stationary combustion sources.
EPA Scope 1 guidance for identifying and estimating mobile combustion emissions Guidance for calculating direct emissions from mobile combustion sources.
GHG Reduction Programs & Strategies EPA points to resources to guide organizations in identifying a wide range of strategies to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Toolbox for Renewable Energy Project Development This website examines six key issues that have important implications for developing on-site solar projects.
Inventory Guidance for Low Emitters EPA points to three tools designed to help low emitters develop an organization-wide inventory and establish a plan to ensure GHG data consistency as they track progress towards reaching an emissions reduction goal.
Center for Corporate Climate Leadership Target Setting This page provides information about corporate target setting and access to the Annual GHG Inventory Summary and Target Tracking Form, which provides a format to summarize GHG emissions and track emissions over time against a GHG reduction target.
EVO International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP®) The International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP®) defines standard terms and suggests best practice for quantifying the results of energy efficiency investments and increased investment in energy and water efficiency, demand management and renewable energy projects.
GHG Protocol GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard The GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard provides requirements and guidance for companies and other organizations preparing a corporate-level GHG emissions inventory.
GHG Protocol scope 2 guidance: an amendment to the GHG Protocol corporate standard Scope 2 Guidance provides guidance to standardize how organizations measure emissions from purchased or acquired electricity, steam, heat and cooling.
GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard allows organizations to assess their entire value chain emissions impact and identify where to focus reduction activities.
GHG Protocol Calculation Tools GHG Protocol provides a complete listing of all tools developed to enable companies to develop comprehensive and reliable inventories of their GHG emissions.
GHG Protocol Technical Guidance for Calculating Scope 3 Emissions GHG Protocol has now released a companion guide that makes it even easier for businesses to complete their scope 3 inventories.
GHG Protocol for Project Accounting The Project Protocol provides specific principles, concepts, and methods for quantifying and reporting GHG reductions—i.e., the decreases in GHG emissions, or increases in removals and/or storage—from climate change mitigation projects (GHG projects).
Online Training from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Online Training from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol offers multiple online learning solutions to get busy professionals up-to-speed on the world's most widely used GHG accounting standards.
International Energy Agency IEA Emissions Factors 2020 Annual GHG emission factors for World countries from electricity and heat generation.
International Organization for Standards ISO 14064-1:2018: Greenhouse gases – Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals ISO 14064-1:2018 specifies principles and requirements for the quantification and reporting of GHG emissions and removals.
ISO 26000 Section 7.4 ISO 26000 Section 7.4- Provides practices for integrating social responsibility throughout an organization and provides guidance that organizations can use to evaluate their current corporate social responsibility governance (including GHG) against best practices defined by ISO 26000.
Science-based Targets Initiative Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) provides sector guidance, resources, and a clearly-defined path for organizations to reduce GHG emissions in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
E-learning course on Setting Science-Based Targets to Achieve Net-Zero This e-learning course will guide you in the process of setting a science-based target (SBT) in support of a net-zero future. It aims at introducing the initiative, breaking down and illustrating the complexities and benefits around SBTs, and showcasing their benefits as well as the business case.
Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures Final report from the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures The Task Force’s report establishes recommendations for disclosing clear, comparable and consistent information about the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.
Technical Supplement: The Use of Scenario Analysis in Disclosure of Climate-Related Risks and Opportunities: The Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure created this supplement to assist organizations in using scenario analysis to assess climate related risks.
Online Courses on Climate Financial Risk and TCFD The climate-related financial disclosure online courses are designed to help organizations fill the knowledge gap and enhance their disclosures of climate-related information. These courses are suitable for anyone interested in learning more about climate-related disclosure and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
U.S. Department of Energy IAC Database The Department of Energy's Industrial Assessment Centers’ searchable online database contains useful information from nearly 20,000 energy assessments from industrial facilities in the U.S. including information on nearly 150,000 recommendations for meeting energy and GHG goals that are searchable by sector. Data is drawn from assessments of small to medium industrial facilities in the U.S., though most of the improvement recommendations for sectors are applicable regardless of facility size and country location.
Better Buildings Solution Center An online tool, hosting hundreds of partner solutions that have been proven to advance progress toward energy and energy-related GHG goals.
Better Climate Challenge The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is challenging organizations to set ambitious, portfolio-wide GHG emission reduction goals. This new effort provides additional opportunities for peer exchange and technical assistance to meet the urgent call to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Through the Better Climate Challenge, organizations can partner with DOE to reduce portfolio-wide GHG emissions (scope 1 & 2) by at least 50% within 10 years. DOE will provide technical assistance and opportunities to learn and share actionable best practices for carbon reduction.
Emission Reduction Planning Framework Through the Better Climate Challenge, the Department of Energy developed a Framework for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Planning that provides guidance to organizations seeking to reduce GHG emissions across their portfolio. The process described in this framework helps organizations develop an actionable plan that identifies solutions, prioritizes measures, and lays out a phased pathway to achieve deep emissions reductions.