The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on February 16, 2005, requiring the Annex B (1) countries to reduce their greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by an average of 5,2 % during the 2008-2012 period, in comparison with their 1990 emissions. GHG emissions reductions are considered as necessary to limit climate change and should be undertaken by all activity sectors.

The purpose of the GHG emissions quantification Transport Protocol, developed by EpE (2) with the collaboration of ADEME (3), is to provide guidelines for companies and other organisations to quantify, report and verify the GHG emissions generated by the transportation of persons and goods in relation to their activities, in order to:

  • carry out an inventory of emissions and monitor the evolution of this inventory,
  • measure the impact, in terms of GHG emissions, of a project involving changes in the organization of part of their transport demand or offer.

Quantification of these emissions is a complex task because of the diversified structure of the transport sector, the variety of transportation means, and the many different parameters that influence GHG emissions.

(1) 38 countries which signed the Kyoto Protocol (2) Enterprises for the Environment (3) French Agency for Environment and Energy management

The GHG Transport Protocol comprises the five following elements :

1. a quantification, reporting and verification protocol for GHG emissions related to transport generated by the activities of a company or any organisation :

  • The basic principles that must be followed are consistency, completeness, accuracy, transparency and verifiability of data.
  • The document comprises six sections, dealing with the following topics : scope: GHG, operational control, geographic limits, direct and indirect emissions, exclusions, inventory: source types, structural changes, base year, calculation of emissions: using two calculation tools in Excel format with their user’s manuals, reporting : transparency and verifiability of data, assertions made by the management, management of uncertainty, verification.

2. a calculation tool in Excel format called «GHG Transport Protocol – calculation of emissions» :

  • The calculation tool enables the user to separately estimate GHG emissions linked to persons transportation on one hand, and those related to goods transport on the other hand.
  • It is divided into several worksheets, each corresponding to different means of transportation (road, plane, train, boat).
  • The extra calculation sheet to be used for the Bilan Carbone® (4) method is clearly identified.

3. a users’s manual of the calculation tool «GHG Transport Protocol – calculation of emissions» : This manual guides the user in filling the tables of the worksheets.

4. a tool for calculating tons-kilometers, called «GHG Transport Protocol – TKM» : This tool in Excel format allows the calculation of the «tons-kilometers» indicator for road transportation of goods when the company has no access to other information such as fuel consumption or the number and the type of vehicles that are used.

5. a user’s manual of the «GHG Transport Protocol – TKM» calculation tool : This manual provides guidelines for the three-step process of the TKM calculation tool.