Intensity ratio defines an organization’s GHG emissions in the context of an organization-specific metric. Intensity is calculated by dividing the absolute emissions (the numerator) by an organization-specific metric (the denominator).
GHG emissions intensity expresses the GHG emissions per unit of activity, output, or any other organization-specific metric. Many organizations track environmental performance with intensity ratios. Intensity ratios are often called normalized environmental impact data.
Intensity ratios may include but are not limited to:
- Product emission intensity (such as metric tons of CO2 emissions per unit produced)
- Service intensity (such as metric tons of CO2 emissions per function or per service)
- Sales intensity (such as metric tons of CO2 emissions per sales)
In combination with an organization’s absolute GHG emissions, disclosed in Indicators G4-EN15, G4-EN16, and G4-EN17, GHG emissions intensity helps to contextualize the organization’s efficiency, including in relation to other organizations.
Select an appropriate ratio denominator to represent the per-unit output, activity, or any other organization-specific metric. This may include but is not limited to:
- Units of product
- Production volume (metric ton, liter, MWh)
- Size (m2 floor space)
- Number of full-time employees
- Monetary units (revenue, sales)
Organizations may report several GHG emissions intensity ratios where this aids transparency or comparability. For example, they may calculate separate ratios by:
- Business unit or facility
- Source type
- Activity type
Intensity is calculated by dividing the absolute emissions (the numerator) by the organization-specific metric (the denominator).
If reporting combined direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) intensity ratios, add together the figures reported in Indicators G4-EN15 and G4-EN16 to determine the total absolute amount of GHG emissions. Alternatively, use the GHG emissions figures reported in Indicators G4-EN15 and G4-EN16 separately.
Organizations may report the other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions intensity ratio with this Indicator; however, this ratio is expected to be presented separately, and not combined with the direct (Scope 1) or energy indirect (Scope 2) intensity ratios.
Potential sources of information for the numerator include invoices, measurements or calculations, or estimations. Potential sources of information for the denominator include sector and country level guidance on GHG emissions reporting.
- Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Investor CDP Information Request, updated annually.
- World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), ‘GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard’, Revised Edition, 2004.
- World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 'Greenhouse Gas Protocol Accounting Notes, No. 1, Accounting and Reporting Standard Amendment', 2012.