Carbon accounting standard and data

Harmonized carbon accounting enables transparency and accountability. Since comparability and transparency of financed emissions requires uniform disclosure, following the same guidelines and ideally using the same metrics, PCAF will create an open-source global carbon accounting standard covering various asset classes.

Since 2015, fourteen financial institutions from the Netherlands, under the leadership of ASN Bank, have worked together to harmonize, develop and implement carbon accounting methodologies for eight asset classes.

Building on the carbon accounting methodologies developed in the Netherlands and North America, a global carbon accounting standard for financial institutions will be developed.  The global carbon accounting standard builds upon the GHG Protocol’s technical guidance for calculating GHG emissions financed by loans and investments.

The global carbon accounting standard will cover all major asset classes (e.g. mortgages, commercial real estate, listed equity, business loans, project finance) by providing detailed methodological guidance for each asset class.

"Follow the money" is a key principle of the global standard, i.e. the money should be followed as far as possible to understand and account for the carbon impact in the real economy. It includes scope 1, 2 and relevant categories of scope 3 of the investee.

Global core team

A global core team of 10 to 15 leading financial institutions will develop the global carbon accounting standard and will present the first version in mid-2020. This version will be updated based on the lessons learned through its implementation at the regional level. The second version of the standard will be ready by mid-2022.

These are the participants of the core team. If your financial institution would like to join the core team, please contact us.

  • Banco Pichincha
  • Vision
  • AmalgatedBank
  • KCB
  • FirstRand
  • Crédit Coopératif
  • Landsbankinn
  • FMO
  • Triodos
  • Produbanco
  • Robeco

Dutch carbon accounting work

In 2015, fourteen financial institutions from the Netherlands started collaborating to develop and implement carbon accounting methodologies for eight asset classes in a harmonized manner. Since then, the group has been growing and produced two carbon accounting reports, one in 2017 and in 2018.

At the COP25 in Madrid, the PCAF Dutch group unveiled their third carbon accounting report. With updates and new methods, the group makes a significant contribution towards harmonizing the way financial institutions measure emissions financed by loans and investments.

New asset classes have been added to the methodology and new tools are available for the growing number of financial companies who want to use the PCAF methodology. Participating institutions in the Netherlands represent €2 trillion of assets under management, many of whom already publicly disclose the associated carbon footprint. 

Download the report (pdf, 9MB)

These are the Dutch financial institutions that collaborated within PCAF and produced the latest report:

  • ABN Amro
  • Achmea
  • Actiam
  • APG
  • ASN-Bank
  • ASR
  • BNG
  • FMO
  • MN
  • NIBC
  • NWB
  • PME
  • PMT
  • Rabobank
  • Robeco
  • Triodos
  • Van-Lanschot-Kempen
  • Volksbank

Regional implementation

Regional implementation teams feed the development of the global carbon accounting standard

PCAF methodologies are being implemented in five regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. Each region has regional implementation teams with a clear governance structure.

Each team is receiving technical assistance in implementing the PCAF methodologies (at no cost). The lessons learned through the regional implementation feed into the refinement of the global carbon accounting standard.

[…] the most comprehensive methodology that I’d read for the [financial] sector. The fact that it’s an industry-led development makes it well-placed to be used as a standard across the industry.
Leanne Bouvet, Senior Technical Manager, Financial Services CDP


Via the pages below you can access downloads and other resources made available by the the regional implementation teams.