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Center for Corporate Climate Leadership

Excellence in GHG Management (Goal Achievement Award)

2015 award application details will be posted in Spring, 2014.


Recognizes organizations that publicly report and verify corporate GHG inventories and achieve aggressive corporate GHG emissions reduction goals.

Application and Submission Instructions
  1. Review the general eligibility requirements and the specific evaluation criteria for the GHG Management: Goal Achievement category.
  2. Download the application form and the reference form to review questions, provide requested information, and prepare materials as needed. Once application form is completed, save a final copy of your PDF forms on your own computer.
  3. Once the application is complete and materials are finalized, please submit final materials through the online submission tool. Exit EPA Disclaimer Reminder: The application must be completed before submitting through the online tool. Online submission is absolutely the last step of the application process.

Please Note: If applying for an award in more than one category, new submissions must be made for each.

Early bird applications were due by August 7, 2013. All other applications were due by September 13, 2013.

Goal Achievement Award Eligibility Requirements and Evaluation Criteria

In order to qualify for recognition, applicants must:

  • Publicly report a recent, third-party verified GHG inventory of all GHG emissions from scope 1 and 2 sources (at a minimum);
  • Have publicly-set an aggressive, corporate GHG reduction goal at least three years prior to achieving it;
  • Demonstrate achievement of that aggressive, corporate GHG reduction goal; and,
  • Identify the implementation of at least three significant GHG mitigation activities that contributed to achievement of the goal.

GHG Inventory Requirements

Publicly reported inventory of all scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions within an entity's corporate boundary (U.S., North American, or global operations). Scope 3 emissions must also be reported if they are incorporated in the reduction goal. The inventory must be reported in accordance with international best practice and verified to at least a "limited" level of assurance or have been through a third-party critical review (details below).

Comprehensive GHG inventories for both the goal period's base year and achievement year are required as supplemental documents. Both inventories must be broken out by scope and include CO2 (including direct biogenic CO2 reported outside of the scopes), CH4, N2O, SF6, PFC, and HFC emissions within the geographic boundary defined in the goal. Both inventories must be verified to at least a "limited" level of assurance or have been through a third-party critical review (details below). If the base year emissions have changed by more than 5% as a result of structural change, a change in calculation methodologies, or because an error has been discovered, the base year inventory must be adjusted to reflect this.

The goal's inventory boundary must remain consistent throughout the goal period. Up to 5% of GHG inventory (for goal period) could be accounted for using simplified estimation methods. Misstatements leading to a cumulative over or under estimation of the GHG inventory by less than 5% are considered immaterial and will be accepted.

GHG Reduction Goal Requirements

The reduction goal can be reflected in one of the following ways:

  • Aggressive absolute reduction in the organization's corporate GHG emissions (U.S., North American or global operations);
  • Aggressive intensity reductions resulting from publicly reported goals established prior to October 5, 2010 (including all Climate Leaders goals), if they have not yet been recognized; or
  • An intensity goal that resulted in an aggressive, absolute GHG reduction will also be recognized.

GHG reduction goals must significantly exceed credible and transparent sector-specific, business-as-usual performance forecasts. For more information on demonstrating the aggressiveness of a reduction goal through benchmarking, please refer to EPA's guidance.

Goal Achievement Period Requirements

  • The goal must have been achieved between January 1, 2011 and September 13, 2013.
  • The timeframe between the goal being set and achieved must be least three years.
  • The goal must have been publicly communicated within one year of the goal being set.
  • Achieved reductions that have already been recognized through the Climate Leaders or Climate Leadership Awards programs are not eligible.

Disclosure of GHG Mitigation Activities

Identify at least three GHG mitigation activities that contributed to the reduction in corporate GHG emissions to demonstrate that planned reductions were not the result of organic growth or decline. These activities should reflect internal actions the applicant took to achieve the reduction, and should be in addition to renewable electricity or offset purchases (as applicable). Activities relating to supply chain management may be included if the goal incorporated scope 3 reductions.

Verification Requirements

GHG inventories should include all GHG emissions from scope 1 & 2 sources and must be third-party verified to a "limited" level of assurance or have been through a third-party critical review. If scope 3 emissions are included as part of the applicant's goal, these must undergo third-party critical review.

Base year reports accepted by EPA as part of the Climate Leaders that were reviewed by an EPA-contracted reviewer and had no further base year adjustments, and have been found to be consistent with the requirements of that program, are also accepted.

If adjustments of 5% or more are made to the base year emissions, a third-party verification body or critical reviewer must attest to the accuracy of the base year adjustment.

(Beginning with applications for the 2015 awards, GHG inventories submitted for years 2014 and beyond will require third-party verification be consistent with ISO 14064-3, conducted by a verification body accredited to ISO 14065, and performed to a reasonable level of assurance.)

For more information on levels of verification, see Frequent Questions.

Renewable Electricity

Renewable electricity purchases or on-site generation—demonstrated by the ownership and retirement of renewable energy instruments, like renewable energy certificates (RECs)—can be applied to scope 2 emissions associated with purchased electricity as part of a comprehensive GHG management strategy.


High-quality offsets can be used to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions as part of a comprehensive GHG management strategy. Offset projects must demonstrate that the reductions meet four key accounting principles:

  • Real: The quantified GHG reductions must represent actual emission reductions that have already occurred.
  • Additional: The GHG reductions must be surplus to regulation and beyond what would have happened in the absence of the project or in a business-as-usual scenario based on a performance standard methodology.
  • Permanent: The GHG reductions must be permanent or have guarantees to ensure that any losses are replaced in the future.
  • Verifiable: The GHG reductions must result from projects whose performance can be readily and accurately quantified, monitored, and verified.

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