ANSI Issues First Accreditations for GHG Program

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, announced on Dec. 3 that seven organizations have been accredited under a new program that facilitates the inventory and reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the environment.

These validation and/or verification bodies (VVBs) are the first to be recognized under the ANSI pilot accreditation program that was launched in February. They are:

• Advanced Waste Management

• Bureau Veritas Certification North America

• First Environment

• NSF International Strategic Registrations

• Rainforest Alliance

• Ryerson, Master and Associates, Inc.

• SGS Environmental Services, Inc.

With a growing global awareness of the need for environmental protection and sustainability, organizations are eager to demonstrate their efforts to inventory, report, and reduce GHG emissions. In order to ensure the credibility of their claims, many of these organizations are turning to third-party bodies to validate and verify emission assertions.

Often used interchangeably, the terms "validate" and "verify" represent two separate and distinct processes. Validation comes at the beginning of a project and lays out the framework by which emission reductions will occur. Verification assesses how an organization or project has performed its GHG inventory and reported its results against an established protocol, demonstrating the relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency, and accuracy of the emission claim.

ANSI accreditation enhances the credibility and value of the process by attesting to the competence and qualification of VVBs to perform these duties, offering them a significant distinction from their competitors in the marketplace.

"This program marks a significant step forward in assuring integrity and consistency in emission reporting and reduction projects across industry sectors and geographical borders," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "The institute is pleased to join in strengthening consumer confidence and promoting best practices for the validation and verification of GHG emissions."

Applicable to a broad spectrum of industries, the ANSI GHG accreditation program operates according to requirements defined in the international standards ISO 14065:2007, Greenhouse gases - Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition, and ISO 14064-3:2006, Greenhouse gases – Specification with guidance for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions.

In support of the program, The Climate Registry, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and the California Climate Action Registry each signed partnership agreements with ANSI earlier this year. And as the U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), ANSI accreditation is also recognized by the Voluntary Carbon Standard Association. Under the terms of these agreements, ANSI's program applicants can choose to be assessed not only under ISO 14065:2007 requirements, but also the specific protocols and requirements defined by these partner organizations.

The announcement marks the formal launch of the ANSI GHG program. Additional VVBs enrolled during the pilot program will continue in the accreditation process, and new applicants will be accepted beginning in January 2009.

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