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Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Standard Setting: GHG Protocol’s Strengthened Governance Model

As announced in November of 2023, GHG Protocol is refining its governance model to meet the needs of a rapidly changing GHG accounting and reporting landscape. As voluntary and regulatory programs continue to integrate GHG Protocol’s standards and guidance, we’ve recognized the need to update our governance model to maintain transparency and accountability to our stakeholders.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol is the most widely used GHG accounting and reporting standard in the world, serving as the foundation for most other standards and initiatives tackling corporate decarbonization. GHG Protocol’s robust multi-stakeholder governance process has been integral to its success over the past 25 years, and we remain committed to an inclusive approach.

To that end, we are evolving our governance structure in tandem with our work to update GHG Protocol’s flagship suite of corporate standards. In November of 2023, GHG Protocol launched a new governance structure with two new governance bodies: a Steering Committee (SC) and Independent Standards Board (ISB) (Figure 1).


Figure 1. GHG Protocol Multi-Stakeholder Governance Structure

GHG Protocol Multi-Stakeholder Governance Structure


Under the new structure, organizational governance will be overseen by a new Steering Committee. The committee will provide strategic guidance on the goals and direction of GHG Protocol by approving GHG Protocol’s mission, vision, strategy, and rules of procedure. It will appoint members to the Independent Standards Board, provide oversight of the ISB, and ratify ISB decisions. WRI and WBCSD will serve as Interim Steering Committee Co-Chairs until a new Chair has been selected.

The Independent Standards Board will oversee the standards development process and ultimately approve final standards and guidance. Whereas previous standards and guidance development processes each had their own Advisory Committee, the Independent Standards Board will now provide oversight across the entire suite of corporate standards and guidance. The Independent Standards Board will be made up of leading global GHG accounting and reporting experts, serving in their individual capacities, from across academia, civil society, regulatory and standard setting bodies, and the corporate and financial world.

Between November 14, 2023 and January 31, 2024, the GHG Protocol solicited nominations for Steering Committee and Independent Standards Board membership. We received more than 200 applications for the former and more than 230 applications for the latter. More information about both bodies can be found here.

In January of 2024, GHG Protocol announced Professor Dr. Alexander Bassen as the inaugural Chair of the Independent Standards Board. Dr. Bassen, a globally recognized academic and expert on corporate governance and sustainability reporting, is professor of Capital Markets and Management of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg.

GHG Protocol is now working in partnership with the executive search firm Egon Zehnder to conduct a thorough but expeditious review of the applications for Steering Committee and Independent Standards Board membership. GHG Protocol anticipates announcing the inaugural Chair of the Steering Committee and members of the Steering Committee and Independent Standards Board in Q2 of 2024. 

In tandem with this process, GHG Protocol is establishing multiple Technical Working Groups, which will play a primary role in the development of the technical content of updated GHG Protocol standards and guidance. Informed by the results of a five-month global stakeholder survey, these Technical Working Groups will focus on updates related to the Corporate Standard, scope 2, scope 3, and mitigation impacts/market-based accounting. GHG Protocol anticipates convening Technical Working Groups in mid-2024, following public announcement of Steering Committee and Independent Standards Board members. Those applicants not selected for membership in a Technical Working Group will automatically be included in Review Groups and will still be able to provide input and feedback on draft standards and guidance.

Updated April 9: GHG Protocol is accepting Technical Working Group (TWG) applications on a rolling basis to accommodate individuals who missed the deadline and to fill potential gaps in the composition of TWGs after the TWGs are convened. For those who already submitted an application, there is no need to resubmit. For those that missed the deadline, you may apply via this form.


The GHG Protocol Secretariat maintains its commitment to transparent engagement with our stakeholders. All documentation related to the new governance structure, once finalized, will be available on our website. This will include Terms of Reference for each governance body and clear rules of procedure including decision-making steps and criteria. We are also working to benchmark our standard-setting policy and procedures against best-practice from ISEAL and following guidance for Voluntary Consensus Standards.

GHG Protocol is dedicated to providing frequent public updates which are shared via email, LinkedIn, Twitter and on our webpage. If you have not yet subscribed to receive email updates from GHG Protocol, we encourage you to subscribe via this form.


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