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RELEASE: GHG Protocol Announces Inaugural Chair and Vice-Chair of New Steering Committee

WASHINGTON DC (June 25, 2024) – GHG Protocol is pleased to announce the appointment of the inaugural Chair and Vice-Chair of its newly-established Steering Committee: Geraldine Matchett will serve as Chair and Ovais Sarmad will serve as Vice-Chair.

Geraldine Matchett, a Swiss, British and French citizen, holds a Master’s in Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge, a Bachelor’s in Geography from Reading University and is a Chartered Accountant. Up until September 2023, Geraldine was Co-CEO and CFO of dsm-firmenich (formerly Royal DSM) and served as Group CFO for the company from 2014 to 2019. Prior to DSM, Geraldine was Group CFO and member of the Operations Council of the SGS Group. Today Geraldine is non-executive director of ABB, Nestlé and Swiss Re. She is also a board member of FCLTGlobal, and member of the Foundation Board of IMD Business School.

Ovais Sarmad is the former Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (2017 – 2023) and in this role was deeply involved in the completion of the Paris Agreement implementation guidelines, finalization of Article 6 at Glasgow and the establishment of a Loss & Damage fund at Sharm-el-Sheikh. Prior to that, he held various posts with the International Organization for Migration (1990 – 2017), notably as Chief of Staff and Director of Resources Management. Ovais’ current activities focus on accelerating sustainable development, contributing to public policy development and empowering youth through education. A Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA/GCMA), Ovais graduated from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. 

As announced in November of 2023, GHG Protocol is strengthening its governance model to meet the needs of a rapidly changing GHG accounting and reporting landscape. Within this new structure, GHG Protocol has established two new governance bodies to ensure continued integrity and trust: the Steering Committee (SC) and the Independent Standards Board (ISB).

Under the leadership of Geraldine (Chair) and Ovais (Vice-Chair), the new Steering Committee will provide strategic guidance on the overarching goals and direction of GHG Protocol and ensure proper adherence to standard development and revision procedures. As part of the overarching GHG Protocol governance, the Steering Committee will be working closely with the Secretariat and the ISB. In January 2024, GHG Protocol announced Professor Dr. Alexander Bassen as its inaugural Chair of the ISB. 

As voluntary and regulatory programs continue to integrate GHG Protocol’s standards and guidance, the Steering Committee will drive GHG Protocol work forward and seek alignment and collaboration with the broader GHG accounting ecosystem.

Further announcements on the membership of the Steering Committee as well as the Independent Standards Board will be made in due course.

“The field of GHG accounting is rapidly evolving, and GHG Protocol’s work to update and improve their corporate accounting standards and guidance to match those changes is critical to ensure companies and the financial sector can make credible progress towards their climate goals,” said Steering Committee Chair, Geraldine Matchett. “I am delighted to serve as the inaugural Chair of GHG Protocol’s Steering Committee, and I am looking forward to working with Ovais Sarmad, the Steering Committee’s Vice-Chair, as well as the Independent Standards Board, Technical Working Groups, and Secretariat to support this historic work.” 

“I am very pleased to be joining the Steering Committee of the GHG Protocol and am looking forward to strengthening its outreach as a global good for an important part of society.” said Steering Committee Vice-Chair, Ovais Sarmad. “The GHG Protocol remains a critical mechanism in the implementation of the Paris Agreement to stay within the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit. It is a real honor to be working alongside Geraldine to ensure business and investors can accelerate climate action and to enable greater accountability and transparency." 

“Amidst the growing momentum in carbon accounting and reporting, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol remains a critical cornerstone of this evolving ecosystem. Strong, robust, and high-integrity governance is essential in maintaining the credibility, independence, and trustworthiness of the GHG Protocol standards going forward," said WBCSD President and CEO, Peter Bakker. "I am delighted to welcome Geraldine and Ovais as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the new Steering Committee. Their leadership will be instrumental in supporting the Greenhouse Gas Protocol in fulfilling its mission.” 

"For decades, Greenhouse Gas Protocol has been a leader in the emissions accounting ecosystem, and is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to strong governance with the establishment of this new Steering Committee," said President & CEO of World Resources Institute, Ani Dasgupta. "The committee hosts a wealth of expertise, from Chair Geraldine Matchett's many years leading global businesses committed to comprehensively reducing their carbon footprint, to Vice-Chair Ovais Sarmad’s deep experience in international climate governance supporting the UNFCCC. The committee will be critical to continue ensuring GHG Protocol meets the needs of a rapidly growing and evolving accounting and disclosure landscape."

Pankaj Bhatia, Global Director of Greenhouse Gas Protocol, said, “The GHG Protocol Secretariat is excited to usher in this new era of the Protocol. We look forward to working with Geraldine and Ovais and will benefit from their strategic insights. While this Steering Committee will be the first overarching governance body for GHG Protocol, our robust multi-stakeholder governance process has been integral to our success over the past 25 years. With this new structure, we remain committed to ensuring transparency in our processes and accountability to our stakeholders.” 


Media Requests: 
Sarah Huckins, Communications Manager, Greenhouse Gas Protocol

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