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Zoé Briesinger

Feb. 10, 2023


climate standards

The differences between GHG Protocol & Bilan Carbone


Calculation and monitoring of carbon emissions are becoming increasingly widespread within companies. As investors, customers and institutions are attracted to environmental issues, companies seek more transparency and rigor in carrying out their carbon footprint.There are several methods for realizing a rigorous carbon balance to standardize the calculation of carbon footprints. This present document will compare the GHG Protocol and the ADEME’s methodology referred to as The Bilan Carbone. Also, you will understand how Tapio’s methodology helps you to better understand your carbon emissions. 


Let's start with a little bit of context 


The Bilan Carbone®  method was created in 2004 by ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) to quantify organizations’ GHG emissions, based on the recommendations of the IPCC. It takes into account all the greenhouse gases mentioned in the IPCC reports and accounts for all the physical flows related to the activity of the company or organization. 


The GHG protocol  was drafted in 1998 in order to establish an international standard to conduct a carbon assessment on the value chain of activity. It aims to simplify and reduce the costs of carbon reporting. This is the most widely used method internationally and will enable a better comparison of the carbon footprint between national and international entities. 


Both methods are also available to be used at the territory scale. We can notice that other accounting methods exist for carbon reports such as ISO 14064.


Focus on the differences between these methods


The main differences between the two methods rely on their approach and their accuracy in certain activities. Both methods take into account all emissions from direct and indirect sources (Scope 1,2 & 3) .

You can find some differences between them in the table below. 


GHG Protocol

Bilan Carbone

Results presentation

By Scopes

By emission categories

Organisation presentation

Period limits & organizational perimeter

Organization description, period limits, flow mapping, organizational perimeter

Indirects emissions

Energy indirect emissions accounting is mandatory, other indirect emissions accounting is optional

All indirect emissions have to be taken into account


Exclusion of sources, sites or activities allowed with justification

No exclusion

Capital goods

Accounts for every purchase of the year

Inventory of every asset & amortization over the time life of the product

Investments & Franchises

Taken into account in scope 3

Not taken into account

End of life

Distinction if the product is rented

No distinction for rented or bought products

Transition risks & opportunities identification

Not available


Action plan



Here is an explanation of the differences between the methods:

  • In capital goods, all emissions linked to an immobilized asset have to be taken into account the year of its purchase in the GHG protocol. In the Bilan Carbon method, it is amortized over its lifetime.
  • The Bilan Carbone recommends that you should not exclude any activity of the company from the scope of the study. In the GHG Protocol methodology, you are allowed to exclude some of them: emissions that represent a small source in the carbon report and for which there is no leverage for reduction for example. Each exclusion has to be fully justified.
  • GHG Protocol provides more accurate calculation guidelines about scope 3 emissions: some emissions are taken into account in this methodology but not in the ADEME’s one.

What are the Tapio's drivers advantages ?


At Tapio, all our carbon experts are trained in the GHG protocol. We have based  our methodology  on this protocol but have considered some points that need to be improved.

The two methods mentioned offer an overall view of a company's carbon emissions, organized by Scope. At Tapio, we wanted to  simplify the understanding and visualization of a carbon report for all users; we thus created our “emissions drivers” that regroup emissions sources by “sections”. Sections are made by common attributes and the same levers of reduction for the related emissions sources, which are themselves customizable by the client.


In our platform, you can visualize your results by scopes or by drivers. Scopes are useful to compare your results with other organizations and to understand if you have direct control on your emissions or not. When visualized by drivers, emissions are easier to understand and therefore, implement a reduction plan of action.

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