Verify Industrial GHG Emissions

B.C. facilities with attributable emissions of 25,000 tonnes or more per year–and all reporting LNG operations–must have their emission reports verified by an accredited third party.

Verification entails a detailed compliance assessment of the emission report, with an approach and rigour similar to that of a financial audit. Third-party verification helps ensure that emissions data and reports are accurate, consistent, compatible and in accordance with B.C. and international standards.

Verification statements must be submitted by May 31 for the previous year’s emissions.

Frequency

Reporting operations may choose to submit verification statements annually. Alternately, as of the 2016 reporting period, they may submit verification statements for two consecutive years at once. In this case, statements must be submitted every second year by May 31 of the year the second verification statement is due. Refer to section 28(3) of the regulation for specific conditions.

If Emissions Fall Below the Limit

If emissions subsequently fall below 25,000 tonnes CO2e per year, emission reports must still be verified and a verification statement must be submitted for at least three additional years. A verification statement is no longer required once reported and verified emission remain below 25,000 tonnes for three consecutive reporting periods. See section 27 of the regulation for additional information.

Under certain circumstances, a verification statement is also required for a supplementary report. See section 29 of the regulation for additional information. 

Key Elements of Verification

Verification statement

A written declaration by a verification body that attests to the veracity of an emission report and to whether the report conforms to the requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Regulation. Must be signed by the lead verifier and by an independent peer reviewer not involved in the verification process. [Sections 31 and 33].

Reasonable level of assurance

Verification procedures must be applied in a manner that provides a "reasonable level of assurance" [Section 30(2)(e)].
 

Materiality threshold of 5%

The verification body must attest that the assertions made in the emission report are "materially correct," that they are a fair and accurate representation of the reporting operation's GHG emissions for the reporting period, and that the report was prepared in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Regulation [Section 31].

"Materially correct" refers to the materiality threshold of 5%, and whether the individual or aggregate effects of an error would influence a person's opinion of the reported emissions [Section 32].

Verification process

Verification must be conducted in accordance with ISO 14064-3

In addition, the verification process must include a review of relevant records, a risk assessment, a verification plan (including a sampling plan), at least one site visit, an evaluation of the emissions quantification and report with the Reporting Regulation requirements and an assessment of the sources and magnitude of potential errors [Section 30(2)].

Verification body & accreditation

The verification body must be accredited by a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in accordance with ISO 14065 through a program developed under ISO 17011. Verification bodies that serve reporting operations in B.C. must be accredited by either The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Reporting Regulation requires accreditation of verification bodies but does not require certification of individual verifiers employed by a verification body.
 

Threat to independence or conflict of interest

Third-party verifiers are independent both of the reporting operation and government. The verification body (and members of the verification team) must demonstrate that the potential for a threat to independence that could influence the objectivity of the verification is insignificant [Section 41]. A conflict of interest report must be included in each verification statement [Section 33].

Verification outcome

Reporting operations are responsible for monitoring and quantifying their emissions, maintaining their records and preparing their emission report such that a verification body can provide, with reasonable assurance, a positive and unqualified verification statement [Section 42].

Statements may be verified as "positive and unqualified," "positive but qualified" or "adverse". A “positive” verification statement indicates that a verification body agrees with the emission report; an “adverse” verification statement indicates that they do not.