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Climate Business > Policies & Tools  > GHG Accounting 

IFC tracks the GHG reductions of its climate related projects to understand emissions implications of IFC’s investments, as an additional form of business risk analysis.

Definitions and Guidance Notes 


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IFC GHG Portfolio Accounting


IFC has been measuring its portfolio greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since February 2009. All new IFC real sector projects are required to report GHG emissions prior to project approval.[1]  The purpose of this work is to form a better appreciation of the GHG emissions implications of IFC’s investments, as an additional form of business risk analysis.


In addition, as part of its commitment to sustainability, IFC has a dedicated "Footprint Program" responsible for leading the corporation in its Footprint Commitment. The Program works closely with a senior-level advisory committee, a network of “Footprint Champions,” and key departments across the World Bank Group. Together, the Program and its partners implement corporate initiatives, engage staff, monitor and report progress, and identify opportunities for IFC to be a leader amongst its peers.


Some direct benefits associated with measuring portfolio GHG emissions are the standardization of internal GHG calculations across IFC regions and sector, and increased staff capacity building, with investment teams learning carbon accounting as well as common sectoral emission sources. A better overall understanding of IFC project emissions is intended to lead to the identification of low-cost mitigation opportunities and potential carbon credit investments. It will also allow IFC to track the emissions profile of its investments over time.


For IFC staff use, IFC developed the Carbon Emissions Estimator Tool (CEET) for estimating project GHG emissions. The CEET builds upon a tool developed by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and expanded to cover IFC investment sectors. The CEET provides investment departments with a simple way to estimate actual project emissions based on information commonly collected during project appraisals, as well as enabling the calculation of changes in GHG emissions by comparing project emissions to an alternate project, or reference, scenario.


IFC Portfolio Backfill


Over 2010, IFC’s Climate Business Group – Strategy and Metrics (CBGSM) has engaged in a portfolio backfill exercise for real sector projects. This study complements ongoing IFC GHG accounting work.


Active projects in IFC portfolio as of July 1, 2009 were reviewed and GHG emissions were estimated based on available project documentation.[2]  This effort comprised the review of over 1,300 projects for any associated GHG emissions. These data are now being analyzed by CBGSM to get a comprehensive picture of IFC portfolio emissions and set the basis for tracking emissions changes.


GHG Reduction Methodologies


As of Fiscal Year 2005, IFC has also been tracking Climate Related (CR) investments, or the portion of IFC’s investment portfolio that either reduces GHG emissions into the atmosphere or removes GHGs from the atmosphere. In the past, measuring these CR projects has been done through tracking investment commitment volumes. IFC now intends to link CR projects with associated abated GHG emissions.


[1] Real sector projects are all investment projects except financial intermediaries and advisory services.


[2] June 30, 2009 represents the end of Fiscal Year 2009.


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