The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a national accreditation body that has led its peers in establishing a greenhouse gas accreditation program for validation and verification bodies. ANSI’s program began in 2008 and by December of that year had accredited in a pilot program its first seven greenhouse gas verification bodies to ISO 14065:2006, Greenhouse gases – Requirements for validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition. In the year since those first seven bodies were accredited, ANSI has given its approval to six more.
Other countries that have launched accreditation programs for greenhouse gas verification bodies include Australia-New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan. Moreover, ANSI has received applications from greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies from outside the United States, in particular, China. European greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies are accredited to EA 603, a European Union regulatory document.
Accreditation is a process whereby a third party, in this case ANSI, attests to the competence of the greenhouse gas validation or verification body (GHG VVB) to perform services. Competence is demonstrated by the GHG VVB through its maintenance of documented procedures and records, and through performance of witnessed validation or verification engagements. Accreditation is not a one time event. The accreditation body conducts annual surveillance audits of the GHG VVB that include witnessing additional validation or verification engagements and assessing conformity with documented requirements at the offices of the GHG VVB. The object of the surveillance assessments is to ensure that the accredited bodies continue to meet the requirements of ISO 14065 and conduct their validation and verification audits in conformity to ISO 14064-3 and any applicable GHG program requirements.
How does accreditation benefit the consumer of greenhouse gas validation and verification services? The end-use customer benefits in many ways.
- The customer has assurance that a competent body has evaluated the GHG VVB and found that their program meets the requirements of ISO 14065 and that the validation or verification audit will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14064-3 (Greenhouse gases – Specification with guidance for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions).
- The customer can rely upon the accreditation body to maintain a process for handling appeals or complaints that the customer may raise against the decisions reached or actions take by the GHG VVB.
- The customer can expect the marketplace to ascribe value to the placement of an ANSI accreditation mark on a greenhouse gas statement issued by an accredited GHG VVB.
I serve as a member of the ANSI Greenhouse Gas Validation-Verification Advisory Committee in my role as Greenhouse Gas Program Manager for NSF-ISR, one of ANSI’s accredited GHG VVBs. In Copenhagen this week I will be discussing ISO 14064-3, ISO 14065, and the use of other ISO greenhouse gas standards in two separate side events at the COP-15 meeting as an accredited member of the ISO delegation. The purpose of those side events is to communicate to COP-15 negotiators what International Standards and accreditation infrastructure already exists to support governance, trust and integrity in the emissions markets.
In a future blog I will share with you what attendees at the IETA/ISO Copenhagen side event had to say about these ISO standards and existing conformity assessment mechanisms