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EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership

Center for Corporate Climate Leadership Goal Setting

Forward thinking companies have recognized the benefits of setting public greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for years. Setting aggressive GHG reduction goals can galvanize reduction efforts at a company and often leads to the identification of many additional reduction opportunities. An aggressive GHG goal also can help garner senior management attention and increase funding for internal GHG reduction projects. Additionally, goals can encourage innovation, improve employee morale, and help in the recruiting and retention of qualified employees.

One way that EPA encourages goal setting is through its sponsorship of the Climate Leadership Awards. This national awards program recognizes and incentivizes exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change.  An aggressive, absolute GHG reduction goal is a requirement for most of the leadership awards categories. The awards Frequent Questions page describes what constitutes an aggressive GHG reduction goal in the context of the Climate Leadership Awards.

EPA recognizes that leadership on goal setting now relies on new approaches consistent with what the science tells us is necessary to stabilize global emissions at “safe” levels. As such, EPA encourages companies to set goals using new science-based approaches. The Science Based Targets Exitinitiative provides organizations with guidance and resources on multiple methodologies for goal-setting consistent with science.

The EPA Corporate GHG Goal Evaluation Model

In addition to the above resources, EPA's Corporate GHG Goal Evaluation Model provides companies with a transparent and publicly available benchmarking resource to help evaluate and establish new or existing GHG goals. The model incorporates best available forecast data on energy consumption and economic production output from a variety of publicly available sources, allowing users to compare goals against business-as-usual changes expected for their sector. EPA recommends that goals be more aggressive than business-as-usual projections.

This goal model primarily provides guidance on GHG emissions intensity trends rather than absolute trends. As a result, the model is most useful for organizations starting out on their GHG management journey and that are considering intensity goals initially.

Although the model was designed to be used by corporations, it can be used by some types of non-corporate entities, such as office-based entities, who have an applicable North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code available for selection within the model parameters (see Appendix 1 of the Update Process Manual). Non-corporate entities should read the model's documentation below to ensure the resource is suitable for their GHG Goal Setting objectives.

The model can be accessed, along with three accompanying documents, using the links below. 

Goal Evaluation Model
  1. Goal Evaluation Model: Last Updated August 2014
  2. Projections now run to 2022 (the previous version of the Goal Evaluation Model projected to 2018).
  3. BLS historical data updated and now dates back to 1993 (through 2012).
  4. Sectors within the BLS dataset have been updated and in some cases modified. Also, the new naming convention for the sectors improves readability for users.
  5. Historical and future forecast price data have been updated by using the most recent source data obtained from three EIA energy price datasets: MECS, SEDS, and AEO.
  6. The base year for the currency values used in the model has changed from 2000 to 2012. Thus, values of economic output by sector are now expressed in 2012 dollars instead of 2000 dollars.
  7. Updated emission factors.

Note: In order to use the model, users must first download the Free Analytica Player Exit,  which allows viewing and running of existing models.

The EPA Corporate GHG Goal Evaluation Model (Analytica)
Purpose: To provide organizations with a transparent and publicly available benchmarking resource to help evaluate and establish new or existing GHG goals that go beyond "business as usual" for their individual sectors.

The EPA Corporate GHG Goal Evaluation Model: User's Manual
Purpose: This document provides the user with important information on EPA's goal-setting model, the software and data needed in order to use the model, and general guidance on how to analyze the outputs from the model.

Overview of the EPA Corporate GHG Goal Evaluation Model
Purpose: To provide an overview of the methodology and data sources that support EPA's goal-setting model.

The EPA Corporate GHG Goal Evaluation Model: Update Process Manual
Purpose: To provide an overview of the actions taken to update the latest version of the model, and instructions on how modelers can make future updates as new model data are made available.