Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories

A greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventory is an important tool for municipalities looking to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to a low-carbon future. An inventory helps a municipality:

    1. Understand ongoing activities and major sources of emissions
    2. Identify areas to focus emission reduction efforts
    3. Establish goals and track progress towards those goals
    4. Facilitate decision-making about future policies and strategies


GHG Inventory Protocol for Southern Maine Cities and Towns

SMPDC developed an inventory protocol to assist member municipalities with creating community-wide GHG inventories. A community-wide GHG inventory estimates the amount of GHG emissions associated with community sources and activities, meaning those of a municipality’s residents, workforce, visitors, and economy.

While relevant to most small cities and towns, the protocol takes special consideration of the data sources and emissions factors applicable to Maine communities. The protocol is standardized and simplified so that inventories produced using this protocol may be compared across communities and used to evaluate the impacts of emission reduction strategies in future years.


The protocol guide provides step-by-step guidance on:

  1. What emissions to include in your inventory
  2. Where to find the necessary emissions data and
  3. How to calculate or measure the impacts of those emissions


also includes:

  • The difference between community-wide and municipal GHG inventories
  • Indicators for tracking climate action progress
  • Ways to scale the inventory up or down, based on community needs and applicability


Read the full GHG Inventory Protocol here. 


Have questions or interested in learning more? Contact SMPDC Sustainability Coordinator Karina Graeter ( SMPDC staff are available for support, as well as to assist communities with completing a GHG inventory on a contract basis.