SANAS introduces accreditation process for carbon footprint validation and verification bodies

Submitted by: Margaret McKenzie, Tuesday, February 26, 2013

South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) has launched an accreditation programme for Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Validation and Verification Bodies.    GHG Validation and Verification bodies assess GHG assertions, also known as carbon footprints, and provide a verification statement for these assertions. 

The SANAS accreditation of validation and verification bodies is completed in terms of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14065 standard.    ISO 14065 specifies general requirements and specific requirements for bodies that undertake validation or verification of carbon footprints.   General requirements for validation and verification bodies cover issues such as responsibilities, managing impartiality and liability. Specific requirements include competencies of staff, record management, validation and verification processes and management systems. 

To gain accreditation from SANAS in terms of ISO 14065 organisations need to complete an application form and provide details on their organisation as well as information on their staff who undertake the validation and verification process.  The charge for the initial application is R6,025 plus an administration  fee of R705.   SANAS will then review the documentation to determine if the organisation’s documentation conforms to the ISO 14065 standard.   If the organisation meets the documentation requirements, SANAS will then visit the organisation’s offices to make an assessment.  The SANAS charge for the assessment varies and depends on factors such as the number of GHG scopes, the size of the organisation and the location of the organisation explains Tumelo Ledimo, project manager at SANAS.  However, the minimum fee for an initial assessment is R29,020 plus a minimum witnessing fee of R8,565 says Ledimo.  

Once SANAS has completed an assessment and is satisfied that the management system is being implemented, as described in the submitted documentation that conform to ISO 14065, the organisation will be recommended for accreditation to the Approval Advisory Committee.   Thereafter SANAS will conduct surveillance of the accredited organisations on a yearly basis to ensure that they continue to conform to the standard. 

There are currently no ISO 14065 accredited GHG validation and verification bodies in South Africa says Ledimo.   However, SANAS has received four enquiries from organisations wishing to become accredited.   Organisations have to spend time aligning their management systems to the ISO 14065 standard before applying for accreditation says Ledimo.

Now that the accreditation of validation and verification bodies is available SANAS has indicated that   organisations that publish their carbon footprints could now include a validation and/or verification statement that has been issued by a SANAS accredited bodies.  However Ledimo notes that “the programme is voluntary, meaning it will be driven by the market demand and requirements like ISO9001. Credibility and confidence in the results coming from SANAS accreditation will be a driver, just like other accreditation programmes we are running.”  

The ISO 14065 standard is available for purchase from the South Africa Bureau of Standards.  Any enquires regarding SANAS accreditation should be directed to sipho@sanas.co.za

To keep updated with sustainability news subscribe to the fortnightly Urban Earth Newsletter.

Margaret McKenzie