McHugh & Shaw – Useful Resources and Links

The following information has been provided by McHugh & Shaw for information purposes only.

It is great to see more people considering carbon auditing as a career.

The current GHG auditing market in New Zealand is predominantly voluntary and sits with Toitū Envirocare as part of their certification programme and then the large accounting firms (mainly Deloitte). The voluntary market is estimated at less than 1,000 businesses (small) but should steadily grow over the next decade.  The Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP) has been announced this year. The CNGP is a compliance programme with mandatory measurement, reporting, reduction plan and verification for 126 agencies.

If you have no experience in GHG reporting to ISO 14064-1:2018/GHG Protocol or in verification audits to ISO 14064-3:2019 then completing training in these areas is a good place to start. Carbon and Energy Professionals NZ (CEP)  offers a two day preparing a carbon inventory course.  Once you have completed this course (or an equivalent) you can then complete the GHG Carbon Auditor course, again two days. CEP has a Certified Carbon Auditor qualification as well for those that are eligible.

Getting experience after completing the course isn’t easy and the current options include employment or a contractor relationship with Toitū Envirocare or employment within an accounting firm.

There is a big gap between having completed the training and be ready to conduct an audit. At McHugh & Shaw we look for previous ISO auditing experience in ISO 14001 or ISO 9001.

Try and get experience reviewing or conducting quality assurance on large data sets. Many clients are using an Excel spreadsheet for calculations so it is important to be confident using spreadsheets (Intermediate Level). Rechecking and cross-checking calculations is a key skill so be familiar with conversion factors (energy and waste) and the IPCC Global Warming Potentials.

Before embarking on a career consider that being a GHG auditor is a good fit for you vs. being a GHG consultant (creating inventories and reduction plans). There is currently more work available in GHG consultancy than auditing as that is the maturity of the market.  It is advised to be a GHG consultant for a few years prior to moving into auditing. The good news is that the industry needs more GHG auditors so we expect to see more entry-level positions available that provide good on the job training.

The main consulting firms completing GHG inventories and reduction plans include Beca, AECOM, Catalyst, Lumen, DETA and Tonkin & Taylor. The certification programmes Toitū Envirocare and EKOS also have staff that provide technical support to clients.

Overall, carbon auditing is a rewarding career. It provides the opportunity to travel and meet some amazing people working in organisations that are making a difference.

Last updated July 2021

Photo courtesy of Kathy Turner