Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) is a global partnership of financial institutions that establishes a standard for greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and reporting in the financial industry. It currently has more than 250 members. Learn more about its goals and how you can join this noble initiative.

What is the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials?

The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) is an international collaboration of various companies and firms in the financial sector. It facilitates the development and implementation of harmonized approaches to ensure transparency and accountability of the financial industry towards the Paris Climate Agreement.

One of the PCAF’s primary goals is to establish a standard for the assessment and disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the company’s loans and investments. One of the key deliverables of the PCAF initiative is an open-source global GHG accounting standard for financial institutions, known as the Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Financial Industry.


Who created PCAF and when was it introduced?

PCAF was created in 2015 by fourteen Dutch financial institutions, led by ASN Bank. As a result of a Dutch Carbon Pledge, the financial institutions committed to transitioning to a low-carbon economy and assessing the climate related risks of their loans and investments, which was the first step in the initiative’s implementation.

PCAF made its first foray into the North American market in 2018. PCAF GHG accounting measures and disclosures were adapted to the North American context by 12 financial institutions led by Amalgamated Bank. On March 4th, 2019, leaders from 28 banks in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) agreed to use the PCAF approach to assess and disclose the GHG emissions of their loans and investments.

Who are the PCAF members?

PCAF members include commercial banks, development banks, asset owners/managers, insurance companies, etc. that have been actively involved in developing and implementing greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting in their organization. 

More than 250 financial institutions have already joined the PCAF to measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions associated to their portfolio of loans and investments. These institutions from Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, have combined total financial asset value of $71.6 trillion USD.

How can you join the PCAF?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your company involved with PCAF:

Step 1: Learn everything you need to know about PCAF.

Learn about the PCAF’s goals, scope, and implementation strategies, and how your institution can participate and reap the benefits of this collaboration. 

Your company can join a regional team or the PCAF core team developing the Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard. 


Step 2: Submit the letter of commitment.

When your company submits a commitment letter to, it means that you have joined PCAF’s methodology for assessing and disclosing the GHG emissions of your financial portfolio in accordance with the PCAF Standard. The scope of the portfolio coverage for the initial PCAF disclosure is entirely up to your company. 

Thereafter, your institution will appear as “Committed” on the Financial Institutions Taking Action after sending  an email to confirming your commitment.


Step 3: Join a regional team.

You can improve your GHG accounting reporting by joining a regional implementation team. This gives your organization an opportunity to collaborate with other financial institutions at the regional or national level. Another benefit of joining a regional team is that your company will gain exposure at climate and finance events around the world. 

As mentioned earlier, PCAF operates in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Your company will adapt the GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard of your region. 


Step 4. Assess the financed emissions of your financial institution

PCAF will help your company get started with GHG accounting for loans and investments at no cost (e.g., asset class scoping, data collection, methodology application, validation).


Step 5. Disclose the financed emissions of your financial institution

Your institution will receive guidance on how to best disclose its financed emissions to stakeholders (e.g., annual reports, presentation of results and linkage to the institution’s strategy). After doing so, your institution will be marked as “Disclosed” on PCAF’s Financial Institutions Taking Action


What is the PCAF and CDP partnership?

PCAF and CDP’s partnership for carbon accounting enables transparent disclosures of your stakeholders’ carbon footprint to better understand the climate impact of your portfolios. CDP’s disclosure framework incorporates The Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Financial Industry released by PCAF in November 2020, into its Climate Change Questionnaire for Financial Services. The said integration of the CDP framework and the PCAF standard enables companies and organizations to have robust and clear guidelines to measure and report their GHG emissions including Scope 3 of their financed emissions. 

PCAF and CDP will also collaborate to create and deliver workshops, reports, and case studies for their respective networks of financial institutions. In accordance with PCAF’s Data Quality Scoring system, CDP will enhance its annual quality-assessed dataset for modelled GHG emissions by conducting a data quality assessment for the emissions metrics included in the dataset.