5 Steps for Completing Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting

As part of the global effort to reduce climate change, greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting is now required in many areas around the world, including North America, Europe, and Australia. If you run an industrial facility, you may be required to make annual GHG reports depending on your location.

In Canada, Greenhouse Gas Reporting is due the first weekday of June each year. Industrial facilities will need to evaluate their GHG emissions to determine if GHG Reporting is applicable to them.

The data collected in GHG reports is made publicly available and is used by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to address global warming. Evidence shows that GHG reporting works. For example, annual greenhouse gas emissions have decreased in Canada since the program was first implemented at a federal level in 2005.

If your Canadian facility is required to submit annual GHG reports, here are five easy steps you can take to ensure quality reporting.

Step 1: Determine if Reporting Is Applicable to Your Facility

Greenhouse Gas Reporting is applicable to any facility that emits over ten tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) on a biannual basis or that is engaged in a specific type of industrial activity such as electricity and heat generation. Even if the facility in question does not exceed reporting thresholds, it may still be necessary to complete an evaluation to show that the facility is exempt from reporting.

A notice with respect to the current Greenhouse Gas Reporting requirements is provided by the Government of Canada and can be found online.

Step 2: Determine Fuel Usage & Combustion

To calculate greenhouse gas emissions, fuel usage amounts must be determined. Most greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Other fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and propane may contribute significantly as well.

Any fuel being used in combustion processes at the facility should be considered. However, there are currently exemptions for fuels that account for less than 0.5% of the total facility combustion emissions and for using biofuels instead of traditional fossil fuels.

Because they are very damaging to the ozone layer, direct emissions of fluorinated compounds such as Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) and Nitrogen Trifluoride (NF3) to the air are also considered for GHG Reporting.

More details on the federal quantification requirements can be found online in the Greenhouse Gas Quantification Requirements (GHGQR) document.

Step 3: Calculate Emissions

Next, you will need to calculate your GHG emissions. Each type of fuel has a specific equation that has been derived based on its chemical formula and the conditions of its usage. The equations and tables with emission factors for each fuel can be found in the GHGQR. The equations are used to determine emissions for the three main greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

To determine the emissions, input the fuel usage amounts into the appropriate equations. Then convert the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide into carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) using the ratios given in the manual that represent their physical properties as a greenhouse gas in comparison to the greenhouse gas effect of CO2.

Step 4: Determine Emission Limit & Fees

Facilities that are required to submit a GHG Report may also be required to pay a fee per tonne based on standards set by the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

Methodologies differ depending on the province your facility resides in, but usually involved calculating a Total Annual Emissions Limit (TAEL) for each industry sector using specific equations for each fuel type. Any exceedances to this limit are considered when calculating the amount to be paid per tonne.

The amount that is levied per tonne is available on the Government of Canada’s official website.

Step 5: Report GHG Emissions Online

All emissions for applicable facilities must be reported online through the Single Window Information Management (SWIM) system available on the ECCC website. To gain access to the GHG reporting modules, you will need to register your facility with the ECCC.

When filling in the necessary information, be sure to report emissions in the appropriate category (e.g. stationary combustion for a natural gas boiler) including any exempt emissions in the De Minimis Emissions section.

Get Support From Tetra Tech

GHG reporting is becoming a vital part of how governments are combating climate change. Understanding your emissions and how to report them will continue to be essential to keep your facility in compliance.

If you need help calculating your emissions or understanding your greenhouse gas reporting requirements, contact Tetra Tech at [email protected]. Our regulatory team has decades of experience helping clients all over the world meet their reporting deadlines, and we can help you manage your GHG reporting.


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