CONTACT US WHAT'S NEW E-NEWS
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Click the 'HOW' tab to find:Becoming Carbon Neutral Local Government: Workbook, Contracted Out Services, Tools to Measure Emissions, Guidebook, Webinars & Training
2016 Carbon Neutral Reporting Dates (for 2015 reporting year)
Local governments are required to report on their progress in achieving their carbon neutral goal under the Climate Action Charter. A summary of these reporting requirements is available here.
Carbon neutral local government is about taking responsibility for the carbon pollution or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated through local government operations.
Going carbon neutral is a powerful way of demonstrating leadership and pricing carbon helps make the case for business decisions that support the transformation towards a cleaner economy.
Since 2007, the overwhelming majority of BC local governments have voluntarily signed onto the BC Climate Action Charter, committing to take actions and develop strategies to achieve the following three goals:
• Being carbon neutral in their corporate operations by 2012
• Measure and report on their community GHG emissions
• Create complete, compact, energy efficient rural and urban communities
The Joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee (GCC) has been established under the Climate Action Charter to assist local government signatories in achieving these commitments.
Carbon Neutral Framework
As part of its mandate, the GCC is responsible for establishing a common approach to determine carbon neutrality for the purposes of the Climate Action Charter and has been working with BC local governments to develop a Carbon Neutral Framework which includes the following 4 steps:
1. Measure your total corporate GHG emissions,
2. Reduce them where possible,
3. Balance the remaining emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets and / or through investments in local GHG reduction projects; and
4. Report to your public on the actions you have taken.
The GCC has developed two guidance documents to assist local governments in achieving these 4 steps. The first is the ‘Carbon Neutral Workbook’ which provides initial guidance for local governments on the 4-step process to become carbon neutral and focuses on how to get started on measuring corporate emissions that occur within the local government “traditional services” boundary.
The next level of guidance is the draft 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook' which provides step-by-step guidance on how to balance corporate emissions to zero by investing on GHG reduction projects and / or through purchased offsets.
The draft 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook' and the 'Carbon Neutral Workbook' are companion documents and are intended to be used in conjunction with each other. More information on how to use and download these two guides is provided under the 'HOW' tab at the top of the page.
↑ Top ↑
Please note this page contains several downloadable guidebooks, templates and interactive tools. If you experience any technical difficulties with the downloads you can also request the documents directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee’s Workbook – Helping local Governments Understand How to be Carbon Neutral in Their Corporate Operations is intended to provide guidance to local governments on what is in scope to measure and offset within the boundaries of their corporate emissions. This version is newly revised based on feedback of the Draft from local governments.
Download the Workbook here.
The 'Carbon Neutral Workbook' provides initial guidance to local governments on the 4-step process to become carbon neutral and focuses on how to get started on measuring corporate emissions that occur within the local government “traditional services” boundary.
For the next level of guidance for local governments on how to become carbon neutral, including step-by-step guidance on how to balance corporate emissions to zero by investing on GHG reduction projects and / or through purchased offsets read the 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook.'
The Workbook provides:
↑ Top ↑
SMARTTool is a web-based, carbon emissions inventory and reporting tool that provides a standardized approach to calculating and reporting an organization’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions. The tool was originally developed to help provincial public sector organizations meet their legislated requirements to be carbon neutral by 2010.
As part of their work supporting local government signatories to the Climate Action Charter meet their carbon neutral commitments the Green Communities Committee (GCC) is pleased to be able to recommend SMARTTool for use by local governments.
Communities using SMARTTool (or an alternative tool) must also complete a Self Certification Business Process Checklist (Checklist), for the purposes of meeting their carbon neutral commitment under the Climate Action Charter.
The purpose of the Checklist is to ensure consistency, completeness and accuracy in the reporting of local government corporate GHG emissions regardless of which carbon inventory tool they choose to use. Download the interactive version of the Checklist at the bottom of the page.
Example of communities using SMARTTool: Valemount, Burns Lake.
The use of other inventory and reporting tools will be enabled under the Carbon Neutral Framework. To ensure methodology, emission factors and outputs from other tools are consistent and comparable with SMARTTool results, a local government choosing to use another inventory and reporting tool will be required to:
1. Use the same corporate boundaries as described in the Workbook – Helping Local Governments Understand How to be Carbon Neutral in Their Corporate Operations
2. Use the same emission factors and methodologies employed by SMARTTool as detailed in the Methodology for Reporting B.C. Local Government Greenhouse Gas Emissions which will be provided to local governments
3. Complete and adhere to the Self Certification Business Process Checklist (available for download at the bottom of the page)
4. Report on annual total corporate emissions as calculated and reported by the alternative tool, broken down by fuel type, using the Alternative Tool GHG Reporting Template.
5. Provide CAO/CFO attestation that the actions outlined above were undertaken
*Note: We have moved to a new approach for updates to the BC Best Practices Methodology for Quantifying GHG Emissions document: (1) A two-year update cycle with the caveat that some individual factors may be updated in the second year based on the significance of their year over year change. (2) Updates will be applied to the two years ahead.
Effective January 1, 2016, emission factors for 2016 and 2017 are in SMARTTool.
The use of the emission factors and methodologies contained in this document are required by the Green Communities Committee as part of the common approach to carbon neutrality under the Climate Action Charter. Note that this version of the Methodology for Reporting is a consolidation of several stand alone guides developed for a range of organizations.
As a result, not all content will be relevant for local governments. Local governments should refer to pages 7-9 of the new 2016/17 B.C. Best Practices document to confirm which sections apply to their carbon neutral commitment under the Climate Action Charter.
Please note that this document will be updated periodically to reflect changes or clarifications to the emission factors, methodologies and scope. For this reason, local governments should ensure that they are using the most current version of the Methodology when they are calculating their corporate emissions. Version numbers of the Methodology will be noted on the document cover.
The 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook' builds on the Workbook described above and provides the next level of guidance for local governments on how to become carbon neutral, including step-by-step guidance on how to balance corporate emissions to zero by investing on GHG reduction projects and / or through purchased offsets.
Download the 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook' here.
The 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook' reviews the Carbon Neutral Framework and its four key steps to achieving carbon neutrality (i.e., measure, reduce, offset/balance and report) and focuses on options for local governments to balance their corporate emissions to zero through investments in local GHG reduction project and / or purchased offsets (i.e., step 3 of the Framework).
↑ Top ↑**Project Profiles Included in the Guide are provided below
PLEASE NOTE: The 'Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook' includes five project profiles that local governments can use to measure GHG reductions resulting from these GHG reduction projects. Each of the project profiles has a spreadsheet for determining the annual emissions reductions associated with each project. The project profiles and spreadsheets are provided below as separate documents for local governments to use. Any work conducted in the spreadsheets needs to be saved as a separate file or as an update to the project profile document. Instructions are provided in the profile documents.
*Trouble opening links? Download the profile files to your desktop directly by right-clicking on the links and using the “Save Target As...” function.
May 11th, 2015 – The GCC Option 1 Project Profiles, including the emissions reductions calculators, have been updated to fall in line with the Global Warming Potentials (GWP) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report. Notable changes include increasing the GWP of methane to 25 from 21 and decreasing the GWP of nitrous oxide from 310 to 298.
April 21st, 2015 – The GCC Option 1 Organics Waste Composting Profile has been updated with clarifying language on industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) organics. Please note ICI organics are eligible under this project profile as long as a local government can demonstrate ownership of the GHG emission reductions.
Other recent updates to Version 3.0 of the Organics Waste Composting Project Profile provide guidance on estimating the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be reduced from a local government’s corporate carbon footprint by diverting household organic waste into a centralized community composting system rather than sending it to a landfill.
Highlighted changes and clarifications to Version 3.0 of the project profile include: the ability to enter individual diversions for both kitchen scraps and yard waste; the inclusion of multiple inputs for different composting project types for project emissions; the ability to project potential impacts of an organics program up to 100 years; a clearer more concise user interface and clarifications on crediting periods and approaches.
GCC is interested in hearing from local governments on the Carbon Neutral Framework and the “Becoming Carbon Neutral Guidebook” to ensure it considers and reflects the needs of all local governments.
If you have comments or questions please email: the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development at IRPD@gov.bc.ca. Please put "Carbon Neutral " in the email subject line.
Green Communities Committee Carbon Neutral Reporting Webinar from BC Climate Action Toolkit on Vimeo.
To assist local governments in learning how to measure their corporate emissions using SMARTTool (or an equivalent measurement tool) and how to become carbon neutral in their corporate operations, the GCC held a series of free workshops and webinars throughout the Province in June. The webinar recordings are below:
Watch the webinars online:
Becoming Carbon Neutral - Small Communities Part 1 on Vimeo*.
Becoming Carbon Neutral - Small Communities Part 2 on Vimeo*.
The GCC would like to commend local governments for their leadership and action on climate change to date. As more and more B.C. local governments adopt greener policies and practices, move toward carbon neutrality, and take steps to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions, all British Columbians benefit from cleaner, healthier and more liveable, sustainable communities.
*Vimeo is a third-party viewing platform. The Green Communities Committee (GCC) makes no representations, warranties or endorsements about vimeo.com or its sponsored links, advertising, features, safety or its programs and services. The fact that a website is linked to this site does not imply that GCC sponsors, endorses or is affiliated or associated with the entity that owns or is responsible for the website.
Discuss climate action tools
for BC Local Government read more >
Get the tools you need for carbon neutral local government >
Explore lists of climate actions
taken by BC communities >
Find a Sustainability Facilitator or Provincial Planner for your Region >