Technical Documents

Business Air Travel Reporting Requirements

Published August 2015

Since 2009, the Regional Carbon Initiative has required members to report on all air travel. Unfortunately, many RCI members have experienced difficulty in reducing air travel and collecting data. The RCI Framework Advisory Committee was asked to provide their opinion on whether air travel should continue to a required reporting activity. They were presented with three options. The decision reached was to eliminate the air travel reporting requirement and instead make it optional.

Electricity Emission Factors – Consumption vs Generation

Published August 2015

Electricity emission factors are used to measure the amount of GHG emissions resulting from electricity. For the first several years, Government of Canada’s National Inventory Report (NIR) released only one emission factor (generation) per year, but in 2011 they began publishing a 2nd emission factor– the consumption emission factor. This new factor became widely used among public reporting frameworks while the private sector continued to commonly use the generation factor. This creates a challenge for reporting frameworks like the Regional Carbon Initiative that includes both public and private reporting organizations..

Domestic Limits and Quality Assurance: Carbon Offset Policy

Updated September 2013; Published August 2013.

Members of the RCI can purchase a limited amount of carbon offsets to help meet their greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. However, the offset industry is not yet fully developed, and ensuring that carbon offsets purchased are real and of good quality is difficult for the average person to do. Also, the RCI would like to encourage members to help develop a local low carbon economy, and would like to continue the limit applied to international carbon offset purchases.

This policy document outlines how the RCI ensures that carbon offsets applied to members’ GHG reductions are local, real and of good quality, and outlines the process that we used to reach this policy. This document will continue to be added to as the industry develops and more information becomes available.

Calculating GHG Emissions from Waste Sent to Landfill in Waterloo Region

Published July 2013

This document details the methods, assumptions, and limitations of calculating greenhouse gas emission factors in for waste sent to landfill in Waterloo Region. This emission factor is applied within the optional Scope 3 portion of the Regional Carbon Initiative Reduction Framework, and will be updated every 2-3 years based on information provided by the Region of Waterloo Sustainability Office.

RCI Framework Advisory Committee Decision on How to Update Electricity Emission Factors

Published Feb 6th, 2012.

Electricity emission factors change over time as our electricity generation changes from fossil fuel intense coal energy to ‘cleaner’ sources of energy such as hydro, solar and wind. Environment Canada provides updates to these emission factors yearly, but the emission factors apply to electricity produced three years ago. The RCI Framework Advisory Committee was tasked with determining the best way to incorporate changing electricity emission factors into the carbon accounting tool. This document summarizes the decision making approach and criteria used by the RCI Framework Advisory Committee to conclude this issue.

Calculating GHG emissions from Water Use & Collection in Waterloo Region

Revised December 4th, 2013.  Published April 29th, 2010.

This document details the methods, assumptions, and limitations of collecting water-based greenhouse gas emission factors in Waterloo Region. This emission factor is applied within the Regional Carbon Initiative Reduction Framework and referenced in Appendix 10 in the Guide to the Regional Carbon Initiative.

Calculating GHG Emissions from Personal Vehicle Travel

Published April 1st, 2010.

Calculating GHG Emissions From Personal Vehicle Travel details the methods, assumptions, and limitations in calculating the personal vehicle emission factors used within the Regional Carbon Initiative Reduction Framework. This document is referenced in Appendix 8 in the Guide to the Regional Carbon Initiative

Limits to Renewable Energy Credits 

Published July 25th 2010.

This document articulates the issue and answer to the question: how should the Regional Carbon Initiative treat Renewable Energy Credits? This change was included in version 1.4 of the Guide to the Regional Carbon Initiative.

Sustainable Waterloo Carbon Reduction Options Paper

Published March 31st, 2009

In March 2009, we provided for public download Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Carbon Reduction Options Paper, the outcome of intensive research that involved consultations with key stakeholders, an analysis of industry precedents, regular meetings of an Internal Working Group, and syntheses of climate change science. It was meant to provide our External Working Group with the informational basis and decision points from which to consider and choose an ambitious, yet realistic, carbon reduction framework for organizations that will participate in Sustainable Waterloo’s Regional Carbon Initiative.