The Reduction Framework

The Regional Carbon Initiative reduction framework explains elements of the Bronze, Silver and Gold carbon reduction targets to which Pledging Partners commit. This framework is the result of two phases of community consultation including representatives from local businesses, governments, NGOs, and academics.

While balancing the need for an ambitious and a realistic voluntary carbon reduction framework, these requirements were chosen to account for the greatest environmental impact with the most flexibility and ease of data collection.

Minimum Requirements

Key Points

Operational Geographic Boundaries

Waterloo Region Wide

  • Include all Pledging Partners facilities within Waterloo Region in GHG emission reporting
  • Pledging Partners have the option to include additional buildings outside of Waterloo Region

Temporal Baselines

Up to 3 years before joining the Regional Carbon Initiative

  • Encourage new reductions
  • Keep targets comparable between organizations
  • Limit the amount of ‘backcasting’ required


Scopes 1 and 2
Scope 3: Business Air Travel

  • Include major sources of emissions while ensuring activity source data is relatively easy to collect


Absolute or Intensity Targets
Mandatory absolute reporting

  • Inclusive of organizations that are growing at such a rate that may make absolute targets unachievable
  • Absolute emission reductions are more pertinent to the goals of the Regional Carbon Initiative

Intervals & Dates

10 year commitment, 2 year ‘check point’ targets (guidelines)

  • Keep targets on a business-relevant schedule
  • Encourage immediate reductions / avoid procrastination

Target achieved below baseline levels

Gold: 60%
Silver: 40%
Bronze: 20%

  • Based on analysis of case studies and industry precedents, these levels were deemed to be ambitious yet realistic targets

Restricted Reductions (Offsets, RECs, FIT-generated electricity)

Max 49% reductions from offsets and RECs
Limit of 10% of foreign offsets

  • Inspire a culture of conservation
  • Require and encourage actual reductions before purchased reductions

For more information on this reduction framework, as well as the process by which this framework was determined and the GHG accounting methodology employed by the Regional Carbon Initiative, please see the Guide to the Regional Carbon Initiative.