Reporting greenhouse gas emissions data: technical guidance 2017

Guidance for reporting data to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP).

Reporting requirements for 2017 greenhouse gas emissions

In the Canada Gazette notice entitled Notice with respect to reporting of greenhouse gases (GHGs) for 2017 (the 2017 GHGRP Notice), published in December 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the GHG reporting requirements for the calendar year 2017. This notice supports the annual mandatory reporting of GHG emissions by facilities under Environment and Climate Change Canada’s GHG Reporting Program (GHGRP) and presents a number of changes made to the reporting requirements as part of the first phase of the expansion to the program.

Starting with reports for the year 2017, the GHGRP applies to more GHG emitting operations in Canada. All facilities that emit the equivalent of 10 000 tonnes (10 kilotonnes) or more of GHGs in carbon dioxide equivalent units (CO2 eq) per year are required to submit a report.

Additionally, for 2017 reports, facilities engaged in the following activities are required to provide additional data and to apply a prescribed methodological framework in determining their GHG emissions:

  • carbon capture, transport and storage (CCTS)
  • lime manufacturing (NAICS 327410)
  • cement manufacturing (NAICS 327310)
  • aluminium manufacturing (NAICS 331313)
  • iron and steel manufacturing (NAICS 331110)

The 2017 GHGRP Notice is available online.Footnote 1  Please note that every reference to schedules in this document refers to the schedules in the 2017 GHGRP Notice. You can also visit Environment and Climate Change Canada’s greenhouse gas websiteFootnote 2  for further details on the GHGRP.

This technical guidance document has been updated to include relevant changes that reflect enhanced requirements as part of the expansion to reporting under the GHGRP. This guidance document introduces:

  • updated definitions
  • clarifications on changes to some emission source categories
  • information to explain who is subject to basic emissions reporting and who is subject to expanded requirements

Glossary of terms

The following words and terms used in this guidance document shall have the indicated meaning:

2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines
The 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program.
2017 GHGRP Notice
The Notice with respect to reporting of greenhouse gases (GHGs) for 2017, Canada Gazette, Part I. This notice was published in the Canada Gazette on December 30, 2017.
Aluminium manufacturing
Primary processes that are used to manufacture aluminium from alumina, including electrolysis in prebake and Søderberg cells, anode and cathode baking for prebake cells, and green coke calcination.
Plants or plant materials, animal waste, or any product made of either of these, including wood and wood products, charcoal, and agricultural residues; biologically derived organic matter in municipal and industrial wastes, landfill gas, bioalcohols, black liquor, sludge digestion gas and animal- or plant-derived oils.
Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Quantification Requirements
Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Quantification Requirements, Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2017.
Carbon capture, transport and storage (CCTS)
Collectively CO2 capture, CO2 transport, CO2 injection and CO2 storage.
Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq)
A unit of measure for comparison between greenhouse gases that have different global warming potentials (GWPs). Since many greenhouse gases (GHGs) exist and their GWPs vary, the emissions are added in a common unit, CO2 eq. To express GHG emissions in units of CO2 eq, the quantity of a given GHG (expressed in units of mass) is multiplied by its GWP.
CAS Registry Number
The Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number.
Cement manufacturing
All processes used to manufacture portland, ordinary portland, masonry, pozzolanic or other hydraulic cements.
CO2 capture
The capture of CO2 at an integrated facility that would otherwise be released to atmosphere.
CO2 emissions from biomass decomposition
Releases of CO2 resulting from aerobic decomposition of biomass and from the fermentation of biomass.
CO2 injection
An activity that places captured CO2­ into a long-term geological storage site or an enhanced fossil fuel recovery operation.
CO2 storage
A long-term geological formation where CO2 is stored.
CO2 transport system
Transport of captured CO2­ by any mode.
Direct releases from sources that are located at the facility.
An integrated facility, a pipeline transportation system, or an offshore installation.
Flaring emissions
Controlled releases of gases from industrial activities, from the combustion of a gas and or liquid stream produced at the facility, the purpose of which is not to produce useful heat or work. This includes releases from waste petroleum incineration; hazardous emission prevention systems (whether in pilot or active mode); well testing; natural gas gathering systems; natural gas processing plant operations; crude oil production; pipeline operations; petroleum refining; chemical fertilizer production; steel production. 
Fossil fuel production and processing
The exploration, extraction, processing including refining and upgrading, transmission, storage and use of solid, liquid or gaseous petroleum, coal or natural gas fuels, or any other fuels derived from these sources.
Fugitive emissions
Releases from venting, flaring or leakage of gases from fossil fuel production and processing; iron and steel coke oven batteries; CO2 capture, transport, injection and storage infrastructure.
Greenhouse gases.
Global warming potential and allows the comparison of the global warming impacts of different gases.  It is a measure of how much radiative energy the emissions of 1 tonne of a certain gas will absorb over a given period of time, compared to the emissions of 1 tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2). The time period for GWPs used for GHG reporting as per international reporting standards is 100 years. The larger the GWP, the more the given gas impacts global warming compared to CO2. For example, the GWP for nitrous oxide (N2O) is 298, which means that 1 tonne of N2O emissions is equivalent to 298 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Industrial process emissions
Releases from an industrial process that involves a chemical or physical reaction other than combustion, and the primary purpose of which is not to produce useful heat or work. This does not include venting from hydrogen production associated with fossil fuel production and processing.
Industrial product use emissions
Releases from the use of a product for an industrial process that does not involve a chemical or physical reaction and does not react in the process. This includes releases from the use of SF6, HFCs and PFCs as cover gases, and the use of HFCs and PFCs in foam blowing. This does not include releases from PFCs and HFCs in refrigeration, air conditioning, semiconductor manufacturing, fire extinguishing, solvents, aerosols and SF6 in explosion protection, leak detection, electronic applications and fire extinguishing.
Integrated facility
All buildings, equipment, structures, on-site transportation machinery and stationary items that are located on a single site, on multiple sites or between multiple sites that are owned or operated by the same person or persons and that function as a single integrated site. Integrated facility excludes public roads.
Iron and steel manufacturing
Primary iron and steel production processes, secondary steelmaking processes, iron production processes, coke oven battery production processes, iron ore pellet firing processes, or iron and steel powder processes.
Leakage emissions
Accidental releases and leaks of gases from fossil fuel production and processing, transmission and distribution; iron and steel coke oven batteries; CO2 capture, transport, injection and storage infrastructure for long-term geological storage.
Lime manufacturing
All processes that are used to manufacture a lime product by calcination of limestone or other calcareous materials.
Offshore installation
An offshore drilling unit, production platform or ship, or sub-sea installation that is attached or anchored to the continental shelf of Canada in connection with the exploitation of oil or natural gas.
On-site transportation emissions
Releases from machinery used for the transport or movement of substances, materials, equipment or products that are used in the production process at an integrated facility. This includes releases from vehicules without public road licences.
Pipeline transportation system
All pipelines that are owned or operated by the same person within a province or territory that transport/distribute CO2 or processed natural gas and their associated installations, including meter sets and storage installations but excluding straddle plants or other processing installations.
Reporting company
A person who operates one or more facilities that meet the reporting criteria as set out in Schedule 3 of the Canada Gazette notice.
Stationary fuel combustion emissions
Releases from stationary fuel combustion sources, in which fuel is burned for the purpose of producing useful heat or work. This includes releases from the combustion of waste fuels to produce useful heat or work.
Stationary fuel combustion sources
Devices that combust solid, liquid, gaseous, or waste fuel for the purpose of producing useful heat or work. This includes boilers, electricity generating units, cogeneration units, combustion turbines, engines, incinerators, process heaters, and other stationary combustion devices, but does not include emergency flares.
Surface leakage
CO2 emitted from geological formations used for long term storage of CO2.
Venting emissions
Controlled releases of a process or waste gas, including releases of CO2 associated with carbon capture, transport, injection and storage; from hydrogen production associated with fossil fuel production and processing; of casing gas; of gases associated with a liquid or a solution gas; of treater, stabilizer or dehydrator off-gas; of blanket gases; from pneumatic devices which use natural gas as a driver; from compressor start-ups, pipelines and other blowdowns; from metering and regulation station control loops.
Waste emissions
Releases that result from waste disposal activities at a facility including landfilling of solid waste, flaring of landfill gas, and waste incineration. This does not include realeases from the combustion of waste fuels to produce useful heat or work.
Wastewater emissions
Releases resulting from wastewater and wastewater treatment at a facility.



Canada is working towards fulfilling its climate change policy objectives, in part by ensuring that it has the capacity to quantify, track and report progress on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a way that meets a required level of accuracy, thoroughness, transparency and public credibility.

The federal government, specifically Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), is responsible for developing and reporting a reliable, accurate and timely Greenhouse Gas Inventory for Canada as part of its obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). National GHG emissions and removals are reported to the UNFCCC according to the manner, format and frequency dictated by the UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines.Footnote 3  To fulfill its obligations, Canada must estimate its national GHG emissions according to the comprehensive requirements for reporting to the UNFCCC, which include consistency with the  2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC, 2006),Footnote 4  a key technical document developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).Footnote 5

Canada’s GHG Inventory is a comprehensive inventory of GHG data and information covering all sources and sinks of GHGs caused by human activity in Canada. The inventory is largely based on emission estimates developed from national and provincial statistics. The facility data collected under the GHGRP is used to inform and validate the national inventory estimates from industrial sources.

The Government of Canada established the GHGRP in March 2004 under the authority of section 46 of the Canadian Environment Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) to collect GHG emissions information annually from the largest emitting Canadian facilities. The GHGRP was launched through the publication of the first Canada Gazette notice in March 2004. A Canada Gazette notice is published every year requiring the reporting of GHG emissions for the calendar year specified in the notice and the facility data collected is published annually.

This program is part of Canada’s effort to develop, in collaboration with Canadian provinces and territories, a harmonized and efficient mandatory GHG reporting system that minimizes duplication and reporting burden for industry and governments. Key objectives of the program are to provide Canadians with consistent information on GHG emissions, support the development of emission estimates presented in the Canada’s GHG Inventory and support regulatory initiatives.

In December 2016, ECCC issued a notice of intent in the Canada Gazette indicating its intent to pursue an expansion to the GHGRP in order to enable direct use of the reported data in Canada’s GHG Inventory, to increase the consistency and comparability of GHG data across jurisdictions and to obtain a more comprehensive picture of emissions by Canadian facilities. The publication of the 2017 GHGRP Notice implements the first phase of expanded reporting under the GHGRP.


The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to potential reporting facilities to help determine if they are required to submit a report by June 1st and to present technical information related to GHG emissions reporting. This technical information includes the GHGs and emission sources subject to reporting, along with information on methods for calculating emissions and the required reporting format. An overview of the reporting process is also described herein. Should any inconsistencies be found between this guide and the 2017 GHGRP Notice, the notice will prevail.

This technical guide supports the first year of the phased expansion to the GHG reporting requirements for facilities in Canada and applies the key changes presented in the 2017 GHGRP Notice:

  • the reporting threshold of carbon dioxide equivalent units has been lowered from 50 kilotonnes to 10 kilotonnes
  • requirements to provide additional data related to GHG emissions determined through prescribed quantification methods are specific to: manufacturers of cement, lime, iron & steel and aluminum, as well as facilities engaged in carbon capture, transport and storage activities

Separate guidance is available regarding the online Single Window System that should be used to submit a report. This guidance includes instructions on how to use the reporting system, how to complete and submit the report, and other relevant information.

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