Reporting greenhouse gas emissions data, technical guidance 2020: reporting criteria

2.1 Reporting threshold

The reporting threshold under the greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements is 10 kilotonnes (kt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq). A facility is subject to the reporting requirements if its total annual emissions of GHGs meet or exceed the reporting threshold.

To complete this assessment, it is necessary for a facility to calculate its total emissions (in CO2 eq.) for the relevant calendar year for the GHGs and emission sources covered. Total emissions are calculated as the sum total mass of each of the gases multiplied by their respective global warming potential (GWP) (see Equation 1).

Emissions of individual species of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) must be quantified separately and then multiplied by their GWPs. Only the emissions of HFCs, PFCs and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) that fall within the definitions of industrial processes and industrial product use must be included in the calculations (see section 4.3).

CO2 emissions from biomass materials must not be included in the threshold calculation. However, if a report is required, CO2 emissions from biomass combustion must be quantified and reported separately as part of the reportable GHG information (see section 4). Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N22) emissions from biomass-related sources must be included in the reporting threshold calculation and reported as part of the GHG emission totals, if a report is required.

Equation 1

Equation 1 (See long description below)
Long Description for equation 1

Equation 1 is the result of the sum of total mass of each of the gases or gas species multiplied by their respective global warming potential (GWP). This calculation is done according to the total emissions during the calendar year for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sources described. Since a facility is required to produce a report if its total direct emissions of GHGs meet or exceed the reporting threshold, the result of this equation determines whether the facility must issue a report or not.


E = total emissions, from all activities occurring at the facility, of a particular gas from the facility (tonnes)

GWP = global warming potential of the particular gas (see section 2.4)

i = each emission source

If the person who operates a facility changes during the calendar year, the facility operator on December 31st shall report for the entire calendar year. If facility operations terminate during the calendar year, the last operator shall report for the portion of the calendar year where operations occurred.

2.2 Facilities subject to expanded reporting requirements

In addition to the 10-kt reporting threshold, facilities classified under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and involved in the sectors/activities listed below (see List 1 and List 2), are also required to provide additional data and apply specific quantification methods when determining their emissions.

List 1: Sectors/activities subject to expanded reporting

  • Mining
  • Ethanol Production
  • Lime Production
  • Cement Production
  • Aluminium Production
  • Iron and Steel Production
  • Electricity and Heat Generation
  • Ammonia Production
  • Nitric Acid Production
  • Hydrogen Production
  • Petroleum Refining
  • Pulp and Paper Production
  • Base Metal Production

List 2: Facilities classified under NAICS codes subject to expanded reporting

  • 212
  • 221112
  • 221119
  • 221330
  • 322
  • 324110
  • 324121
  • 325120
  • 325190
  • 325313
  • 327310
  • 327410
  • 331110
  • 331313
  • 331410

Facilities must determine their emissions by gas for each emission source or activity that occurs at the facility, following the respective requirements for each emission source or activity, and then calculate if the total of emissions meets or exceeds the 10-kt threshold:

Any facility engaged in more than one activity listed above shall report emissions for each activity separately, unless otherwise stated within the applicable schedule(s).

2.3 Reporting carbon capture, transport and storage activities

As of 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada began collecting information on the quantities of CO2 captured and fugitive CO2 losses from capture systems, transportation infrastructure, injection equipment and long-term geologic storage sites, including oil and gas operations using CO2 for enhanced recovery of oil, natural gas and coal bed methane.

The GHG reporting requirements apply to facilities that are engaged in CO2 capture, CO2 transport, CO2 injection or CO2 storage in the 2020 calendar year. No reporting threshold applies to the requirements related to these carbon capture, transport and storage (CCTS) activities. A facility is thus subject to the reporting requirements identified for CCTS activities (schedule 6) when involved in any part of these CCTS activities.

Any other emission sources of this same facility involved in CCTS activities are subject to the 10-kt threshold and to the basic emissions reporting requirements (or expanded requirements, if applicable). Therefore, a facility, even if involved in CCTS activities, is subject to the reporting requirements if its total direct emissions of GHGs (not related to its CCTS activities) meet or exceed the reporting threshold.

2.4 Greenhouse gases subject to reporting

The GHGs that are subject to mandatory reporting are listed in Table 1. The GWP and Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS Number) for each of these GHGs are also listed in the table. The GWPs listed in Table 1 are updated values taken from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, stemming from improvements in climate change science. These updated GWP values were applied starting with the reporting of 2013 data under the GHGRP and will continue into future years. For years prior to 2013, facilities should refer to the Canada Gazette notices previously published for the list of GWP values to use (available on the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) website) in determining if they meet the reporting requirements, if applicable. When analyzing or publishing the emissions data, ECCC will apply the latest GWP values currently in use to the full time series of data (2004 to the latest year collected). 

Reporting companies are required to report the emissions of each individual GHG type, expressed in units of tonnes for each. For example, a reporter would report 100 tonnes of nitrous oxide (N2O) rather than 29 800 tonnes of CO2 eq units for N2O.

However, when a potential reporter is assessing whether he or she needs to submit a report, he or she will need to convert the emissions to CO2 eq units to compare them with the reporting threshold. The CO2 eq value is how much CO2 would be required to produce a similar warming effect, and it is calculated by multiplying the amount of the gas by an associated GWP.

Table 1: Greenhouse gases and gas species subject to mandatory reporting
Greenhouse Gas Formula CAS Registry Numbera 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP)b
1. Carbon dioxide CO2 124-38-9 1
2. Methane CH4 74-82-8 25
3. Nitrous oxide N2O 10024-97-2 298
4. Sulphur hexafluoride SF6 2551-62-4 22 800
5. HFC-23 CHF3 75-46-7 14 800
6. HFC-32 CH2F2 75-10-5 675
7. HFC-41 CH3F 593-53-3 92
8. HFC-43-10mee C5H2F10 138495-42-8 1 640
9. HFC-125 C2HF5 354-33-6 3 500
10. HFC-134 C2H2F4 (Structure: CHF2CHF2) 359-35-3 1 100
11. HFC-134a C2H2F4 (Structure: CH2FCF3) 811-97-2 1 430
12. HFC-143 C2H3F3 (Structure: CHF2CH2F) 430-66-0 353
13. HFC-143a C2H3F3 (Structure: CF3CH3) 420-46-2 4 470
14. HFC-152a C2H4F2 (Structure: CH3CHF2) 75-37-6 124
15. HFC-227ea C3HF7 431-89-0 3 220
16. HFC-236fa C3H2F6 690-39-1 9 810
17. HFC-245ca C3H3F5 679-86-7 693
18. Perfluoromethane CF4 75-73-0 7 390
19. Perfluoroethane C2F6 76-16-4 12 200
20. Perfluoropropane C3F8 76-19-7 8 830
21. Perfluorobutane C4F10 355-25-9 8 860
22. Perfluorocyclobutane c-C4F8 115-25-3 10 300
23. Perfluoropentane C5F12 678-26-2 9 160
24. Perfluorohexane C6F14 355-42-0 9 300

a The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number is the property of the American Chemical Society, and any use or redistribution, except as required in supporting regulatory requirements and/or for reports to the Government of Canada when the information and the reports are required by law or administrative policy, is not permitted without the prior, written permission of the American Chemical Society.

b United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 2014. FCCC/CP/2013/10/Add.3. Decision 24/CP.19. Revision of the UNFCCC Reporting on annual inventories for Parties included in Annex I to the Convention, November 2013.

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