Carbon Neutral Government program requirements

Under B.C.’s Carbon Neutral Government program – legislated under the Climate Change Accountability Act (CCAA) – all provincial public sector organizations (PSOs) follow a five-step process to achieve carbon neutrality:

Five-step process

  1. Measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings, vehicles and paper use
  2. Reduce emissions as much as possible by conserving electricity and fossil fuels
  3. Offset remaining emissions by purchasing an equivalent amount of high-quality, made-in-B.C. carbon offsets
  4. Report annually on progress through the PSO Climate Change Accountability Report (PSO CCAR), formerly the Carbon Neutral Action Report (CNAR)
  5. Verify data and emissions

Detailed step-by-step information is available in Becoming Carbon Neutral (PDF, 423 KB).

Timeline for the 2020 reporting year

January 2021: Receive reporting materials

  • PSOs receive an email from the Climate Action Secretariat (CAS) containing:
    • Links to the PSO CCAR Instructions and Template and Small Emitters Form
    • A link to the PSO CCAR Survey
    • The Self-Certification Checklist

April 30, 2021: CGRT Data Entry due

May 14, 2021:  Self-Certification Checklist due

  • Email the signed checklist to Carbon.Neutral@gov.bc.ca to attest to the accuracy and completeness of the populated data and the adequacy of supporting business processes

May 31, 2021: PSO CCAR (or Small Emitters Form) due

  • Email the signed, completed PSO CCAR to Carbon.Neutral@gov.bc.ca
  • See templates (Guidance and templates) for detailed instructions
  • The PSO CCAR Survey (optional for Small Emitters) must be completed and submitted online
  • PSOs receive an offset invoice by May 31, 2021 with the final emissions numbers and the amount of offsets to be purchased for the 2020 reporting year

    *Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019 invoices were based on 2018 CGRT emissions data. In addition to the amount of offsets to be purchased for the 2020 reporting year, 2020 invoices will also include an adjustment for the 2019 reporting year to reflect actual 2019 emissions.

June 30, 2021: CAS posts reports and retire offsets.

  • CAS posts all PSO CCARs on the CNG website
  • All offset invoice payments must be submitted to CAS
  • CAS retires sufficient offsets to achieve carbon neutrality for 2020

    *Note that PSOs that qualify (under 600 tonnes CO2e during previous year) to submit the Small Emitters Form are not required to complete the CCAR Survey.

Fall 2021: CNG Verification Review.

  • CAS engages an accredited, independent third party to verify a sampling of PSO emissions reports

Self-certification templates

Archived guidance documents