Carbon Neutral Government – Program Requirements

Under B.C.’s carbon neutral government program – legislated under the Climate Change Accountability Act (CCAA, formerly: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, GGRTA) and the Carbon Neutral Government Regulation–all 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 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 Carbon Neutral Action Report (CNAR)
  5. Verify data and emissions

Detailed step-by-step information is available in Becoming Carbon Neutral (PDF, 1 MB).

Timeline for the 2019 Reporting Year

Early 2020: Receive reporting materials

  • Receive email from the Climate Action Secretariat (CAS) containing:
    • The CNAR Instructions & Template or the Small Emitters Form
    • A link to the CNAR Survey
    • The Self-Certification Checklist

May 15, 2020: CAS distributes invoices

  • Receive an offset invoice with the final emissions numbers and the amount of offsets to be purchased for the 2019 reporting year
  • Note: 2019 invoices will be based on 2018 CGRT emissions data. Adjustments to reflect actual 2019 emissions will appear on 2020 invoices

May 29, 2020: CNAR (or Small Emitters Form) due

  • Email the signed, completed CNAR to
  • See templates (Guidance & Templates) for detailed instructions

June 30, 2020: CNAR Survey due, post reports and retire offsets

  • Submit the completed online CNAR Survey* – Extended from May 29, 2020
  • Climate Action Secretariat posts all PSO CNARs
  • Payment for offset investment due
  • Climate Action Secretariat retires sufficient offsets to achieve carbon neutrality for 2019

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

September 30, 2020 - Extended from April 30, 2020

October 15, 2020 - Extended from May 15, 2020: Self-Certification Checklist due

  • Email the signed checklist to to attest to the accuracy and completeness of the populated data and the adequacy of supporting business processes

Fall 2020: CNG Verification Review

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

Self-Certification Templates

Archived Guidance Documents