As part of our Program Plan commitment to program performance measurement and continuous improvement, Recycle BC now tracks and reports Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of our program annually. In 2019, Recycle BC and its service providers measured their greenhouse gas emissions associated with residential waste paper and packaging recycling activities. These 2019 results create Recycle BC’s GHG baseline reporting data.
GHGs are generated from the burning of fossil fuels across a variety of activities associated with the operation of residential recycling programs, such as fuel consumption from vehicles for hauling and collection, a facility’s operational equipment, heating and electricity usage, and transportation of materials by rail, road or sea to their end market location.
Measurement and Data Verification
Recycle BC measured its baseline emissions inventory for the 2019 calendar year. This first step is a comprehensive, quantified list of an organizations’ GHG emissions and sources for the initial reporting year. The baseline is the level of GHG emissions against which future GHG inventories will be compared.
Reported data for Recycle BC’s 2019 GHG inventory was put through a rigorous process and verified by Climate Smart. Recycle BC engaged Climate Smart as its partner for training, advis ory services, the use of its proprietary calculation tool, and validation. Climate Smart is an award-winning certified B Corp that has developed a practical and solutions-based program for organizations to track and reduce GHG emissions. Climate Smart relies on compliance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, an internationally recognized standard published by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.
Recycle BC tracked all emissions related to its supply chain operations, starting from the point of receiving residential waste paper and packaging materials either at the depot, the curb, or at a multi-family dwelling, including the transport, storage and handling of those materials through the collection and post-collection network, until that material was shipped off to end markets. Recorded emissions in 2019 was 62,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the majority of which were associated with transporting goods (70%) and heating (21%).
Most of Recycle BC’s emissions come from indirect GHG emissions resulting from operations at sources owned by another company, in this case Recycle BC’s service providers and their subcontractors. These sources are referred to as Scope 3 sources, whereas Scope 1 refers to direct GHG emissions and Scope 2 refers to indirect emissions associated with the generation of electricity, heating/cooling, or steam purchased for the organization’s consumption. Recycle BC’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions are quite negligible compared to Scope 3 emissions. GHG emissions footprint for Recycle BC during 2019 calendar year is broken down by source activity as follows:
Leading the Way
Recycle BC is proud to be Climate Smart certified in 2020 for our 2019 baseline year, and to be the first packaging and paper recycling program in North America able to provide a full accounting of the GHG impact of its operations. Recycle BC efforts also align with BC’s goals to reduce provincial carbon emissions through its Clean BC plan. We acknowledge that this could not be accomplished without the investment of time and effort undertaken by our collection and post-collection partners. Recycle BC recognizes that we are GHG emitters, however it is our intention that through these efforts we can provide good quality recycled content to enable GHG reductions by lowering the demand for virgin materials to be used.