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We first disclosed our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions more than 20 years ago, and began working to reduce them. Today, emissions total about 193,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) per year.

In 2019, we announced our commitment, as a member of Edmonton's Corporate Climate Leaders program, to reduce the company's greenhouse gas footprint inside the City of Edmonton by 70% relative to 2012 emissions. The goal would be achieved by using 100% green electricity for all of EPCOR's Edmonton-based operations.

With the publication of our ESG report, we're broadening and deepening our commitment to climate leadership. Our accelerated pathway to net zero will see:

  • A 50% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions company-wide by 2025
  • An 85% reduction by 2035
  • Net zero emissions by 2050
​​From biogas capture to wind and solar energy, we're working to develop alternative forms of energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions company-wide 50% by 2025. EPCOR’s​ Craig Bonneville talks about the challenge in meeting this goal — and the opportunity.​

These more ambitious targets — which now encompass all EPCOR-owned Canadian and American operations and use 2020 as a baseline — reflect the urgent need for climate action, and will deliver early reductions that support the achievement of Canada's targets under the Paris Agreement.

The work to achieve the 2025 target is already well underway. We're developing an on-site solar resource to power our Edmonton water operations, and a green power initiative that is leading to the development of a new wind power resource in Hilda, Alberta. Together, these are expected to reduce net emissions by more than 95,000 tCO​2eq per year.

Upcoming strategic initiatives will identify the​ best ways to achieve the deeper reductions needed to meet our 2035 and 2050 targets. The accelerating pace of vehicle electrification, the growing potential for renewable natural gas as a source of energy, and the greening of the electricity grid supply, are each potential enablers of emission reductions. But reaching net zero will require internal innovation, and close collaboration with regulators and policymakers.

Did you know?

Our Rossdale and E.L. Smith water treatment plants and Gold Bar wastewater treatment pl​ant are three of the five largest users of electricity connected to Edmonton's power distribution grid.  ​​​​​

Sources of emissions

More than 75% of EPCOR’s greenhouse gas footprint is Scope 2 emissions from electricity consumption. Most of this electricity is used to pump large volumes of drinking water through the treatment process, to customers, and to move and treat wastewater. We continue to invest in energy efficiency, but the primary focus for these emissions is on greening the electricity supply.

Nearly 10% of our emissions come from the biological nutrient removal process used in wastewater treatment. Nearly all remaining emissions are from the consumption of natural gas for heating, and fuel for vehicles, with minor residual emissions from releases of sulphur hexafluoride (SF​6) from electrical equipment.


​2021 up​​date

​​EPCOR ​expanded its operational footprint in 2021 with the acquisition of the San Tan water and wastewater districts in Arizona. The fast-growing 160-square kilometer service area already supports over 32,000 water customers and nearly 40,000 wastewater customers. The expansion of our operational footprint in the U.S. and growing demands in the communities we currently serve resulted in an overall 5% increase in emissions year over year.

Despite this increase, EPCOR remains on track to meet our target of a 50% reduction in emissions by 2025, making significant progress in 2021 on two projects to green the company’s electricity supply: the development of a solar farm to support our Edmonton operations, and procurement of renewable energy attributes from the Hilda Wind Farm, now entering construction in southern Alberta’s Cypress County.

​GHG emissions by source (tonnes CO2 eq)​

​​Scope ​2 emiss​ions

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the creation of purchased energy. Most of EPCOR's electricity consumption is used to pump large volum​es of drinking water through the treatment process and to customers, and to remove and treat wastewater.

Electricity consumption

​Scope​ ​​​1 emissions

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled assets.

Wastewater treatment processes (N2O)

​Natural gas consumption

​Vehicle fuels

​​​​Sulphur Hexaflouride​​ (SF6)
Carbon Tetraflouride (CF4)
Methane (CH4)

See: Scope of Reporting section of 2021 ESG Performance Update Report ​​for a discussion of material assumptions, data limitations, the third-party verification process, and the treatment of Scope 2 emissions from electric distribution and transmission system line losses which totaled 174,578 tonnes in 2021.​

Refining our emissions rep​orting

EPCOR’s Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emission reporting for 2021 was independently verified by Brightspot Climate Inc. to a reasonable level of assurance using the ISO 14064-3 standard. The quantitative materiality threshold for reporting is 5% of total emissions.

EPCOR’s 2020 baseline emissions have been revised to 204,553 tCO2eq  from the 193,402 tCO2eq reported in August 2021. The revision is due to refinements to the standards for calculating N2O emissions from wastewater treatment, and the documentation of additional contributions from operations in Ontario and British Columbia.

We expect a further and final revision to the 2020 emissions baseline in our 2022 performance update (to be published 2023), based on incorporation of the final 2020 Grid Intensity Factors being published by the governments of Canada and the United States. Because the carbon intensity of Alberta’s grid power supply is rapidly declining, we expect to report lower emissions for 2020 and 2021.

Three-quarters of EPCOR’s reported greenhouse gas emissions are from the consumption of electricity. A significant element of that calculation is the carbon intensity of grid-purchased power in each province and state where we do business. The actual grid intensity value is calculated by authorities on a lagging basis. We used the 2019 grid intensity value in our calculations of 2020 and 2021 emissions, because the 2020 and 2021 grid intensities were not yet available.

In general, due to the publication cycle for grid intensity values, we expect publication of final greenhouse emissions totals for each year will lag by two years.​​​​