Corporate Mitigation and Adaptation

The City of Peterborough is committed to developing meaningful climate action projects and programs that mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originating from corporate sources. The municipality generates GHG emissions during the operation of its corporate assets that are in the service of the community.  Corporate GHG emission sources include all municipal buildings (i.e. City Hall), streetlights, other streetlighting (i.e. parking lot and park lighting), fleet vehicles (i.e. fire trucks), the landfill, and the wastewater treatment plant. A review of corporate assets determined that the landfill was the largest source of GHG emissions, estimated to have emitted 7,643 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2021. 

Corporate Sector GHG Emissions from 2011 to 2021
SectorEmission Source2011 GHG (tCO2e)2018 GHG (tCO2e)2019 GHG (tCO2e)2020 GHG (tCO2e)2021 GHG (tCO2e)Change (2011 to 2021) 
Fleet Gasoline & Diesel 5,905  7,128 6,704 6,535 7,172  +21%
Waste  Anaerobic Methane Gas 10,223  7,232 7,620 7,470 7,643  -25%
Buildings Electricity & Natural Gas 4,747  3,384 3,402 3,258 3,305  -30%
Wastewater  Electricity & Natural Gas  1,054  518 524 431 492  -53%
Pumping Stations Electricity & Natural Gas 31 18 18 16 19 -39%
Streetlights Electricity  531  172 87 64 60  -89%
Other Lighting Electricity - 12 12 8 7  -
Non-Fleet Vehicles Gasoline & Diesel 437 403 426 316 151 -65%

In 2016, the Corporate Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) was developed as a guiding document to facilitate the abatement of corporate emissions. The CCAP targeted a 30% GHG emission reduction below 2011 baseline levels by 2031. In 2019, City Council declared a Climate Emergency that upgraded the corporate GHG emission target to 45% by 2030 from 2011 levels and net-zero emissions by 2050. The declaration directed city staff to accelerate the development of climate action projects that will achieve significant reductions.  

The City of Peterborough is committed to achieving the enhanced reduction goal and is investing to mitigate GHG emissions through dedicated climate action projects. The following are planned or completed actions at city-owned facilities and assets that will support meeting the 45% reduction goal.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
In 2022, the City of Peterborough installed eight level-2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at four municipal facilities. The stations have a total of 16 charging ports available for refueling city-owned vehicles. The installation of the EV stations is the first phase in the transition of the corporate fleet to zero-emission vehicles. The conversion of the light-duty fleet has the potential to lower GHG emissions by hundreds of metric tons of CO2 by 2030. 
LED Streetlight Conversion 

In 2019, the municipality completed a significant mitigation project that upgraded 7,205 streetlights with light emitting diode (LED) light fixtures to improve energy efficiency, reduce electricity costs, and decrease GHG emissions. The LED conversion increased energy efficiency by lowering electricity consumption by 52 percent. The decline in electricity usage resulted in an annual decrease of GHG emissions by 83 metric tons of CO2 equivalent from 2018 levels. 

Municipal Buildings Energy Efficiency Renovations

Energy renovation were completed across multiple corporate facilities to lower energy consumption, increase building energy efficiency, and curtail emissions. The following are examples of key energy efficiency renovations that have occurred since 2011.

  • Peterborough Sports & Wellness Centre installed variable frequency drives that decreased the electricity used for powering the indoor pool pump motors 
  • Kinsmen Arena mounted solar panels on its rooftop that generated 520,964 kWh of electricity in 2020. The electricity produced would be enough to power 54 homes for an entire year!
  • Multiple building HVAC units were upgraded that included refurbishment at the Art Gallery, Main Library, and Museum and Archives
  • Several LED lighting conversions were completed at facilities that lowered electricity consumption and electricity costs 
  • Building Automated Systems (BAS) were embedded at multiple facilities that allows for computer monitoring and control of mechanical and electrical systems, such as lighting and HVAC units, to improve the energy efficiency of the overall building  
  • Kinsmen Arena installed a De-OX system that lowered the amount of natural gas used to heat water for ice resurfacing which significantly decreased associated GHG emissions 
Decarbonization Modelling of Municipal Buildings
In 2023, nine of the most energy intensive municipal facilities were selected to have energy models completed to determine which mitigation measures should be deployed to reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent in ten years and 80 percent in 20 years. The investigation includes all arenas, PSWC, City Hall, airport and bus terminals, public works, and the art gallery. Once the modelling is completed, the City will be able to budget renovations accordingly to lower emissions in a stepwise approach.  
Construction of Net-Zero Fire Hall

The ageing Carnegie Fire Station is scheduled for decommissioning and replacement. The City of Peterborough has taken proactive measures and has submitted an application to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Capital Project New Construction Energy Efficient Facilities program. If successful, the municipality will be able to receive funding and establish a loan agreement to construct a net-zero fire station. The fire station is currently in the early design stage receiving stakeholder input. The location for the new fire station will be built on the site of the former Northcrest Arena. At present, the Carnegie Fire Station contributes to 20 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. 

Alternate Fuel Study for Transit

The Alternative Fuel Study for Transit project will explore various approaches to reducing GHG emissions from transit vehicles. The Study will make recommendations to City Council for considerations for an approved direction forward such as planning for a new transit garage facility.  

Transportation Projects
Multiple transportation planning projects are being pursued which will help set important planning direction, many of which aim to target increasing mode share of active transportation and transit alternatives. These planning projects include:
Active Travel Projects

Improving access for cyclists to commute throughout Peterborough is an excellent way to lower community GHG emissions by decreasing the number of vehicle trips. Since 2011, the cycling network has been expanded and contains 76 km of dedicated bike lanes and trails. New bike lanes are being planned for Crawford Trail, George Street, Lansdowne Street, and Parkhill Road. The Cycling Master Plan is currently being developed that is the long-term strategic plan that will instruct cycling targets, route selection, bike infrastructure, and capital funding to 2041. 

Creation of Municipal Climate Change Reserve 

During the 2020 City Budget deliberations, City Council approved the creation of the Climate Change Reserve (CCR). The CCR raises $426,400 per year and is directed for exclusive climate action projects and programs. Presently, the CCR has funded the following climate projects:

  • Advancing the Alternative Fuel Study for Transit
  • Installing corporate electric vehicle charging stations
  • Developing a decarbonization pathway plan for large emitting corporate buildings (i.e. arenas)
Climate Change Reporting

To improve climate action transparency, city staff report on climate mitigation and adaptation progress to multiple governing and third-party bodies. Climate action reports are issued to City Council, the corporate leadership team, provincial ministries, Peterborough Environmental Advisory Committee, and various third-parties such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Additionally, the annual budget cycle requires identifying if each proposed budget item has considered its impact on mitigation or adaptability. 

Climate Change Staff Positions 

The City of Peterborough has numerous staff positions that are directly responsible in developing projects or programs that tackle mitigation or adaptation. The following are climate change staff positions: 

  • A full-time Climate Change Coordinator position was established to help coordinate climate action projects, apply for external funding to elevate the magnitude and reach of climate actions, and conduct GHG accounting of corporate and community sources to evaluate impact
  • A full-time Watershed Senior Manager role works to improve the resiliency of Peterborough against flooding such as spearheading flood mapping and watershed projects, and overseeing the completion of the Community Climate Change Resiliency Strategy
  • Multiple staff positions within the City are vital to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and include, but are not limited to, Urban Forestry, Stormwater and Water Resources, Asset Management, Engineering and Construction, Planning, Waste Diversion, Transportation Planning, Public Works, Facilities Management, Capital Projects staff.

Sustainability and Climate Change Events

The City of Peterborough strives to create engaging community events that educate residents on climate change, environmental, and sustainability topics. A past event includes the Peterborough Environmental and Climate Action Expo (EnviroX) that showcased climate action initiatives and projects spearheaded by the City of Peterborough and community partners. Many more community events are planned to engage residents in environmental and climate action. 

How greenhouse gas emissions are calculated and reported

Greenhouse gas emissions from City-owned facilities are calculated by using monthly utility bills multiplied with an emission factor for each energy product (electricity, natural gas, etc.), which is provided by the Province of Ontario. For example, the emission factor for electricity is based on the power grid's mix of energy generation and as this composition changes so does the amount of GHGs linked to electricity generation. City staff can then track and project how changes in facility energy use will impact GHG emissions.

The City of Peterborough submits annual corporate GHG emissions to the Province of Ontario as part of the Broader Public Sector reporting mechanism. Corporate assets that are reported include all municipal buildings that are heated or cooled, buildings in the service of transporting or treating sewage, and streetlights. The annual reporting improves the transparency of energy used by corporate operations in the service of the community. 

Annual Energy Consumption and GHG Reports

Corporate climate reporting to CDP

Since 2019, the City of Peterborough has been reporting its mitigation and adaptation efforts annually to CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, to benchmark municipal performance against peer cities. Each annual disclosure is extensive in the breadth of questions and document submissions which CDP evaluates and computes into an overall score. The City strives to improve its yearly score by developing new  programs and policies and disclosing previous and current climate initiatives. The following is a list of past annual scores:

 2019 Score

In the inaugural submission to CDP, Peterborough received an overall evaluation rating of Awareness level. Compared to peer North American municipalities, Peterborough's Awareness rating ranked in the majority and slightly above average compared to the global municipal average. Peterborough received a final Adaptation score of C and Mitigation score of C. The City submitted documentation on its commitment to Mitigation & Adaptation, GHG Emission Inventories, and GHG Emission Reduction Target.

 2020 Score
The City improved its overall annual score by achieving Management level through disclosing more information to CDP. Peterborough ranked above average when compared to peer North American and global municipalities. The City received a final Adaptation score of C (Awareness) and Mitigation score of A- (Leadership). Disclosed items included City-wide GHG Emission Inventory, GHG Emission Reduction Target, Mitigation Plan, and Risk & Vulnerability Assessment. 
 2021 Score
Peterborough maintained its overall score of Management level in 2021. The City ranked slightly above average when compared to its peer North American municipalities and above average against its global counterparts. Peterborough again received a final Adaptation score of C (Awareness) and Mitigation score of A- (Leadership). Disclosed items included City-wide GHG Emission Inventory, GHG Emission Reduction Target, Mitigation Plan, and Risk & Vulnerability Assessment. 
 2022 Score
In 2022, the City retained its Management level score. Compared to peer North American municipalities, Peterborough ranked average and above average to global municipalities. Peterborough improved its Adaptation score to B (Management) but its Mitigation score declined to B (Management) due to CDP restructuring its mitigation evaluation criteria. The City disclosure included City-wide GHG Emission Inventory, GHG Emission Reduction Target, Mitigation Plan, Risk & Vulnerability Assessment, and Adaptation Plan. 
2023 Score
In 2023, the City achieved Leadership level score for the first time. Compared to peer North American and global municipalities, Peterborough ranked above average in reporting criteria. Peterborough improved its Adaptation and Mitigation scores to A- (Leadership). The City disclosure included City-wide GHG Emission Inventory, GHG Emission Reduction Target, Mitigation Plan, Risk & Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation Goal, and Adaptation Plan.