Toronto’s Sector-Based Emissions Inventory (SBEI) tracks Toronto’s progress towards its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. The SBEI identifies direct and indirect GHG emissions from three key sectors: buildings, transportation, and waste. The GHG emissions data included in the tabs below provide an overview of the community-wide GHG emissions and highlight sectors, fuel types, and scope, along with emissions generated only by local government activities (i.e. the City of Toronto corporation) called corporate emissions.

In 2021, Toronto’s community-wide GHG emissions were 14.5 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 e), a four per cent increase over the 14 MT CO2 e emitted in 2020. Emissions were 41 per cent less than 1990 levels. The sources that contribute the largest percentage of emissions in Toronto are natural gas heating in residential buildings (30 per cent of Toronto’s community-wide emissions) and gasoline combustion in passenger vehicles (24 per cent of emissions).

As per the TransformTO Net Zero by 2040, Toronto’s future sector-based GHG reduction targets from 1990 levels are: 45 per cent by 2025, 65 per cent by 2030, and net zero by 2040 . Meeting Toronto’s 2025 target is at risk if the upward trend in GHG emissions continue.

The data in the SBEI and listed below will be updated annually. See details and full report.


This section contains the year over year progress of emissions of buildings, transportation, and waste, from 1990 to 2021.

Overall, community-wide emissions have been decreasing since 1990. In 2021, emissions were 41 per cent lower compared to 1990. However, in the same year, emissions increased by 4 per cent over 2020 due to the significant decrease in emissions seen in 2020 related to COVID-19 restrictions. COVID-19 lockdowns continued during first half of 2021 and schools remained closed to in-person learning until fall 2021. This means that the emissions increase in 2021 represents six months of a resumption of pre-pandemic activities. This upward trend in emissions is expected to continue into 2022 when activity returns to pre-pandemic levels.

 

This visual shows a breakdown of the community-wide GHG emissions by sector (Buildings, Transportation and Waste) in percentages in 2021 in a pie chart.

 

GHG emissions by sector (2021)

 

Sector
GHG Emissions (megatonnes CO₂e)
Percentage of Total
Buildings 8.09 56%
Transportation 5.13 35%
Waste 1.32 9%


This visual shows the year over year community-wide GHG emission from 1990 to 2021 for the three sectors Buildings, Transportation and Waste in a bar chart.


This visual shows the annual community-wide sector-based GHG emissions from 1990 to 2021 in a line chart.


The section includes information on the fuel types reported in the SBEI, including natural gas and gasoline.

Natural gas consumption to heat buildings continued to be the largest source of community-wide GHG emissions in 2021 at approximately 7.5 MT, accounting for about 51 per cent of all emissions. This is one per cent less than 2020. This slight decrease is due to a slightly warmer winter, which requires less building heating. Natural gas usage in residential buildings was the largest single source of emissions, accounting for 30 per cent of community-wide emissions.

In 2021, gasoline used for passenger cars and trucks accounted for 27 per cent of community-wide GHG emissions in Toronto. It is the second largest source of emissions source at approximately 3.9 MT. This is an increase from 2020 due to a resumption of pre-pandemic activities in the second half of 2021.

 

This visual shows a breakdown of the community-wide GHG emissions by key fuel types in percentages in 2021 in a pie chart.

Note: The following fuel types are not represented in the chart above because they represent less than one per cent of the community-wide GHG emissions: Combined Organics and Yard Waste Gases, Wastewater Treatment Gases, B20-BioDiesel, B10-BioDiesel, Aviation Fuels, Marine Fuels, B05 BIODIESEL, Propane, and CNG.


 

This visual shows the community-wide GHG emissions in descending order by fuel type for 2021 in a bar chart.

Note: The following fuel types were combined into “Others”: Electricity (Subways and Streetcars), Diesel, Transit Bus B20, Transit Bus B10, Electricity Transmission Loss, Marine Diesel, Jet Fuel, Aviation Gas, Marine Gasoline, Transit Bus kWh, Marine E10, Gasoline, Marine B05, Marine B10, Off Road B05, Propane, CNG, Off Road B10, and Off Road B20. Refer to the table below for their exact emissions.


Community-wide GHG emissions by fuel type and sector (2021)

 

Sector
Fuel Category
Fuel Type
GHG Emissions (tonnes CO₂e)
Percentage of Total
Buildings Electricity Electricity 624,762 4.30%
Electricity Transmission Loss 1,653 0.01%
Natural Gas Natural Gas 7,373,385 50.74%
Natural Gas Fugitive 86,221 0.59%
Transportation Aviation Fuels Aviation Gas 177 0.00%
Jet Fuel 228 0.00%
Marine Fuels Marine B05 42 0.00%
Marine B10 29 0.00%
Marine Diesel 953 0.01%
Marine Gasoline 142 0.00%
Marine E10 47 0.00%
Off Road CNG 0 0.00%
Diesel 6,666 0.05%
Gasoline 45 0.00%
Off Road B05 10 0.00%
Off Road B10 0 0.00%
Off Road B20 0 0.00%
Propane 6 0.00%
On Road Diesel 1,022,854 7.04%
Gasoline 3,858,508 26.55%
Transit Bus B05 174,972 1.20%
Transit Bus B10 3,445 0.02%
Transit Bus B20 3,481 0.02%
Transit Bus kWh 76 0.00%
Rail Fuel Diesel 46,619 0.32%
Electricity (Subways and Streetcars) 9,639 0.07%
Waste Combined Organics and Yard Waste Gases Combined Organics and Yard Waste Gases 28,521 0.20%
Landfill Gases Landfill Gases 1,263,716 8.70%
Wastewater Treatment Gases Wastewater Treatment Gases 25,911 0.18%

This visual shows all the fuel types, their GHG emissions, and their percentage relative to the total community-wide GHG emission in 2021, grouped by sector, in a table.


This section details the sub-sector emissions of buildings, transportation, and waste in 2021.

Community sector-based emissions have been declining since 1990 and in 2021, Toronto’s emissions were 41 per cent lower than in 1990. This an increase in four per cent from 2020 which was 43 per cent lower than 1990 levels. Additionally, while there is an overall downward trend in emissions in the sectors, it does not appear to be sufficient to meet the targets set out by the City.

Percentage breakdown of community-wide GHG emissions by the three sectors (2021)

 

This visual shows a breakdown of the community-wide GHG emissions in 2021 by sub-sector details within the three sectors (Buildings, Transportation and Waste) in percentages as pie charts.

Note: The following sub-sector details are not represented in the chart above because they represent less than one per cent of the community-wide transportation GHG emissions: Waste Trucks Private Landfill, Off Road Vehicles and Equipment, Waste Trucks City Owned Landfill, TTC Transit Buses (B20-BioDiesel) (Commercial Heavy Trucks BioDiesel) Litres, TTC Transit Buses (B10-BioDiesel) (Commercial Heavy Trucks BioDiesel) Litres, Marine, and Aviation.


 

This visual shows the community-wide GHG emissions in descending order by sub-sector details for 2021 in a bar chart.

Note: The following sub-sector details were combined into “Others”: Rail – TTC Subways and Streetcars, On Road Scope 3 – Haulage Waste Trucks to Private Landfill, Off Road – City Owned Vehicles and Equipment , On Road Scope 3 – Haulage Waste Trucks to Landfill , Rail – UP Express, On Road – TTC Buses – B20, On Road – TTC Buses – B10, Buildings – Streetlights, Marine – City Owned Marine Fleet, Aviation – Avgas and Jet Fuel at Billy Bishop Airport, and On Road – TTC Buses – Electricity. Refer to the table below for their exact emissions.


Community-wide GHG emission and percentage breakdown by sub-sector details (2021)

 

Sector
Sub-Sector
Details
GHG Emissions (tonnes CO₂e)
Percentage of Total
Buildings Commercial and Institutional Commercial 2,722,739 18.74%
Streetlights 3,182 0.02%
Industrial Industrial 914,390 6.29%
Residential Residential 4,445,710 30.59%
Transportation Aviation Billy Bishop Airport 405 0.00%
Commercial Light Vehicles Commercial Light Trucks 438,850 3.02%
Commercial Vans and Pickups 360,703 2.48%
Heavy Vehicles Commercial Heavy Trucks 570,231 3.92%
Marine City Owned Marine Fleet (Police, Fire Boats, and Ferries) 1,214 0.01%
Off Road Vehicles and Equipment Off Road Vehicles and Equipment 6,727 0.05%
Passenger Vehicles Passenger cars and trucks (gas proportions 50-50%)+motorcycles 3,497,805 24.07%
Rail Toronto Go Train 42,103 0.29%
TTC Subway and Streetcars 9,639 0.07%
UP Express 4,516 0.03%
Transit Buses Transit Bus B05 174,972 1.20%
Transit Bus B10 3,445 0.02%
Transit Bus B20 3,481 0.02%
Transit Bus kWh 76 0.00%
Waste Trucks City Owned Landfill Waste Trucks 5,509 0.04%
Waste Trucks Private Landfill Waste Trucks Private 8,263 0.06%
Waste Landfill City Owned Combined Organics and Yard Waste Gases 1,057,134 7.27%
Landfill Private Estimated Landfill Private Estimated 206,582 1.42%
Organics and Yard Waste Processing Facilities Organics and Yard Waste Processing Facilities 28,521 0.20%
Wastewater Treatment Plants Wastewater Treatment Plants 25,911 0.18%

This visual shows all the sub-sector details, their GHG emissions, and their percentage relative to the total community-wide GHG emission in 2021, grouped by sector, in a table.


This section reports 2021 emissions by scope. Activities taking place within a city can generate GHG emissions that occur inside the city boundary as well as outside the city boundary. To distinguish between them they are grouped into three categories based on where they occur: scope 1, scope 2 or scope 3 emissions. We have included two visuals below.

For further information about GHG emissions by scope, please refer to the GPC Protocol.

 

This visual shows a breakdown of the community-wide GHG emissions by Scope 1, 2, and 3 in percentages in 2021 in a pie chart.


 


Description about Scope 1

GHG emissions from sources located within the city boundary.

Description about Scope 2

GHG emissions occurring as a consequence of the use of grid-supplied electricity, heat,
steam and/or cooling within the city boundary.

Description about Scope 3

All other GHG emissions that occur outside the city boundary as a result of activities taking place within the city boundary.

Percentage breakdown of community-wide GHG emissions by the three scopes (2021)

 

This visual shows a breakdown of the community-wide GHG emissions in 2021 by sub-sector within the three scopes in percentages as pie charts.

Note: The following sub-sectors represent less than 1% of the community-wide Scope 1 GHG emissions: Rail, Wastewater Treatment Plants, Marine, Aviation, and Landfill Private Estimated.


 

This section details the 2021 sector-based emissions broken down by sector, sub-sector, and scope.

In 2021, building sector emissions were 8.1 MT representing 56 per cent of overall community-wide emissions, with most of those emissions attributable to natural gas used for space and water heating. Transportation emissions accounted for 35 per cent of overall community-wide emissions, with most of those emissions coming from gasoline used in passenger cars and trucks. Waste sector emissions, which include emissions from landfills, organics and yard waste processing, and wastewater treatment processes, were nine per cent of overall community-wide emissions.

 

Community-wide GHG emissions by sub-sector and scope (2021)

 

Sector
Sub-Sector
GHG Emissions in 2021 (tonnes CO₂e)
Percentage
Scope 1
Scope 2
Scope 3
Total
Buildings Commercial and Institutional 2,290,515 435,407 2,725,921 18.76%
Industrial 860,979 53,410 914,390 6.29%
Residential 4,308,112 137,598 4,445,710 30.59%
Transportation Aviation 405 405 0.00%
Marine 1,214 1,214 0.01%
Off Road Vehicles and Equipment 3,339 3,388 6,727 0.05%
On Road 4,867,589 4,867,589 33.50%
Rail 46,619 9,639 56,258 0.39%
Transit Bus B05 174,972 174,972 1.20%
Transit Bus B10 3,445 3,445 0.02%
Transit Bus B20 3,481 3,481 0.02%
Transit Bus kWh 76 76 0.00%
Waste Trucks 5,509 5,509 0.04%
Waste Trucks Private 8,263 8,263 0.06%
Waste Landfill City Owned 197,460 859,673 1,057,133 7.27%
Landfill Private Estimated 206,582 206,582 1.42%
Organics and Yard Waste Processing Facilities 131 28,391 28,522 0.20%
Wastewater Treatment Plants 25,911 25,911 0.18%
Grand Total 12,784,173 636,130 1,111,806 14,532,109 100%

This visual shows all the sub-sectors, scopes, their GHG emissions, and their percentage relative to the total community-wide GHG emission in 2021, grouped by sector, in a table.


In 2021, corporate emissions were 0.67 MT, which was about five per cent of Toronto’s community-wide emissions. The City’s corporate emissions increased by four per cent from 2020 but remained a stable share of community-wide emissions between 2020 and 2021. Buildings accounted for 43 per cent, the largest source of corporate emissions, followed by transportation emissions at 40 per cent and waste emissions accounting for 17 per cent.

 

This visual shows a breakdown of the corporate GHG emissions by sector in percentages in 2021 in a pie chart.

Note: The following sector are not represented in the chart above because they represent less than one per cent of corporate GHG emissions: Streetlights and Traffic Signals.


 

GHG emissions by sector (2021)

 

Sector
GHG Emissions (tonnes CO₂e)
Percentage of Total
Buildings 284,236 42.5%
Transportation 266,219 39.8%
Water and Wastewater 76,972 11.5%
Waste 38,384 5.7%
Streetlights and Traffic Signals 3,401 0.5%
Grand Total 669,212 100.0%


This visual shows the year-over-year corporate GHG emission from 2008 to 2021 for each sector in a bar chart.


 

This visual shows the corporate GHG emissions in descending order by sub-sectors for 2021 in a bar chart.

Note: The following sub-sectors were combined into “Streetlights and Traffic Signals”: Streetlights, Signal Lights, and Bike Path Lighting. Refer to the table below for their exact emissions.


Corporate GHG emissions and percentage breakdown by sub-sectors (2021)

 

Sector
Sub-Sector
GHG Emissions (kilotonnes CO₂e)
Percentage of Total
Buildings Social Housing 164.97 24.65%
Office, Public Use and Yards 119.19 17.81%
Streetlights and Traffic Signals Streetlights 3.17 0.47%
Signal Lights 0.23 0.03%
Bike Path Lighting 0.002 0.00%
Transportation Marine 1.21 0.18%
Off Road 3.34 0.50%
On Road 64.62 9.66%
TTC Buses 181.97 27.19%
TTC Subway and Streetcar 9.86 1.44%
Waste Trucks to Landfill 5.51 0.82%
Waste Scope 3 Landfill 9.86 1.47%
Organics and Yard Waste 28.52 4.26%
Water and Wastewater Wastewater Generated and Treated 25.91 3.87%
Office, Public Use and Yards 51.06 7.63%

This visual shows all the sub-sectors, their GHG emissions, and their percentage relative to the total corporate GHG emission in 2021, grouped by sector, in a table.


This visual shows the annual corporate GHG emissions from 2008 to 2021 in a line chart.


This section focuses only on the City’s corporate emissions, which are captured as part of the community-wide Sector-Based Emissions Inventory, but are also displayed separately. The City of Toronto’s corporate (or local government) emissions are calculated based on the energy used in all municipal buildings (offices, community recreation centres, Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) housing), vehicle fleets including Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) transit vehicles, waste, water supply, and wastewater treatment, as well as streetlights.

In 2021, corporate emissions were 0.67 MT, which was about five per cent of Toronto’s community-wide emissions. The City’s corporate emissions increased by four per cent from 2020 but remained a stable share of community-wide emissions between 2020 and 2021. Buildings accounted for 43 per cent, the largest source of corporate emissions, followed by transportation emissions at 40 per cent and waste emissions accounting for 17 per cent.

 

This visual shows a breakdown of the corporate GHG emissions by sector in percentages in 2021 in a pie chart.

Note: The following sector are not represented in the chart above because they represent less than one per cent of corporate GHG emissions: Streetlights and Traffic Signals.


 

GHG emissions by sector (2021)

 

Sector
GHG Emissions (tonnes CO₂e)
Percentage of Total
Buildings 284,236 42.5%
Transportation 266,219 39.8%
Water and Wastewater 76,972 11.5%
Waste 38,384 5.7%
Streetlights and Traffic Signals 3,401 0.5%
Grand Total 669,212 100.0%


This visual shows the year-over-year corporate GHG emission from 2008 to 2021 for each sector in a bar chart.


 

This visual shows the corporate GHG emissions in descending order by sub-sectors for 2021 in a bar chart.

Note: The following sub-sectors were combined into “Streetlights and Traffic Signals”: Streetlights, Signal Lights, and Bike Path Lighting. Refer to the table below for their exact emissions.


Corporate GHG emissions and percentage breakdown by sub-sectors (2021)

 

Sector
Sub-Sector
GHG Emissions (kilotonnes CO₂e)
Percentage of Total
Buildings Social Housing 164.97 24.65%
Office, Public Use and Yards 119.19 17.81%
Streetlights and Traffic Signals Streetlights 3.17 0.47%
Signal Lights 0.23 0.03%
Bike Path Lighting 0.002 0.00%
Transportation Marine 1.21 0.18%
Off Road 3.34 0.50%
On Road 64.62 9.66%
TTC Buses 181.97 27.19%
TTC Subway and Streetcar 9.86 1.44%
Waste Trucks to Landfill 5.51 0.82%
Waste Scope 3 Landfill 9.86 1.47%
Organics and Yard Waste 28.52 4.26%
Water and Wastewater Wastewater Generated and Treated 25.91 3.87%
Office, Public Use and Yards 51.06 7.63%

This visual shows all the sub-sectors, their GHG emissions, and their percentage relative to the total corporate GHG emission in 2021, grouped by sector, in a table.


This visual shows the annual corporate GHG emissions from 2008 to 2021 in a line chart.


  • CO2 e (Carbon dioxide equivalent): A unit that allows emissions of different greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) to be expressed as a single unit of measurement.

 

  • Community-Wide Emissions: Community-wide emissions include all GHG emissions within Toronto’s geographical boundary that can currently be estimated or measured by the City of Toronto.

 

  • Corporate-Wide Emissions: Corporate-wide emissions account for emissions generated only by local government activities. Corporate emissions are included in community-wide emissions.

 

  • Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG Emissions Inventory (GPC): Toronto’s community-wide emissions are calculated and reported as per guidance in the GPC, a robust, transparent, and globally accepted framework to consistently identify, calculate, and report on community-wide greenhouse gas emissions to support climate action planning. Use of the GPC is required to uphold Toronto’s commitment as a signatory of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. (Adapted from Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories, version 1.1 and the Toronto’s 2021 Sector-based Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory)

 

  • Global warming potential (GWP): GWP measures how much a particular GHG contributes to global warming relative to carbon dioxide (CO2), which has a GWP of 1. GWP is used to convert tonnes of GHGs, like methane, to tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 e) to express total emissions using a common unit. For details see Appendix C.1 Global Warming Potential (GWP) in 2021 Sector-based Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory)

 

  • Greenhouse gases (GHGs): Compound gases that trap heat and emit longwave radiation in the atmosphere causing global warming, also called the greenhouse effect. The three GHGs measured in Toronto are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

 

 

 

 

  • Sector: In the context of production-based emissions inventories, a sector is a classification for which emissions are reported. Sectors include: buildings; transportation; waste; industrial processes and product use (IPPU); agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU); other emissions occurring outside the geographic boundary of the inventory area as a result of activities within the inventory area. Sectors are categorized by scope. (Adapted from Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories, version 1.1)

 

  • Buildings: Energy use of buildings is used to calculate the emissions produced from the consumption of natural gas and electricity. These emissions come from the combustion of fuel to heat spaces in residential, commercial and institutional buildings and facilities and manufacturing industries and construction.

 

  • Transportation: Transportation emissions represent emissions from on-road passenger vehicles, vehicles, for hire, commercial and heavy trucks, and buses as well as from commuter rail and some marine and aviation navigation. Freight rail emissions are not accounted for in this inventory, as reliable data for these emissions sources is currently not available. Identifying emissions sources from all transportation modes continues to be a methodological challenge. Due to the number of different authorities and private businesses that may contribute to transportation emissions, as well as the varying levels of voluntary, sometimes proprietary versus regulated reporting, this section of the inventory presents the best data available at the time of collection.
    • Toronto Emission Sources:
      • All On Road Vehicles
      • Waste Hauling to Landfills outside of City Boundary
      • Go Trains (within Toronto’s boarders)
      • UP Express
      • TTC Subways and Streetcars
      • City Owned Ferries and Marine Fleet
      • Aviation fuel used at Billy Bishop Airport
      • City Owned Off Road and Construction Vehicles and Equipment

 

  • Waste: Waste emissions (primarily methane but also nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide) originating in landfills constitute most Toronto’s waste emissions. In addition, there is a small portion of emissions from organics and yard waste processing, and wastewater treatment processes. Emissions from privately managed waste are estimated.
    • Toronto Emission Sources:
      • Beare Rd, Brock West, Green Lane, Keele Valley, and Thackeray Landfills
      • Disco and Dufferin Organics Process Facilities
      • Ashbridges Bay, Highland Creek, Humber Bay, and North Toronto Wastewater Treatment Plants