The City of Boulder follows The Climate Registry's Local Government Operations Protocol which provides detailed guidance on accounting for emissions associated with local government operations. Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions are defined as the following under protocol guidelines:

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from sources within organizational boundaries that the local government owns or controls, such as fuel combustion and company owned vehicles.
  • Scope 2: Refers only to indirect emissions associated with the combustion of purchased or acquired electricity, steam, heating, or cooling.
  • Scope 3: This category of emissions includes all other indirect emissions not covered in Scope 2, such as emissions resulting from the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, transport-related activities in vehicles not owned by the local government, outsourced activities, waste disposal, etc.

GHG emissions associated with City of Boulder operations and facilities are measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e). This unit helps measure how much the city organization is contributing to climate change through emissions.

Fifty percent reduction by 2020 and eighty percent reduction by 2030, using 2008 as a baseline. Current climate science tells us that an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases is necessary to protect our environment from further climate damage; the City of Boulder desires to meet or exceed that target by 2030.

The City of Boulder and the Boulder community are committed to mitigating climate change through reduction of GHG emissions. This page shows the municipal government’s progress toward emissions reduction goals. Another dashboard page, titled, Community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions, shows the Boulder community’s progress toward emissions reduction goals.

While the City of Boulder has reduced total emissions from city operations and facilities by 40% between 2008 and 2019, staff recognizes the bulk of the work is ahead. The trend shows the city operations will not meet its 50% reduction goal by 2020 but is on track to meet the 80% reduction goal by 2030 reliant upon a fully renewable grid, however the timeline of that transition is difficult to predict. The city has taken on numerous ambitious efforts to address emissions in the city portfolio, including:

  • Conducting a building stock analysis to determine long-term strategy for improving the city’s building portfolio
  • Setting individual building EUI targets
  • Moving staff out of inefficient buildings located in the flood zone into net-zero retrofitted buildings
  • Installation of solar on 18 city facilities and exploring options for additional solar onsite, including an ongoing bulk purchase program
  • Electrifying natural gas loads
  • Developing a strategy and course to reduce emissions from city vehicles and business travel through efforts including vehicle electrification, shared mobility, and other opportunities to reduce single-occupancy vehicle use.

This data is provided by the Development and Support Services Division of the City of Boulder's Public Works Department. Please see the Greenhouse Gas Emisssions Inventory Summary Report for more information. This page will be updated annually.