Cities around the world are responsible for approximately 70% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (United Nations). We’re committed to changing for good through climate action and justice to improve sustainability.

Climate action is an important strategic priority that includes building equity and resiliency to climate change, as well as reducing emissions through conservation, efficiency, and innovation.

On this page:

  1. Policy context
  2. Corporate Climate Action Plan
  3. Community climate action plans
  4. Community energy investment
  5. Resources for climate action

Policy context

Given our footprint in the community, the city’s corporate climate actions are an important part of achieving community and broader goals.

Corporate Climate Action Plan

Our Corporate Climate Action Plan is a strategy for reducing our corporate level GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions while adapting to local climate change impacts. Our goal is to reduce GHG emissions by 8% by 2026.

Our plan responds to both climate adaptation and mitigation and supports 9 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Adaptation: actions to manage the risks of climate change impacts
  • Mitigation: actions to reduce emissions that cause climate change

Learn more about how the city will adapt to climate change and mitigate its impact by reading the full report. You can also check out our Corporate Climate Action Plan story board.

Our overall goal

Our goal is an absolute 8% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2026 compared to our 2016 levels. Because we had already implemented efficiency projects, our 2016 emissions were already significantly lower than in 2010, the year most organizations choose for their baseline.

Using a 2010 baseline, our absolute reduction target would translate to nearly 30%!

Annual reports

We've committed to release annual sustainability reports on our progress towards this goal and our next steps. Visit our Sustainability Report page to learn more.

We are also a proud Bronze Pledging Partner with Sustainable Waterloo Region's Regional Sustainability Initiative, a program that helps organizations in Waterloo Region assess their environmental impact and set carbon, waste, and water reduction targets.

Community climate action plans

Climate change projections for Waterloo Region indicate our local climate is getting warmer, wetter, and more extreme.


Changes to our local climate, including severe weather events, flooding, extreme heat and freezing, and poor air quality, can have major impacts on the health and safety of our community. Some community members are at risk of being disproportionately impacted by these changes due to various social, economic, and health-related factors. 

The Region of Waterloo has developed a Community Climate Adaptation Plan to help assess local vulnerability and risks to climate change and extreme weather events. The plan also encourages community collaboration to help reduce the severity or likelihood of these risks. Through this effort, Waterloo Region can improve its resiliency to climate change and severe weather events.


We’re proud to be a part of ClimateActionWR, a collaboration to develop Waterloo Region's community action plan on climate change. You can review ClimateActionWR’s current Action Plan and progress report.

ClimateActionWR’s initial GHG reduction target of 6 per cent below 2010 levels by 2020 has been replaced with unanimous municipal and regional support of 80 per cent reduction by 2050. ClimateActionWR is currently drafting a new plan with the Region, area municipalities, and townships to achieve this target.

Community energy investment

WR Community Energy is a partnership with the Region of Waterloo, the three local urban municipalities, and our five local energy utilities. WR Community Energy works to improve and sustain Waterloo Region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life through the coordination of targeted energy investments. Their work is focused on:

  • district energy
  • energy literacy
  • high performance buildings
  • energy poverty
  • zero emission vehicles

In 2014, Waterloo Region spent $2.1 billion on energy, but only 13% of the energy stayed within our community. 45% of the energy used is turned into pollution in the form things like of GHG emissions, smog, and excess radiant heat. Read the report for Waterloo Region’s Community Energy Investment Strategy here.

Resources for climate action

Choose the accordion that represents you below to find resources for climate action.

Small business
Business and industry (industrial, commercial, institutional)
Contractors and developers

For a full list of available programs to promote the efficient use or conservation of energy in Ontario, refer to the Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs.