Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sustainability Director

Brian Blackmon
(865) 215-4430

400 Main St., Room 598
Knoxville, TN 37902

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
The City of Knoxville's Office of Sustainability performs regular monitoring of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from both municipal operations and our community as a whole.  These GHG inventories provide context for how various local activities, like transportation and energy use, emit key gases that are the leading cause of climate change.  A GHG inventory is a best estimate, and as better data becomes available these datasets are revisited to fine tune how we pinpoint GHG emissions.  

  Greenhouse gas protocol chart for inventory requirements

Click chart to enlarge
Below you will find a mix of materials and reports that give a snapshot of our local emissions.  The Office of Sustainability uses a BASIC+ reporting standard (chart on right).  This is a prominent standard in community greenhouse gas reporting.  If you have general questions about the inventories or about City of Knoxville sustainability efforts, please email us (  If you'd like to learn more about greenhouse gases and their impacts on our planet, we highly recommend NASA's Climate Change web portal

Helpful definitions

Scope 1 - Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.  Examples: Gasoline used by cars and natural gas furnaces.

Scope 2 - Indirect emissions from owned or controlled sources.  Example: Electricity purchased from the grid.

Scope 3 - Indirect emissions from the value chain of a reporting entity.  Examples: Waste generated in the City but disposed of out-of-boundary and City employees commuting to work.

CO2e - Carbon dioxide equivalent means the n umber of metric tons  of CO2 emissions with the same global warming potential as one metric ton of another greenhouse gas.  In the information below, CO2e equals CO2 plus CH4 and N2O multiplied by their individual global warming potential factors.  For more information on global warming potentials, we recommend EPA's website and FAQ.

2019 Community Scope and Sector Report

Scope 1 Transportation & Mobile Sources 2,528,477
Scope 1 Solid Waste 2,206
Scope 1 Water & Wastewater 92,962
Scope 1 Commercial Energy 127,760
Scope 1 Industrial Energy 177,063
Scope 1 Residential Energy 80,610
Scope 1 Process & Fugitive Emissions 11,238
Scope 2 Transportation & Mobile Sources 0 *
Scope 2 Commercial Energy 670,056
Scope 2 Industrial Energy 337,135
Scope 2 Residential Energy 393,485
Scope 3 Solid Waste 64,585
Scope 3 Water & Wastewater 22,707

*Scope 2 transportation emissions (electric cars) are not able to be individually calculated, but is included in the Industrial, Residential, and Commercial reports.

Chart showing community greenhouse gas emissions by scope

2019 Government Scope and Sector Report

Scope 1 Buildings & Facilities 4,167
Scope 1 Vehicle Fleet 9,592
Scope 1 Transit Fleet 8,339 *
Scope 2 Buildings & Facilities 17,667
Scope 2 Street Lights & Traffic Signals 7,270
Scope 3 Employee Commute 1,571

*Scope 2 transportation emissions (electric cars) are not able to be individually calculated, but is included in the Industrial, Residential, and Commercial reports.

Chart showing 2019 government greenhouse gas emissions

GHG Inventories

The files below are raw outputs of data of our inventories.  If a model is revised for accuracy there will be a date to notify the most recent revision.

2019 Community Inventory [xlsx] 2019 Government Inventory [xlsx]
2015 Community Inventory [xlsx] 2015 Government Inventory [xlsx]
2012 Community Inventory [xlsx] 2012 Government Inventory [xlsx]
2005 Community Inventory [xlsx]
2005 Government Inventory [xlsx]