Tracking Your Progress

Implementing operational improvements to make your facility run more efficiently can yield considerable environmental and cost savings. Developing baseline information on your operations is crucial to tracking the progress of your sustainability initiatives. Tracking your environmental performance not only helps quantify these improvements, but can also help your operations staff understand where there are opportunities for increased efficiency and potential cost savings.

NRDC is working with professional sports leagues to implement league-wide sustainability metrics and data collection systems. As of 2011, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have designed and implemented league-wide environmental data collection systems to track environmental progress in the categories of energy use, water use, waste management, and paper purchasing.

In the absence of a league-wide data collection system, consider the following categories and metrics to begin tracking the progress of environmental initiatives at your facilities.

Energy Use

Energy use is one of the largest impacts at any facility.  Start tracking your energy consumption (through your utility bills, energy meters, etc.) and consider using Energy Star Portfolio Manager to input and track consumption data.  Consider the following metrics:

  • Total electricity consumed – in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and dollars ($)
    • Note: if possible obtain info about which facilities measured, time period measured
  • Renewable energy proportion purchased (kWh and/or % of total energy consumed, and $)
    •  Note: if possible obtain info about type of energy provided (e.g, solar, wind)
  • Energy generated through on-site renewable installations (kWh)
  • Energy generated through on-site fossil fuel installations (kWh)
  • Offsets purchased (in MWs and converted into lbs/tons of CO2 equivalent offset, $)
    • Notes: type of offset (e.g., solar, wind), contact info of offset provider
  • Other energy consumed (e.g., generator diesel) – in gallons or appropriate quantity

Optional:

  • Energy efficiency benefits achieved, if available: data of quantified energy savings through efficiency measures (kWh, $)

Waste Generation and Diversion

Work with your waste haulers to track your waste stream by material and calculate waste diversion rates.  Consider using EPA’s WasteWise Re-TRAC to input and track waste diversion data. Consider the following metrics:

  • Total solid waste produced (in lbs/tons)
  • Cost per ton of garbage disposed ($)
  • Percent and tonnage of each component of waste stream recycled (plastics, metals, paper, cardboard, cooking oil, etc.) (in lbs/tons)

Optional:

  • Percent and tonnage of waste stream composted (in lbs/tons)

Water Use

Start tracking your water consumption through your utility bills and consider using Energy Star Portfolio Manager to input and track consumption data. Consider the following metrics:

  • Total water use (in cubic feet or gallons)
  • Cost of water acquisition ($ per feet3 or m3 or gallon)
  • Cost of water disposal/sewage ($ per feet3 or m3 or gallon)

Optional:

  • Any available data of quantified water savings through efficiency measures (e.g., waterless urinals)
  • Any available data on greywater use

Paper Purchasing

Work with your suppliers and operations staff to track paper purchases.  Consider using the Environmental Paper Network’s Paper Calculator to calculate resource savings from switching to recycled content paper. Consider the following metrics:

  • Restrooms/Offices: total tissue paper (towels, napkins, tissue) consumed (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content, in lbs/tons, per event or per year)
  • Office: total copier paper consumed (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content, in lbs/tons, per event or per year)
  • Programs, yearbooks, media guides: (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content of all paper consumed, in lbs/tons)

Optional:

  • If available, other grades of paper consumed, e.g. coated paper, cardboard (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content of all paper consumed, in lbs/tons)
  • If available, total paper consumed that is FSC-certified