Measuring environmental performance is a critical step in reducing the environmental footprint of a company's operations. By tracking and analyzing key environmental metrics, we can begin to understand how our particular activities impact the environment, enhancing our ability to set appropriate improvement goals and develop specific action plans to achieve those goals. This paper describes the design, implementation and evolution of the company's tracking system for environmental performance indicators.
A pilot project was first conducted to evaluate the burden of additional reporting and the feasibility of tracking this data in various regions around the world. An extensive evaluation process then commenced to select the best "fit for purpose" web-based software system.
A global team developed a phased implementation plan and provided input for various communication and user tools. These included a training manual, a Quick Start Guide and list of frequently asked questions, supplemented by multiple webinar training sessions, and a dedicated support person to provide assistance to users. Webpages were developed for the tracking system "user tools" and a second "toolkit" dedicated to resources, awareness materials and success stories to promote conservation and improvement projects.
Once the tracking system was implemented, emphasis was placed on developing specific reports to compile and analyze data for facilities, regions and business units. Data is normalized to account for changes in activity using a variety of factors. A dashboard is now under development to promote an instant view of key environmental metrics and support the company's environmental goals to reduce energy, water and greenhouse gas emissions. Efficiencies have also been realized by importing data from other systems, and using data for internal and external sustainability reporting. These and other lessons learned are presented, along with best practices.