Sustainability 101

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’s New Waste Tracking

Screenshot example: Metrics Summary Chart- last row is Total Waste Disposed
Screenshot example: Metrics Summary Chart

EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager has introduced a new feature to track “Waste and Materials” in addition to Energy and Water, in an effort to streamline sustainability data.

29 types of materials can be tracked (eg: Trash, Mixed Recycling, Paper, Glass, Metal, Compost, E-Waste, Lamps, Donations, Furniture, etc.).  In addition, trash is tracked to its end point (landfill, incineration, converted from waste to energy, etc.)

Things to note:

  • For now, tracking waste is voluntary; there is no discussion of if or when waste metrics would be required for any type of reporting.
  • Waste and Materials metrics will NOT be accounted for in the calculation of a building’s ENERGY STAR Score (same with water).
  • Waste and Materials metrics will NOT be accounted for in the calculation of a building’s GHG emissions

However, Great Forest recommends that buildings begin exploring and using this new tool. Why? Because waste management has one of the most direct impacts on businesses and the environment.  Having the ability to track waste next to energy and water in an accessible format is invaluable.

Transferring Data

Great Forest clients will find that this new tracking feature is similar to what is already available on the Great Forest Sustainability Metrics platform.

“We have been tracking waste this way for a long time.  So if you are using the Great Forest metrics platform, we can help transfer your data to Portfolio Manager.  We can also set up new tracking on both the Great Forest portal and/or Portfolio Manager,” notes Great Forest Sustainability Analyst Elizabeth Arrigo.

Key Features

Among the key new features of Portfolio Manager:

  • Data Collection and Entry: Both waste measurement data is collected (using volume to weight conversions, container size, hauler supplied weight or volume, etc.), as well as waste management data (tracking what happens to the waste). Click here for the EPA’s volume to weight conversion factors, which cites Great Forest’s research data.
  • Summary: New summary page includes the ES Score, Source EUI, Energy Cost, Total GHG emissions, Water Use, and now “Total Waste (Disposed and Diverted)” has been added to the summary page.
  • Reports: New reports can be automatically generated using waste metrics from Portfolio Manager, including Total Waste (waste & recycling), Totla Composted, Total Landfiller, Total recycled, etc.

Learn more:
FAQ on Using Portfolio Manager to Track Waste
EPA’s volume to weight conversion factors, which cites Great Forest’s research data

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