Guide to business climate action

Step 3: Assess your impact

In order to improve your energy and environmental performance, you must first understand where you are starting. You may already have data sources for some indicators such as utility bills or financial statements. If not, you should begin collecting and storing this data.

Next, establish targets and timelines for improvement. Target setting is a proven method for driving action, and timelines ensure that momentum towards your goals is not lost. Your targets should be quantified, time-bound, and ambitious yet attainable.

These tools and resources will help you assess and benchmark your performance in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and other indicators of your environmental performance.

Tools & Resources

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Indoor Air Quality Guideline and Assessment

This guideline was prepared to assist employers, building owners, real estate management professionals, constructors, contractors, and workers to better understand typical indoor air quality issues. This includes an overview of industry best practices and intends to educate and inform those who need an introductory guide to resolve IAQ concerns and prevent them from occurring. Section 4.0 explains the best practices to conduct an IAQ assessment.

Food Waste Assessment

This guide was prepared by the EPA and explains how to conduct a food waste assessment and provides users with the steps necessary to achieve a baseline measurement.

Waste Assessment

This waste assessment delivers a comprehensive approach to understanding your waste stream. It provides insight on what and how much is being discarded, as well as how it is being disposed. This resource provides users with a how-to guide for measuring, tools on setting goals and capturing data, and additional resources to overall have an improved waste management practice in your facility.

Author: American Hospital Association Type: Article, Tool

Sustainability Checklist in Restaurants

This study developed and created a checklist that is designed to verify the sustainability indicators in three sectors: 1. Water, energy, and gas supply; 2. Menu and food waste, 3. Waste reduction, construction material, chemicals, employees, and social sustainability) in foodservice.

Author: Dayanne da Costa Maynard 1, Renata Puppin Zandonadi, Eduardo Yoshio Nakano. and Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho Type: Article, Checklist

Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability

This was created to provide the consumer goods and packaging industries with a common language consisting of a general framework and a measurement system to discuss and assess the relative sustainability of packaging

Environmental Impact of Your Digital Business

Join Brett Tackaberry, Chief Technology Officer for Rebel.com.

Today, more than ever, it is important to understand what environmental impacts our digital activities have. In this one-hour workshop Brett goes over practical ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our online activities including emails, websites (performance, hosting, etc…), personal online behaviour tactics, e-waste, advocacy and participation. Small decisions and actions have an impact on our environment. You can reduce your business’s digital carbon footprint and energy use just by knowing the impact of your day-to-day digital choices.

Author: EnviroCentre: Brett Tackaberry of Rebel.com Type: Video

Waste Audit How To

This webinar explores the specifics of how to execute a waste audit, from sorting to reporting. The auditing process and how to interpret the data is be explained in detail.

Author: Busch Systems, Syvannah Vine; Green Event Ninjas, James Watson; Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Shantanu Pai Type: Video

Managing Supply Chain Emissions

Assessing the full environmental impacts of your supply chain and addressing the risks and capitalizing on opportunities is a business imperative – but can also be a major challenge. This three-part webinar series offered by CDP shows what steps you can take to progress on your sustainable procurement journey. Specific topics include setting and achieving ambitious supply chain emission reduction targets, working with suppliers to create resiliency in supply chain and forest management, and learning how to use supplier reported data to anticipate and reduce impacts.

An Introductory Guide to Measuring and Valuing Environmental Impacts

This report prepared by the Network for Business Sustainability is designed to help senior executives and decision-makers new to sustainability navigate the strategic decision-making process for managing their firm’s environmental impacts. It presents a high- level guide and suggests tools and additional resources for measuring and valuing environmental impacts.

Life Cycle Cost Assessment Tool

The Low Impact Development Life Cycle Costing Tool facilitates the process of accurately estimating the life cycle costs for low impact development (LID) practices and allows users to generate realistic, reasonably accurate costs estimates for LID practices and projects. The LID practices evaluated in the report include bioretention cells, permeable pavement, infiltration trenches and chambers, enhanced swales, rainwater harvesting and green roofs.

Author: Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program Type: Tool

Beginner Guide to the B Impact Assessment and SDG Action Manager

Launched in January 2020, the SDG Action Manager incorporates B Lab’s B Impact Assessment to provide direction so businesses can lead by reshaping their practices and using their collective voice to make progress on the SDGs in the next decade. This FAQ article outlines where the B Impact Assessment and SDG Action Manager differ or overlap, and how businesses can best employ each tool.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Manager

This impact management solution enables businesses worldwide to set goals, track progress, and stay motivated on their actions toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations.  The SDG Action Manager was developed in partnership by B Lab and the United Nations Global Compact along with other content advisers. This demo video is also available.

Author: B Corporation, United Nations Global Compact Type: Tool

Natural Capital Risk Assessor

This tool created by Encore enables organizations to understand, assess and integrate natural capital related risks into their existing risk management processes. Associated step-by-step guide for the tool.

Author: Natural Capital Finance Alliance, PwC Type: Tool

Sense Home Energy Monitor

Sense installs in your home’s electrical panel and provides insight into your energy use and home activity through our iOS, Android, and web apps. It can detect and monitor individual device usage by identifying their unique signals.

Type: Tool

Low Carbon Skills Building Series

Learn and develop skills and knowledge on low carbon building projects and life-cycle assessment tools in this video series presented by Evergreen Brick Works.

Author: Evergreen Brick Works Type: Video

Building Life Cycle Assessment

For almost any construction project, residential or commercial, the EcoCalculator does a thorough impact assessment of any building project and gives a detailed picture of the projects’ footprint. Formatted in an Excel workbook, the EcoCalculator does a thorough life-cycle assessment of all materials used in a project and the results show the fossil fuel energy used and associated impacts.

Author: Athena Sustainable Materials Institute Type: Tool

Clean Energy Management Software

RETScreen empowers professionals to rapidly identify, assess and optimize the technical and financial viability of potential clean energy projects. This decision intelligence software platform also allows managers to easily measure and verify the actual performance of their facilities and helps find additional energy savings/production opportunities.

Author: Natural Resources Canada Type: Tool

Carbon Emissions Calculator

A simple tool to calculate the carbon emissions impact of using utilities, cars, flights and buses.

Author: Carbon Zero Type: Tool

Employee Commute Survey Example

This sample employee commute survey can be used to create a baseline for current employee commuting behaviour.

Author: Clean Air Partnership Type: Checklist, Template, Tool

Energy Audit Manual and Tool

A comprehensive step-by-step guide on conducting energy audits in the industrial sector, with energy analysis methods and supplementary technical backgrounders on energy-consuming systems.

Author: Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation Type: Checklist, Guide, White paper

Carbon Footprint Understanding and Planning

This guide provides process tools for monitoring building-related carbon emissions, presenting the GHG emission inventory process, discussing best practices and benchmarking, and explaining climate action planning and reporting procedure.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Case study, Guide, Report

Measuring and Monitoring Facility Systems

This guide has been designed to assist FMs in understanding how to establish a measuring and monitoring program by discussing investigation and documentation processes used to ensure optimized efficiency and performance throughout an organization.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Case study, Guide

Sustainability ROI Workbook

This free, open-sourced Excel workbook helps users identify, quantify and monetize all potential business benefits that may arise from a sustainability project. It also includes a Project Appraisal Tools that will help CFO’s make better informed decisions on sustainability projects.

Author: Bob Willard; Sustainability Advantage Type: Guide, Template, Tool

The Wild West of Measuring Corporate Sustainability

4 resources for measuring and reporting sustainability strategies

Author: Stanford Social Innovation Review Type: Article

Measuring environmental impact

To implement an environmental sustainability strategy, you must measure the environmental impact of your organization. The first step is to collect environmental data about critical workplace assets, including energy consumption and emissions data.

PrOACT Decision Making Model

The PrOACT (Problem, Objectives and Measures, Alternatives, Consequences, and Trade-offs) Structured Decision-Making framework* is a method for creating a clear and concise summary of a problem and the possible solutions to it so that you—or a senior decision-maker—can clearly see the consequences of each choice.

Understanding the Importance of Impact Assessment

This article explains the need for measuring impact of sustainability initiatives and the unique factors to consider in ensuring success.

Author: Stanford Social Innovation Review Type: Article

Sustainability How-To Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Water Conservation

This guide provides instructions to help facility managers benchmark, evaluate and reduce water consumption, defining domestic, processed and outdoor water types and explaining strategies to reduce each.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Case study, Guide

Engaging Occupants in Your Sustainability Program

This guide introduces facility professionals and sustainability managers to the opportunities and benefits of engaging occupants and tenants in their initiatives, and provides a step by step approach for designing, implementing and measuring the impact of an occupant engagement program to achieve positive behavior changes.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-to Guide: Getting Started

This guide details implementation strategy for sustainable FM programs in existing buildings, providing direction to assess the organization, identify initiatives to determine their value, and implement, measure and monitor program effectiveness.

Author: Christopher Hodges; International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Energy, Water, and Waste Audit Manager

Using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, you can manage energy, water, waste, and GHG emissions – all in one secure online environment. Portfolio Manager benchmarks energy performance, prioritize efficiency measures, and verify energy reductions in buildings. That same proven approach can be applied to water and waste and materials management. Benchmarking turns the information on your utility bill into knowledge you can act on.