Environmental Performance Tracking:
How does yours stack up?

April 24, 2017

To effectively track performance of environmental management programmes, organisations can no longer simply rely on key performance indicators without also addressing the selection of the right indicators and source data against relevant baseline points.



As stakeholder expectations of company performance have evolved over time, environmental programmes are evolving from a management stance into an era of performance.  

The introduction of ISO 14064 and ISO 50001, which address greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption respectively, were arguably the first large scale ISO environmental standards to tackle performance head on.  This really supports the move to an era of continual improvement in an organisation's environmental performance, rather than continual improvement of the management system.  

It is now simply no longer enough to rely on key performance indicators focused on compliance, traditional metrics, costs and improvement projects without also considering relevant reference points. 

Whilst industry leaders have recognised this and implemented processes to ensure collection, aggregation and effective analysis of relevant data to measure performance against externally verified baselines, the majority of organisations are still not effectively tracking and reporting on their environmental performance. 

The result delivers metrics that can be misleading due to performance data that cannot be reliably compared and programs that enable leakage from one metric to another. This also contributes to an inability to measure an improvement project's success as the results might not be attributable to the project in question.

In our whitepaper The State of Environmental Performance Tracking authored by John Fraser, SAI Global's Technical Manager and Global Scheme Owner - Environment, we share how organisations can improve their environmental management programmes through the development of meaningful baselines by taking a fresh look at the current indicators, assessing what is lacking and instituting a new sustainable environmental performance tracking programme.

One of the developments I believe has made the biggest impact on environmental management is the ease of access to information and expertise through the introduction of tools, such as EHS risk software like Cintellate and ISO 14001. The improvements to environmental management achieved by companies taking advantage of such tools is inspiring. It shows not only in their environmental performance, but also in the dynamic culture that unfolds alongside it.

John Fraser

Technical Manager and Global Scheme Manager - Environment, SAI Global

Top tier organisations are calculating their environmental footprints and comparing their performance against baselines and more. In its entirety, this level of effort can easily be overkill for the huge number of organisations that fall under that threshold of resources and expertise.

The path forward is to take a fresh look at the current indicators, assess what is lacking and institute a new sustainable environmental performance tracking programme. Read our free whitepaper to find out why an EHS Management System is the ideal framework for this endeavor. 


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