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New Waste Tracking Feature Helps Building Managers Save Money and Support a Healthy Environment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled today a waste and materials tracking feature in its Energy Star Portfolio Manager, which is a free benchmarking and tracking tool for commercial building owners and managers. Reducing waste and reusing materials more productively over their entire lifecycles conserves resources, helps communities remain economically competitive and supports a healthy environment.
EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager is already used to measure energy, water and greenhouse gas metrics in more than 450,000 U.S. buildings, representing over 40 percent of U.S. commercial space, as well as in more than 10,000 buildings in Canada. Now owners and managers using Portfolio Manager will be able to benchmark 29 types of waste across four different management metrics alongside their existing sustainability management indicators. Types of waste include building materials, glass, paper, plastics, and trash.
Currently, U.S. commercial buildings and manufacturing activities are responsible for as much as 45 percent of the 150 million tons of waste in the United States that ends up in incinerators or landfills each year. The transportation, decomposition, and burning of this waste generates greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. The first step is knowing how much of the building’s disposed materials could be eliminated by reducing waste, recycling, or even repurposing materials for another use. What’s more, that eliminates the significant expense of waste disposal. For instance:
- General Motors generates $1 billion in revenue each year through its recycling program.
- Toyota has achieved $1.3 million in net savings from waste management, largely due to its use of reusable packaging, which has saved wood and cardboard equivalent to more than 2.3 million trees.
The addition of waste tracking is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between EPA and members of the industry to identify key performance metrics for waste and materials management.To learn more about sustainable materials management: www.epa.gov/smm
To learn more or register for a free webinar on the new waste tracking feature: www.energystar.gov/trackwaste
Waste tracking fits easily into the existing Portfolio Manager interface, making it easy for managers to manage it alongside other resources. Building managers can get started by doing the following:
- Create a Portfolio Manager account if you don’t already have one, at www.energystar.gov/benchmark
- Check out other training resources at www.energystar.gov/buildings/training
Energy Star is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For nearly 25 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s Energy Star program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each blue label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to climate change. Today, Energy Star is the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the world, helping families and businesses save $362 billion on utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons since 1992. Join the millions who are already making a difference at energystar.gov.