WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has introduced 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. EPA said reducing waste and reusing materials more productively through sustainable materials management 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.
The addition of waste tracking is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between EPA’s Energy Star and Sustainable Materials Management programs and members of the industry to identify key performance metrics for waste and materials management.
For more information on the new waste tracking feature, visit www.energystar.gov/trackwaste.
Publication date: 8/24/2016