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Businesses Lag in Tracking Most Sustainability Metrics

While a majority of facility and sustainability professionals are tracking electricity use, many still don’t track for waste, water, green purchasing, carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics, according to a survey from iReuse. They also lag behind in using data tracking tools.

The “Facility and Sustainability Data Management Survey” (PDF) indicates that while most ‘green’ professionals track their operational and environmental performance, it’s primarily for electricity data using an Excel spreadsheet. Survey respondents say that using the spreadsheet is “cumbersome” and leads to data entry errors and the need for custom formulas.

Eighty-six percent of respondents currently use Excel to track their utility data, but only 33 percent are satisfied or very satisfied with this tool.

“This underscores what we have heard from many facility and property managers directly,” says Ken Kurtzig, CEO of iReuse. “Managing, analyzing, and interpreting data from multiple sources is to achieve and often requires using cumbersome spreadsheets. Businesses need better tracking solutions to help them move beyond just electricity to more fully tracking sustainability metrics.”

Many survey respondents are tracking electricity — 74 percent track some utility data and 72 percent track electricity — and about half track water, waste, or natural gas, says iReuse. The survey also finds that 46 percent don’t track any other data such as green purchasing metrics, business travel, or carbon footprint.

In addition, 44 percent of respondents indicate that utility data is tracked by facilities, 24 percent by the sustainability department, and 16 percent by the accounting department.

Several software solution providers including iReuse, Enviance and First Carbon recently introduced new or upgraded software tools to make it easier for businesses to track their environmental performance.

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