Track and monitor targets

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Monitoring and measurement enables you to:

  • assess your agency's ongoing environmental performance and impacts over time
  • identify where corrective actions or improvements are needed
  • report accurately to stakeholders on your performance
  • make decisions that are economically and environmentally sound.

Check the overall performance

Assess your ResourceSmart strategy by asking questions such as:

  • Are we on track?
  • Are there any delays and why?
  • What's being fast tracked and do we need to build on this?

Track progress against targets

Use regular reporting to check if your agency is on track to meet your set targets. Information from reports will tell both internal and external stakeholders about improvements in your environmental performance.

Use monthly data to track progress against set targets and benchmarks. Ask:

  • Will the targets be met?
  • Do we need to prioritise some actions to meet targets?
  • How can we encourage staff to continue their behaviours?

Show the financial benefits

Environmental data can help a wide range of users in your agency make more informed decisions and evaluate the impact of their decisions. Demonstrate savings that may have resulted from particular actions by matching financial data with the environmental data you've collected.

For example, what has been the financial benefit of decreased energy use by the agency due to a more efficient lighting system?

Monitor staff feedback

As environmental actions happen, staff will provide feedback and new ideas or opportunities. Make staff feel valued and improve the environment program by acting on their suggestions when they're appropriate.

Involve your environment team

Your environment team can help you monitor your strategy by:

  • collecting relevant data
  • checking implementation
  • gathering staff feedback and ideas.

Each team member could check progress with staff responsible for particular actions from the strategy, particularly if they work in the same unit or section. Staff feedback, issues and opportunities are then discussed at team meetings.

For the best results, your environment team must represent people from across the organisation.

Identify and understand trends

Use existing environmental baseline data and indicators as the basis for monitoring. Capture data at regular intervals, for example monthly or quarterly. This will give you a more accurate picture of data trends and discrepancies.

Example one: comparing data against a baseline

The following graph provides an example of electricity consumption over the 2007-08 financial year compared to the 2006-07 baseline.

Example electricity usage graph

Graph of Depot Electricity Consumption, 2007-08 compared to 2006-07

Unusual changes to electricity consumption are shown through this data. An initial decrease, due to new energy efficiency technology, is followed by an unexpected increase beyond the 2006-07 baseline.
 Further investigation found that consumption increased because a new staff member had not been trained in the correct operating procedures for the new equipment. The problem was easily fixed after it was identified. 

Example two: finding seasonal trends

Seasonal trends can help you to understand the environmental data that you collect. Use these trends to look at how particular resources are used differently through the year.

For example, greater water consumption in summer is due to increase in demand on air conditioning and cooling towers. This trend can be managed by the Facilities Manager.

Investigate discrepancies

Identify and address relevant discrepancies to improve environmental performance and save money. A number of factors may cause these differences, including:

  • incorrect data
  • unaccounted resource consumption, such as increasing inefficiency when operating a particular appliance.

Some discrepancies can result from not normalising the data appropriately. Different approaches will show a data trend that tells the most accurate story. For example, you may decide to use 'energy consumed per staff FTE' rather than 'per square metre' to represent the data.


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Example ata_collection_plan

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Example monitoring_and_continuous_improvement_schedule