Category Archives: Measurement

Using EPA’s Pollution Prevention Greenhouse Gas and Cost Calculators to Measure Environmental Outcomes

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, noon-1 pm CDT
Register at

Are you a U.S. EPA grantee, state, city, NGO, business or consultant looking to demonstrate the environmental benefits of the ground efforts in sustainability or pollution prevention?

Kathy Davey and Natalie Hummel from U.S. EPA will provide an overview of the Pollution Prevention (P2) GHG and Cost Calculators, which are designed to capture GHG reductions and cost savings from energy conservation, green energy, stationary & mobile source fuel reduction/substitutions, water conservation, greener chemical use, and more. The speakers will provide examples and the discuss the latest updates to the calculators.

This webinar is hosted by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR).

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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Calculators, Meetings & webinars


EPA Launches New Tool to Estimate Emissions Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policies

EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program has launched a new tool that estimates the emissions benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs. The AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) is a free tool with a simple user interface designed to meet the needs of state air quality planners and other interested users. Non-experts can easily use AVERT to evaluate county-level reductions of electric power plant emissions due to energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) policies and programs.

State air quality planners, energy office staff, public utility commission staff, and other organizations interested in knowing the emission benefits of EE/RE policies and programs can use AVERT to:

  • Quantify the nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (S02), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions benefits of state and multi-state EE/RE policies and programs.
  • Examine the regional, state, and county level emission impacts of different EE/RE programs based on temporal energy savings and hourly generation profiles.
  • Include AVERT-calculated emission impacts of EE/RE policies and programs in air quality modeling and Clean Air Act plans used to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, with the concurrence of the appropriate EPA regional office.
  • Compare the emissions impacts of different types of EE/RE programs, such as the emissions impacts of wind installations versus solar installations.
  • Understand the emissions impacts of different EE/RE policies and programs during high electricity demand days.
  • Analyze the emissions benefits of EE/RE programs implemented in multiple states within an AVERT region.
  • Share information about location-specific emissions benefits in easy-to-interpret tables and maps.

EPA Releases Climate Assessment Update to National Stormwater Calculator

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released phase II of the National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package. The updated calculator includes future climate vulnerability scenarios.

The calculator, a part of President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan, is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific location. The Calculator now includes changes in seasonal precipitation levels, the effects of more frequent high-intensity storms, and changes in evaporation rates based on validated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate change scenarios.

“Climate change threatens our health, our economy, and our environment,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator. “As part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, this tool will help us better prepare for climate impacts by helping build safer, sustainable, and more resilient water infrastructure”

The updated calculator includes climate models that can be incorporated into the calculation of stormwater runoff. This adds future climate scenarios to last year’s phase I release, which included local soil conditions, slope, land cover, historical rainfall records.

Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specific green infrastructure changes, including inexpensive changes such as rain barrels and rain gardens, can reduce stormwater runoff. This information shows users how adding green infrastructure, which mimics natural processes, can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce stormwater runoff.

Every year billions of gallons of raw sewage, trash, household chemicals, and urban runoff flow into our streams, rivers and lakes. Polluted stormwater runoff can adversely affect plants, animals, and people. It also negatively impacts our economy – from closed beaches to decreased fishing in polluted areas. Green infrastructure can reduce the damage caused by climate change by improving water quality in streams and rivers, protecting groundwater sources, and enhancing recreational activities. Using the calculator to choose the best green infrastructure options for an area is an innovative and efficient way to promote healthy waters and support sustainable communities.


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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Calculators, Climate change, Water


Webinar: Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Product Life Cycle Management

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9-10 am CST
Register at

This webinar will provide an overview and demonstrate tools to model the benefits of alternative end-of-life waste management comparisons. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission implications of purchasing recycled content products, as well as, reusing and source reducing material in products that we use will be presented.

The webinar is hosted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and features a presentation by Deanna Lizas, ICF International, on the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) and Recycled Content (ReCon) Tool.


Keeping it simple: Can EnergyPoints make environmental decisions easier?

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Massachusetts entrepreneur Ory Zik’s EnergyPoints software converts complex environmental impacts into a gallon-of-gasoline equivalent, and Fortune 500 companies already use it.

Note that U.S. EPA also has several greenhouse gas equivalencies calculators available at no charge.

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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Calculators, Green business, Measurement


Determining Materiality in Hotel Carbon Footprinting: What Counts and What Does Not

Download the document.

As hotel companies seek in good faith to determine and report their carbon footprints, often in response to stakeholder requests, the issue of materiality arises, in which the hotel firm must determine what factors are important to greenhouse emissions and which are negligible in terms of emissions. The guidance from existing sources on this question is complex and can be contradictory. In addition to examining the boundaries of materiality, this report presents a materiality analysis of two sources of hotel greenhouse gases, fugitive coolant emissions and mobile fuels. Based on data from 154 hotels in 25 countries, neither source appears to be material for most hotels, since neither exceeds the commonly used cut-off point of 5 percent of total emissions. While the circumstances of a particular hotel might render one of these sources material, they do not seem to merit the industry’s attention for constant measurement.


Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool

Using the scoring methodology of the 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the downloadable Self-Scoring Tool gives you the ability to score the energy efficiency efforts of your community and compare it against its peers. By answering a series of questions, you’ll obtain a numerical score indicative of your community’s progress toward enacting and implementing sound energy programs and policies. In addition to the score, the tool also allows for analysis of the score through:

  • A comparison to other communities’ scores to put numerical scores in perspective and introduce your community to innovative energy practices that have been implemented and successful in other communities
  • A customized assessment indicating where your community is doing well when it comes to energy efficiency, where your community can improve, and specific metrics for your community to target for improvement
  • Aggregation of scores by policy type to provide a flexible framework through which communities in different stages of energy policy implementation can view their progress

And who can use this tool, you might wonder? Anyone interested in knowing how energy efficient their community is—from the local policymaker to the informed citizen.


DOE’s Building Technologies Office Issues Request for Information for the Prioritization Tool

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) has issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other interested stakeholders for the Prioritization Tool. BTO seeks comments and information related to the Prioritization Tool that improves the tool’s accuracy and applicability for technology planning within BTO. Specifically, this notice solicits comments and information on data, assumptions and outputs of various energy efficiency technologies and activities analyzed by the Prioritization Tool. Currently, the tool contains data on over 500 energy efficiency measures along with their markets. It has the capability to perform extensive analyses using established methodology for calculating energy savings potential and the costs of conserved energy associated with each measure.

BTO developed the Prioritization Tool to improve its programmatic decision-making. The tool provides an objective framework for most energy-saving measures and scenarios, as well as methodology, comparing long-term benefits and end-user costs applied to various markets, end-uses, and lifetimes.

For details, see the RFI announcement DE-FOA-0001024 or e-mail questions about the RFI to Responses must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on December 24, 2013.


AASHE Launches STARS 2.0

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

With the launch of STARS 2.0, AASHE is excited to announce different levels of access that will dramatically improve the ease of campus sustainability reporting worldwide. These levels of access are based on participant feedback, and will allow institutions to report and share their campus sustainability data.


Meet the world’s first natural capital management system

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Today, a company called Climate Earth is unveiling software that lets companies assess their natural capital impacts at a pretty granular level. It represents a major step forward in enabling companies to measure and manage the impacts of their operations and supply chains.

The Natural Capital Management System is a cloud-based software system that allows a company to map its organizational structure and accounting systems to a database of natural capital costs — that is, the financial value of a company’s depletion of nonrenewable resources, and its emissions into the air, water and soil.

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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Green business, Measurement


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