Venues & Theatres > Tracking

Sustainability Metrics

Implementing operational improvements to make your facility run more efficiently can yield considerable environmental and cost savings. Developing baseline information on your operations is crucial to tracking the progress of your sustainability initiatives. Tracking your environmental performance not only helps quantify these improvements, but can also help your operations staff understand where there are opportunities for increased efficiency and potential cost savings.

Energy Use

Energy use is one of the largest impacts at any facility.  Start tracking your energy consumption (through your utility bills, energy meters, etc.) and consider using Energy Star Portfolio Manager to input and track consumption data.  Consider the following metrics:

  • Total electricity consumed – in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and dollars ($)
    • Note: if possible obtain info about which facilities measured, time period measured
  • Renewable energy proportion purchased (kWh and/or % of total energy consumed, and $)
    •  Note: if possible obtain info about type of energy provided (e.g, solar, wind)
  • Energy generated through on-site renewable installations (kWh)
  • Energy generated through on-site fossil fuel installations (kWh)
  • Offsets purchased (in MWs and converted into lbs/tons of CO2 equivalent offset, $)
    • Notes: type of offset (e.g., solar, wind), contact info of offset provider
  • Other energy consumed (e.g., generator diesel) – in gallons or appropriate quantity


  • Energy efficiency benefits achieved, if available: data of quantified energy savings through efficiency measures (kWh, $)

Waste Diversion

Work with your waste haulers to track your waste stream by material and calculate waste diversion rates.  Consider joining EPA’s WasteWise to input and track waste diversion data. Consider the following metrics:

  • Total solid waste produced (in lbs/tons)
  • Cost per ton of garbage disposed ($)
  • Percent and tonnage of each component of waste stream recycled (plastics, metals, paper, cardboard, cooking oil, etc.) (in lbs/tons)


  • Percent and tonnage of waste stream composted (in lbs/tons)

Water Use

Start tracking your water consumption through your utility bills and consider using Energy Star Portfolio Manager to input and track consumption data. Consider the following metrics:

  • Total water use (in cubic feet or gallons)
  • Cost of water acquisition ($ per feet3 or m3 or gallon)
  • Cost of water disposal/sewage ($ per feet3 or m3 or gallon)


  • Any available data of quantified water savings through efficiency measures (e.g., waterless urinals)
  • Any available data on greywater use

Paper Purchasing

Work with your suppliers and venue operations staff to track paper purchases.  Consider using the Environmental Paper Network’s Paper Calculator to calculate resource savings from switching to recycled content paper. Consider the following metrics:

  • Restrooms/Offices: total tissue paper (towels, napkins, tissue) consumed (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content, in lbs/tons, per event or per year)
  • Office: total copier paper consumed (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content, in lbs/tons, per event or per year)
  • Programs, posters, print collateral: (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content of all paper consumed, in lbs/tons)


  • If available, other grades of paper consumed, e.g. coated paper, cardboard (% of recycled content, % of postconsumer content of all paper consumed, in lbs/tons)
  • If available, total paper consumed that is FSC-certified 

Sustainability Reporting

Many companies with a commitment to environmental improvements issue annual reports on their progress. Look over the corporate examples below, and consider developing your own sustainability report.

Alternatively, if your organization publishes an annual report on community relations, consider including environmental issues and initiatives. Review the Additional Resources below for links to more examples and resources that may assist your organization in putting together a report.

Corporate Sustainability Report Examples

Environmental Benefits

Publishing a sustainability report takes time and effort, but it helps your organization track your supply chain impacts and costs, is a useful tool to declare your organization’s commitment to sustainability, and will help to track and report environmental improvements annually. Sustainability reports let employees, suppliers, and the public know that your organization is serious about achieving and documenting environmental improvements. 

Additional Resources