Where to start? Reduce waste? Energy efficiency? Carbon emissions? An organization-wide assessment is the first step toward launching initiatives for waste, energy or water reduction.


  • Decide what criteria you will use to determine priorities (e.g., lowest cost, easiest to implement, most wide-ranging impact).
  • Once priorities are established, begin with baseline measurements (of waste, energy or water) as the first step toward establishing your goals.

Initiatives for reducing waste, water, toxics etc. are more likely to succeed if you include:

    • a budget for the project
    • a tracking system for reduction or efficiency
    • extensive and ongoing employee education (about the “why” as well as the “how to”)
    • built-in incentives or other motivation tools (e.g. contests, awards or other recognition of efforts or achievements)
    • communications and prioritization by the organization’s leadership.
    • customer/client education.
    • regularly communications (and/or sharing) the resulting cost-savings to help increase employee or customer motivation.


Also see the Transportation section.