Energy and environmental scorekeeping is the process of continuously and independently monitoring and reporting the energy, water and environmental performance of an organization.
Scorekeeping ensures that fundamental performance is understood on issues such as energy, water and climate change, from the point of view of consumption, costs and emissions. It is ongoing, independent and comparative.
Scorekeeping is essential for motivating, improving and maintaining environmental performance. Think of a scoreboard at a football or baseball stadium. It's the one place that players, umpires, commentators and the crowd can look to at any time to know instantly what's been done and what needs to be done. How can you measure and improve your performance without one?
Good scorekeeping should be comparable, on-demand, independent, continuous, consistent and cost-effective. It should also be engaging. Planet Footprint believe, and our long and growing list of clients confirm, that these qualities can only be achieved by using a full-service, dedicated scorekeeping service.
Seeing your team's score is of little use if you can't see the score of the other team. Comparisons, aka benchmarks, show the performance of participants against the performance of their peers.
Comparable also means measuring and reporting information in a consistent manner, both across organizations and over time. Planet Footprint applies a consistent methodology to all of our clients and all of the data we collect about them. When we improve our methodology we apply the changes to all of our clients and all of their data, across all time periods. That means we always provide the latest version of history. You simply can't get that with in-house software or consultancy services, unless you have an astronomical budget.
The score should always be available. Although they shouldn't watch the scoreboard constantly, players, umpires and commentators should be able to see the score whenever they need to. One-time reports from energy and water audits, emissions inventories and consulting projects are inadequate for designing and tracking energy and environmental improvement actions. Even if those reports are not out-of-date (they usually will be), most people in your organization would have a hard time finding and interpreting them. Planet Footprint scorekeeping information is always available on-demand, by phone, email or web. Just as importantly, we also provide on-demand support to help you interpret and apply that information. (Of course, your organization's environmental scoreboard can be completely private if you wish.)
In baseball or football, the players don't keep the score. The umpires don't even keep the score. The scorekeeper keeps the score. There are two reasons for this, one that is obvious and one that's often overlooked.
The obvious reason for that is that they might not be completely objective.
But there is another important reason. If the players have to keep score themselves they are distracted from their game! The same goes for organizations that track their own environmental performance. It is very common for an organization to hire a talented environment or sustainability professional, only for that employee to spend most of their time gathering and collating figures to try and measure environmental performance, with little or no time left to take creative steps to improve performance and save money. In a multisite organisation the best personality for a sustainability professional is someone who is a a good communicator and influencer. Such people are often not good at crunching numbers and they shouldn't have to be.
Scorekeeping must be done continuously. One-time energy audits, emissions statements and engineering projects are not continuous. They give you the score once and then you don't get an update until you can get the budget for another audit or consultancy. Planet Footprint scrorekeeping information is automatically updated whenever new data becomes available.
Imagine a sport whose scorekeeping method was changed for every game, or even changed during the game. That is what many organizations, including many large ones, are doing with environmental measurement and reporting. A range of permanent staff, temporary staff and consultants produce expensive reports every year or two, with no consistent methodology from year to year. Presenting a case to senior management to invest in, say, improving energy efficiency, results in questions about the data, rather than a decision to act.
Now imagine a sport where scoring was done differently for each team. With an internal system, even if the organization measures consistently it is unlikely that its performance is comparable to any other organization.
Planet Footprint does systems-based environmental scorekeeping every day, and we don't do anything else. We apply hundreds of rules to consistently collect, clean, allocate, estimate, report, benchmark and compare environmental performance data, so you can spend less time worrying about the accuracy of your performance results and more time doing something with them, whether that be promoting good results or remediating poor ones.
Imagine a game where so much time and money was spent on the scoreboard that the players couldn't afford shoes, or bats, or had no time left to play the game? It sounds ridiculous but it happens often in the environmental game. Many organizations pour their budgets into time-hungry reporting software or money-hungry consultants, leaving no resources to spend on actually improving performance. Sadly, the unecessarily high cost of environmental performance measurement causes some organizations to put off doing anything about their environmental performance.
Planet Footprint environmental scorekeeping is a cost-effective subscription-based service. Our subscribers avoid the prohibitive capital and staffing costs of software systems and the high ongoing costs of hiring consultants.
Frankly, there are probably few things of less interest to you than doing scorekeeping (unless you are one of those people that takes a pencil and notebook to the field). However, when all you have to do is view the score, leaving you more time to play the game, it can be very interesting. Planet Footprint uses benchmarking, trends and professional presentation to make environmental scorekeeping information interesting, and we add new information over time to keep it interesting. This combination of features is not available with in-house systems or consultants' reports.