Sample Metrics: Measure Your Success

From tracking the percentage of waste material recycled instead of sent to the landfill, to shrinking the "footprint" of a whole event, it's important to be able to show results and measure your success. When people realize the impact of their efforts, they're much more likely to try a Greener challenge next time. 

This list provides an example of the type of data that can  be collected to measure the success of your green efforts. These statistics can be used alone or can be used in formulas to help make tell the story of your green event. 

Materials

Consider collecting information about the following to learn more about the material impacts of your Green event: 

  • Collect totals for waste produced (by weight or volume) including: total recycling collected, total composting collect, total landfill waste collected
     
  • Total paper consumption (by reams, cases or costs) including details such as:total recycled paper used, total non-recycled paper used
     
  • Total recycled material used in making the event (by weight or volume)
     
  • Total materials needed to make the event happen
     
  • Food (measured by cost) including: 
    • Total food cost 
    • Total food cost from within 150 miles
    • Total food cost from within 250 miles
    • Total food cost for organic (USDA or locally certified)

Helpful formulas that can be used in measuring and comparing material metrics: 

Total Waste Generated (TWG)

This measurement will paint a complete picture of the waste generated from your event. Remember the waste heirarchy places source reduction at the top of the strategies. Knowing your event's TWG can be an important measure of your potential to change next time. You will also need this information if you want to calculate the diversion rate for your event. The lower the TWG for your event the better your green efforts. 

 
 Total Landfill Trash Collected + Total Recycling Collected + 
Total Compost Collected =

Total Waste Generated 

 

Waste Generated per Capita

This measurement will provide you with information to compare to other events based on the amount of waste generated and the number of people attending your event. 

A 2006 study of 25 events in California found that the average event attendee generates 2.44 lbs of waste per day. 

              Total Waste Generated
________________________         
      Number of People Attending 
Waste Diversion Rate

This measurement tracks the success in diverting from landfill for recycling or composting. When looking to improve the success of your event's waste footprint it is critical to know your current waste diversion rate. To make this a percentage simply multiply by 100. The closer your percentage is to 100% the better your green efforts. 
 

    Total Recycling + Total Compost
________________________         
          Total Waste Generated  

Transportation

Consider collecting information about the following to learn more about the transportation impacts of your Green event: 

  • Miles traveled by the attendees of the event to event housing 
     
  • Miles traveled by attendees from event housing to event
     
  • Number of attendees who utilize public transit to the event
     
  • Number of attendees who walk to the event
     
  • Number of attendees who ride a bicycle to the event
     
  • Number of people riding in each vehicle
     
  • Number of people flying to the event 
     
  • Distance flown by all attendees to arrive at and return home from the event 

Helpful formulas that can be used in measuring and comparing transportation metrics: 

Bicycle Mode Share: 
This measure will give you an idea of how many of the trips taken during the event (typically from housing to the event) were taken on a bicycle. The higher this number the larger the percentage of trips were taken in a way that did not emit any greenhouse gases.
    

      Total Number of Bicycle Trips   
________________________         
             Total Number of Trips

Pedestrian Mode Share: 
This measure is similar to the Bicycle Mode Share but measures pedestrian trips taken compared to the total trips taken during an event. 
   
      Total Number of Trips Walked
________________________         
             Total Number of Trips
Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT): 
This is the total miles traveled by vehicles used to bring attendees to the event and shuttle them to sites during the event. The smaller this number is the better, particularly keeping the total VMT during the event as low as possible. 
   
       Total Miles Traveled by All                 Vehicles During the Event
________________________         
    Total Miles Traveled by Vehicles  in Bringing Attendees to the Event
VMT per Capita
This measure is created by taking the total VMT (see above) and dividing by the total number of attendees to the event.
A smaller number is better for a green event. 
 
         Vehicle Miles Traveled
________________________         
       Total Number of Attendees
 
Average Vehicle Occupancy
This is metric details how many attendees may travel together to an event. The higher this number gets, the better the green efforts and the higher number of carpools or rideshare users your event may have. 
          Total Number of Attendees                    Arriving by Vehicle
________________________         
     Total Number of Vehicles Used

Energy

Consider collecting information about the following to learn more about the energy impacts of your Green event: 

  • Electrical usage for the event (in kilowatt hours)
     
  • Renewable energy credits used (in kilowatt hours)
     
  • Energy made from biodiesel generators (in kilowatt hours) 
     
  • Voluntary purchase of renewable electricity (in kilowatt hours)
     
  • Amount of water, in gallons, used throughout the event