Monitoring progress and reporting results
Monitoring the results of the actions planned for in Milestone Three and implemented in Milestone Four helps you to determine:
- whether reduction measures are producing the anticipated results; and
- whether your emissions reduction target will be met.
If your actions are not producing the anticipated results or your target will not be met, the data collected can provide you with the information you need to evaluate and adjust your activities.
How should we go about monitoring and reporting our progress?
There are four main steps to achieving Milestone Five:
Track the results of specific emissions reduction measures.
Tracking the results of specific actions involves quantifying the reduction in energy consumed or waste generated as a result of the actions undertaken, and then calculating the quantity of GHG emissions that was avoided.
In addition to monitoring emissions reductions, you can also assess your implementation costs and track co-benefits, such as reduced costs, increased use of innovative technologies, job creation and improvements to local air quality and community health.
Note: Be sure to use the same data collection methods to update the inventory as you used to create it for the baseline year (Milestone One).
Update the inventory
To determine whether your municipality is likely to meet its community and corporate emission reduction targets, you will need to update the emissions inventory periodically. Updating your inventory every three to five years will help to ensure there is adequate time to refine your local action plan if necessary. While tracking specific actions is a valuable exercise to ensure they are effective, updating the inventory enables you to account for outside factors contributing to your emissions profile, such as growth, economic development, legislation and behaviour change.
Engage stakeholders and decision-makers.
Throughout the milestone process, you will engage with various community stakeholders and decision-makers on the development of your GHG emissions inventory and the development and implementation of their local action plan. Continue this participatory approach into Milestone Five, engaging stakeholders and decision-makers in monitoring and verifying the results of your local action plan to ensure that your municipality can meet the targets set in Milestone Two.
Report to stakeholders and to FCM
The final stage of Milestone Five is to report on your activities to your stakeholders and to FCM. Reporting to your stakeholders provides them with the results of the processes to which they contributed, and can help you earn support for future initiatives. Results can be included in existing reports produced by your municipal government, such as a sustainability progress report. They can also be described in a stand-alone document. FCM will conduct a technical review of your individually tracked actions and your updated inventory.
Reporting to FCM enables the Federation to ensure consistency among PCP members and to report on the achievements made through participation in the PCP program. At Milestone Five, you will be able to report quantifiable results of your actions, which tangibly illustrate the significance of action at the local level.
Realizing your goals
Reaching Milestone Five is a significant achievement, but it does not signal the end of your community's emissions reduction efforts. A local action plan is a living document that is revised as information, ideas and circumstances evolve.