National Academies Press: OpenBook

A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies (2011)

Chapter: Chapter 4 - Understanding the Sustainability Performance Measurement Framework

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Understanding the Sustainability Performance Measurement Framework." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14598.
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Page 14
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Understanding the Sustainability Performance Measurement Framework." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14598.
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Page 15

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14 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Chapter 4 Understanding the Sustainability Performance Measurement Framework The sustainability performance measurement (SPM) framework was developed to address the question: What does a transportation agency need to be equipped with in order to successfully address sustainability issues through performance measurement? The SPM framework consists of three types of components, termed as fundamental components, overarching components, and auxiliary components. Figure 2 illustrates the basic components of the SPM framework. A description of the framework components follows. See the research report for a more detailed description of the SPM framework. You may also want to use the overview presentation provided (Appendix G) as you talk with colleagues, introduce the framework to your agency, and orient your working group. FUNDAMENTAL COMPONENTS Applying the framework in a step-by-step manner requires these components (described in detail in the next chapter): Step 1 – Understanding sustainability, Step 2 – Developing transportation sustainability goals, Step 3 – Developing objectives, Step 4 – Developing performance measures, Step 5 – Implementing performance measures, and Step 6 – Refining the framework and applying feedback. The fundamental components of the sustainability performance measurement framework include understanding sustainability; developing goals, objectives, and performance measures; implementing performance measures; refining the framework; and applying continuous feedback.

Understanding the Sustainability Performance Measurement Framework 15 OVERARCHING COMPONENTS Overarching components of the framework are items that need to be taken into consideration throughout the framework application process, and include aspects such as the engagement of stakeholders, partners, and external agencies. AUXILIARY COMPONENTS Auxiliary components are related but optional components that supplement the framework application process but are not central to it. These include items such as (1) developing a working definition of sustainability, (2) organizational sustainability initiatives that are independent of a transportation agency’s functions (e.g., energy efficient buildings, recycling of office waste), and (3) organizational application of broader transportation sustainability performance measures (such as carpooling or ridesharing) specifically for the agency’s employees. Figure 2. Simplified framework diagram.

Next: Chapter 5 - Using the Sustainability Performance Measurement Framework »
A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Get This Book
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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies describes the underlying principles of sustainability as it relates to transportation, possible goals that can be used to address those principles, and performance measures that can be used to address those goals.

Aspects of sustainability-related performance measures, including data sources and examples of use, are discussed. A reference compendium of performance measures has also been provided.

In addition to the guidebook, the contractor’s project Final Report contains the results of the literature review, surveys of the state of the practice, case study interviews, detail on research methodology and findings, and a discussion of future research needs is available on the NCHRP Project 08-74 website.

A CD-ROM, included in the print version of the guidebook, contains an Excel-spreadsheet-based version of the performance measures compendium located in Appendix B of the guidebook. The spreadsheet allows the existing measures to be modified, and macros enable the user to generate and export a custom list of measures. Instructions for using the spreadsheet are found in Appendix C.

The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image

Download the .ISO CD-ROM Image

(Warning: This is a large file and may take some time to download using a high-speed connection.)

An article on NCHRP Report 708 was published in the January-February 2013 issue of the TR News.

CD-ROM Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB’) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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