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Implementation of Environmental Mainstreaming Measures

Indicator Phrasing

% of planned environmental mainstreaming measures that were implemented
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of planned environmental mainstreaming measures that were implemented

French: % des mesures d'intégration des questions environnementales prévues qui ont été mises en œuvre

Portuguese: % de medidas de integração das questões ambientais planeadas que foram implementadas

Czech: % plánovaných opatření na snižování negativního environmentálního dopadu jež byla realizována

What is its purpose?

This indicator measures the extent to which the planned measures for mainstreaming environmental protection were adequately implemented. It is one of the key environmental mainstreaming indicators. It can be used both in the context of the operations and project activities.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Make a list of the measures for mainstreaming environmental protection that were planned to be used in a given period. Examples of such measures are included below. 


2) For each measure, define criteria based on which you can conclude that the measure was adequately implemented. This is important so that you avoid reporting a measure that was poorly applied as “implemented”. 


3) Consider giving each measure a “weight” that signifies its importance. For example, the most impactful measures can have a score of 3, while the relatively least impactful can have a score of 1. This will help you avoid giving the same importance to completely different measures.


4) Use document reviews and interviews with relevant staff to assess which measures were adequately implemented during the given period (i.e. the criteria defined in point 2 above were met).


5) Sum up the scores of the measures that were used. 


6) To determine the indicator’s value:

   - sum up the scores of the measures that were adequately implemented (e.g. the total score is 15)

   - divide the result by the maximum total score that could be achieved if all the measures were adequately implemented (e.g. if 30 was the maximum score possible, then 15 / 30 = 0.5)

   - multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage (e.g. 0.5 x 100 = 50%)


Important Comments

1) Examples of environmental mainstreaming measures include:

   - Logistics measures: reducing the number of flights, off-setting unavoidable flights through purchasing high-quality carbon credits (e.g. Gold Standard carbon credits), prioritising fuel-efficient vehicles and car-sharing, ensuring more efficient fleet management, training drivers in fuel-efficient driving, conducting preventative maintenance of vehicles, promoting the use of public transport or bicycle where applicable, reducing and optimising packaging and single-use plastics, enhancing the sustainability of warehouses (lighting, waste management), using of digital technologies to reduce unnecessary travel (e.g. for meetings, monitoring), etc.

   - Procurement measures: considering the environmental footprint of purchased items in the procurement criteria, favouring locally-produced items (if their supply, quality, and environmental sustainability can be ensured), reducing packaging and single-use items, etc.

   - Office management measures: using energy-efficient lighting, using electricity from renewable sources, ensuring more efficient use of heating / air-conditioning, better insulation, more efficient use of water (e.g. by using aerators), solid waste segregation, prioritising low carbon-footprint catering (e.g. vegetarian / vegan meals, locally produced foods), eliminating the use of single-use disposable items, extending the lifetime of IT equipment, storing only vital data on (energy-intensive) clouds, etc.

   - Measures related to project activities: conducting assessments of environmental risks that inform the choice of required measures, supporting more efficient use of energy and other resources, promoting sustainable farming practices, encouraging fuel-efficient cooking practices, using sustainable building materials, ensuring safe disposal of project-related waste, supporting environmentally sustainable job opportunities, etc.

Many more examples and requirements relating to environmental mainstreaming measures are described in ECHO’s “Guidance on the operationalisation of the minimum environmental requirements and recommendations for EU-funded humanitarian aid operations” (see below).


2) If you intend to implement a wide range of mainstreaming measures, you might consider dividing the indicator into several more manageable sub-indicators, such as:

  - % of planned procurement-related environmental mainstreaming measures that were implemented throughout the project

  - % of planned logistics-related environmental mainstreaming measures that were implemented throughout the project

   - % of planned environmental mainstreaming measures related to project activities that were implemented throughout the project


3) Keep in mind that the process of assessing the extent to which the measures were used is as important as the result. Once the criteria are defined (point 2 above), involve relevant staff in determining the extent to which the criteria were met. This can help them recognise the main strengths and weaknesses of how they mainstreamed environmental protection and increase their ownership of the result. 


4) For various reasons, staff might find it difficult to accurately recall which measures were initially planned and how they were implemented. Therefore, ensure that this information is well-documented alongside other monitoring data.


5) If your organisation has environmental measures that should be promoted across its operations, consider developing a standardised checklist to assess the extent to which the measures are implemented (in the different places where the organisation works). The checklist should include essential measures required for everyone and have space for additional measures specific to the given context. Having and using such a tool will make tracking the implementation of environmental mainstreaming measures much easier. 


This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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