commercial building / Trombax, ShutterstockThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expanding its Energy Star Portfolio Manager, allowing the commercial and institutional sector to make more informed choices about materials management.

Managers and owners of commercial buildings, including schools, stadiums and medical facilities, already use the portfolio manager to track things like energy consumption, water use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, it can also be used to track 29 different types of materials often generated in the commercial context. Categories include building materials, glass and paper, among others.

According to the EPA, commercial buildings in the U.S. are responsible for 45 percent of the 150 million tons of waste that goes to landfills or incinerators each year.

By tracking materials management, the EPA says buildings can improve their environmental footprint and also save money and increase revenue.

More than 450,000 buildings in the U.S. are using the current portfolio manager, as well as 10,000 buildings in Canada. The EPA is hosting webinars on the new tracking feature, which is now available.

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