In today's economy, using resources as efficiently as possible is essential to reduce costs and wastes. Do you track how your company or facility uses materials and fuels? Are you aware of what happens to the chemicals, fuels, and other materials that your company purchases and how much ends up as a waste or released to the environment? Can you assess the costs associated with losses of materials in the form of waste and emissions? Are you facing the challenges of complying with directives to identify various chemical constituents in your products, or reporting requirements pertaining to their release or transfer? Is your company trying to implement lean manufacturing, an environmental management system, pollution prevention/toxics use reduction, environmental management accounting, sustainable production programs, or other strategies for optimizing production? Are you involved with a "greening the supply" chain initiative? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Energy and Materials Flow and Cost Tracker (EMFACT™) is the tool to help you.
What is EMFACT™?
EMFACT™ is a software tool designed to be used within companies for systematically tracking materials and energy use; releases, discharges, and wastes; and associated costs in ways that can create value for their business. The tool can provide a comprehensive picture of resource use and its relation to production and planning that can help improve both business and environmental performance.
NEWMOA and the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (MA OTA) created EMFACT™ because the agencies recognized the need and opportunity for manufacturers to more effectively implement environmental management accounting as a key tool to aid in setting pollution prevention priorities, identifying value-added opportunities for sustainable production, and implementing materials and energy efficiency improvements. EMFACT™ can be a useful adjunct for compliance assurance, quality management, lean manufacturing, environmental management systems, productivity and resource efficiency improvements, and preventing accidents and losses.
EMFACT™'s benefits to its users are:
As a tool for better understanding and optimizing resource use, EMFACT™ merges the aims of environmental performance and lean manufacturing to reduce unnecessary wastes and costs.
Who Are EMFACT™ Users?
The primary EMFACT™ beneficiaries are those companies and organizations that implement EMFACT™ to help identify resource efficiency and pollution prevention opportunities and quantify the benefits and costs. State and local environmental and technical assistance programs and private sector consultants also benefit by having a tool to offer their clients for improved resource and energy tracking.
What Reports Can EMFACT™ Generate?
EMFACT™ is flexible and can be used to track resources as used in a piece of equipment, in a larger production unit, or on a whole facility basis. The software is designed to produce reports that illustrate resource efficiencies and uses at various levels of an operation, including ratios of resource inputs to production or waste outputs on a facility-wide basis. These reports should help facilities to identify and reduce loss and wastes, and to comply with associated reporting requirements.
But EMFACT™ can do more. Because the tool enables users to identify associated costs and to estimate the changes in outputs that result from changes in inputs, it can be invaluable in planning for production improvements. EMFACT™ should result in reductions of both environmental impact and production costs.
EMFACT™ User Guidance
The EMFACT™ user guide [PDF] is available online, but User Guidance is built into the tool as well. NEWMOA and MA OTA have offered EMFACT™ training workshops, and developed an e-learning module to help EMFACT™ users get started and understand the basic functionality of the tool with examples to highlight EMFACT™ navigation and usability.
How Can Users Obtain EMFACT™?
EMFACT™ is available free for downloading. Please note: the download time for EMFACT™ depends on the speed and capacity of the user's connection to the internet. If you have difficulties with downloading EMFACT™ from the website, contact: Andy Bray, NEWMOA, (617) 367-8558 x308, .
EMFACT™ recipients and users that are government entities may reproduce the software and user's guidance for use within their immediate organizations. Furthermore, they may distribute copies of the software to other interested parties, provided that the government entities register each new recipient with NEWMOA.
A government entity is defined as an office or agency of federal, state, or local government. Educational institutions, such as colleges and universities, supported by government funds also qualify as government entities. Contractors to such offices, agencies, or educational institutions do NOT qualify under this definition.
Non-government entities (e.g., private corporations and contractors) may reproduce and distribute copies of the software for use ONLY within their immediate organizations. They may NOT distribute or loan the software to anyone outside their own organization. If a contractor wants to help a client obtain a copy of EMFACT™, the client needs to register with NEWMOA and download the software from the NEWMOA or MA OTA website themselves, with the help of the contractor.
All software users must register online and review and complete a User's License Agreement to download and access EMFACT™. This will enable NEWMOA and MA OTA to provide any future updates, corrections, or alerts about the tool and to help users understand the restrictions and limitations on disseminating the software to others.
Instructions for properly installing EMFACT™ are available at: http://www.newmoa.org/prevention/emfact/Install_Guide_7-6-10.pdf [PDF]. Please be sure to review these instructions before downloading and installing the tool on your computer.
The development of EMFACT™ has been supported by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability (CSTNS) program, grant number X3-832220301.
EMFACT™ is the result of collaboration among state pollution prevention and environmental assistance programs in the Northeast through NEWMOA, the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (MA OTA), and the U.S. EPA. The project team also engaged an active Advisory Group that included representatives of programs and companies involved in greening the supply chain, environmental consultants, and companies interested in promoting improvements in materials and energy use and tracking.
NEWMOA contracted with Sullivan International Group and the Environmental Management Accounting Research & Information Center (EMARIC) to develop EMFACT™ and to provide training support. Sullivan, through its EHS Solutions business line, provides Environment, Health and Safety products and services to commercial and government organizations. EHS Solutions specializes in EHS information management solution development, implementation, and support. The Sullivan team also included Deborah Savage, PhD, who is the founder and current director of EMARIC. Dr. Savage acted as a consultant and subject matter expert on environmental cost accounting and process flow functionality. Sullivan was selected by NEWMOA and MA OTA after a lengthy procurement process and competition among a number of highly qualified vendors.
Seeking Help from Users to Continuously Improve EMFACT™
NEWMOA and MA OTA released EMFACT™ Version 1.0 in 2009. The Association anticipates improvements and refinements will be necessary and that there will be upgrades to the software tool. The Association worked with the EMFACT™ Advisory Group and others to beta test and obtained input and feedback on the initial EMFACT™ Version 1.0 prior to its release. However, the ultimate value and impact of EMFACT™ is realized when companies use the tool and provide comments and suggestions for improvements and upgrades. Please use the online feedback form to provide comments and suggestions on EMFACT™
NEWMOA and MA OTA are already considering how to improve the tool and to pursue resources for that purpose. The agencies are excited about hearing ideas from EMFACT™ users about what works and does not work with EMFACT™. Send your feedback and ideas to Andy Bray, .
Open Source Website
In 2013, NEWMOA and MA OTA released the EMFACT™ source code by creating an open source website to encourage interested software developers to help improve and enhance the tool and to enable companies and consultants to customize it to address their needs. The site welcomes suggestions and encourages potential developers to share ideas. For more information contact: Andy Bray at .
Although EMFACT™ has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, MA OTA, and the state environmental agency members of the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA), it does not necessarily reflect the views of these Agencies, and no official endorsement should be inferred. Mention of any company, process, or product name should not be considered an endorsement by NEWMOA, NEWMOA member states, MA OTA, or the U.S. EPA.