How to Use This Toolkit

This toolkit includes seven main sections or pages. Navigate to each section from the menu along the left side of each page of the toolkit. The toolkit provides a combination of summary information, best practices, recommended approaches, examples and additional resources. The sequence of sections is organized to take the user through a series of steps that build on each other for developing materials management strategies to reduce GHG emissions. Outlined below is a brief summary of the content in each section.

Background & Motivation

Approximately 42% of GHG emissions in the U.S. are associated with materials management. Materials management strategies are smart investments for state and local governments seeking to reduce GHG emissions. Learn more about why in this section.

Greenhouse Gas Inventories

The first step in climate action planning is often to conduct a GHG Inventory. The main purpose of this section is to present some alternative approaches to conducting GHG inventories that incorporate materials management. Additional background on inventories is also provided.

Setting Targets

Climate action planning usually involves setting goals or targets to reduce GHG emissions. This section describes how materials management can contribute to a GHG reduction goal and the tools that can be used to set reduction targets for material management.

Climate Protection Actions

The key component of a Climate Action Plan is identification of the actions necessary to reduce GHG emissions. This section provides information and examples of key actions available to reduce GHG emissions from materials management strategies that incorporate materials management policies and programs into a Climate Action Plan. These include policies and programs aimed at reduce-reuse-recycle-compost, as well as other materials management actions focused "upstream" on design, production, and procurement.

Measuring Results

Tracking and reporting progress toward achieving emissions reduction targets is critical to maintaining an effective climate protection program based on investing in activities that produce the most significant results. This section describes the tools available to measure the results from materials management actions.


Find tools, articles and reports, calculators, databases, and other resources to assist in understanding, using, and making changes through climate change initiatives and policy relating to materials and waste management.


Find definitions of terms relevant to GHG emissions and strategies relating to materials management and waste.