The National Environmental Performance Track ("Performance Track") was a public-private partnership that encouraged continuous environmental improvement through environmental management systems, community outreach, and measurable results.
EPA’s initial proposal to develop “a performance track” was published in its July 1999 report, Aiming for Excellence (PDF) (70 pp, 1.1MB) The Agency consulted extensively with stakeholders and state environmental agencies to develop and refine the proposal. On June 26, 2000, EPA announced the launch of Performance Track, which was initially designed to have two levels, the ‘‘Achievement Track,’’ and the ‘‘Stewardship Track.’’ The Achievement Track was subsequently renamed the National Environmental Performance Track program and the development of the Stewardship Track led to the creation of the Performance Track Corporate Leader designation in 2004.
Performance Track was terminated by EPA on May 14, 2009. At the time of termination, the program had a membership base of 547 facilities in 49 states and Puerto Rico.
More than half the states have developed programs similar to Performance Track. Facilities interested in participating in a state environmental performance program should contact their state environmental agency.
Performance Track was based on the premise that government should complement existing programs with new tools and strategies that not only protect people and the environment, but also capture opportunities for reducing cost and spurring technological innovation. EPA provided exclusive regulatory and administrative benefits to Performance Track members, placed them at low priority for routine inspections, and offered public recognition, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
Performance Track members represented virtually every manufacturing sector, as well as public-sector facilities at the federal, state, and local levels. Among the criteria for membership in Performance Track were a commitment to challenging environmental goals and a dedication to continuous improvement. Performance Track worked with members to improve performance among a variety of environmental indicators and priority environmental issues such as climate change, clean water, and land preservation. Members would report annually on progress toward their goals.
In 2004, the program added a Corporate Leader designation to recognize companies that demonstrated an exceptional corporate-wide commitment to environmental stewardship and continuous improvement.
From the program's inception in June 2000 through 2007 (the most recent year for which data are available), Performance Track members reported that they collectively reduced their water use by 2.87 billion gallons, conserved more than 24,860 acres of land, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 367,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. For more information, please see the Performance Track Final Progress Report (PDF) (6 pp, 636K).