A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies

The Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 708: 'A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies' describes the underlying principles of sustainability as it relates to transportation, possible goals that can be used to address those principles, and performance measures that can be used to address those goals.

The guidebook provides resources for state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other agencies to tailor a performance measurement program for sustainability that is relevant to their specific needs and contexts. Agencies can adapt and use the generally applicable framework in ongoing performance measurement programs or as a part of a new sustainability initiative. 

The framework presented in the report promotes the holistic consideration of transportation and sustainability and defines transportation goals that can be broken down into a menu of objectives and performance measures to cover various contexts. The report equips transportation agencies with background information on sustainability in the context of transportation and with the information and resources to tailor and implement a sustainability performance measurement system successfully.

The guidebook includes the following features:

  • A practical approach to sustainability and to identifying and applying sustainability-related performance measures;
  • Discussion of ways to link sustainability to an agency’s mission and strategic plan;
  • Guidance on integrating sustainability measures into other programs and business practices;
  • A compendium of sustainability performance measures, with a menu of goals and objectives, which agencies can use as a starting point - the compendium is also available as an Excel-based tool that allows the filtering and sorting of measures; and
  • Real-world examples from transportation agencies and private industry in the United States and other countries.

In addition to the guidebook, the contractor’s project Final Report contains the results of the literature review, surveys of the state of the practice, case study interviews, detail on research methodology and findings, and a discussion of future research needs is available on the NCHRP Project 08-74 website.

A CD-ROM, included in the print version of the guidebook, contains an Excel spreadsheet based version of the performance measures compendium located in Appendix B of the guidebook. The spreadsheet allows the existing measures to be modified, and macros enable the user to generate and export a custom list of measures. Instructions for using the spreadsheet are found in Appendix C.

The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image.

Publication Date: 2011

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Josias Zietsman
  • Tara Ramani
  • Joanne R. Potter
  • Virginia Reeder
  • Joshua DeFlorio

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Indicators
  • Monitoring
  • Planning guides

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