EPA’s PORTFOLIO MANAGER IN THE AGE OF TRUMP
Portfolio Manager — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s free software tool — helps building owners and managers benchmark their buildings’ environmental performance against others. The EPA claims that 40% of the U.S. commercial space is benchmarked on this taxpayer-funded platform, and that these buildings benefit from a 2.4% reduction in energy use on average — an annual savings of $120,000 for a 500,000 square foot building.
Too bad Portfolio Manager is going away.
In light of the Trump administration’s current initiative to fish-gut the EPA to create jobs and bolster profits, it’s clear that climate science is in jeopardy, and with it Portfolio Manager.
Especially given its status as a non-monetized service, Portfolio Manager is ripe for execution by Trump. While the EPA may nominally exist 18 months from now, it will be almost certainly be reduced in scope and power. And with other commercial benchmarking platforms on the market, it seems natural for Trump to dump the crucial work of Portfolio Manager into the hands of the free market.
While this creates opportunity for sustainability software providers like Rapport, it also sends billions of data points down the proverbial drain — data that help American businesses save hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Portions of that data will continue to exist, of course, but mostly in individual contexts — disconnected from the whole. And, unfortunately, it’s the connective tissue that binds these data points that creates the greatest value.
To be clear, Portfolio Manager is not a great analytic tool. It’s potential is hampered by rudimentary dashboards, bewildering interfaces, and best practices that are limited, static and dated. It’s primary value is in scope and price: wide and free.
As we prepare for a future with a dismantled EPA and unsupported Portfolio Manager left to rust in the Internet’s dustbin, we are counseling friends and advocates to do the following:
1. Immediately download all your data from Portfolio Manager
2. Send your data to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will secure your data, store it for free, and give you basic access to the Rapport platform so you can continue to view your data
3. Call your elected representatives and advocate for the environment, science, and reason.
The need for efficiency data will not go away under Trump. And municipalities and corporations will continue to lead the way, using sustainability best practices, data, and proactive measures to reduce overhead, recruit employees, win and maintain contracts, and demonstrate long-view leadership.
While Trump attempts to repave America to create a frictionless business environment at the cost of environmental and human rights, we will continue on with your efforts to use all of our tools to persist with our values.
At Rapport, we understand the arc of sustainability is a long one, and that to expedite its impact and benefits we must continue in our mission to democratize sustainability for millions of small and midsize businesses around the world.
John Rooks, CEO
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