Chapter 8: Tracking Progress

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Regular tracking of key metrics is essential to ensuring that Salem is making progress toward its goals.



Assessing the status of all strategies in Salem’s climate action plan will be critical to realizing the vision of being resilient to climate change and achieving the goals to reduce GHG emissions. An internal tracking document should be created for all responsible parties to easily share updates and view progress made related to implementing strategies, becoming more resilient to climate change, improving equity, and reducing GHG emissions in Salem. This tracking document may also serve as the source for updates provided to the community via an online dashboard, GIS maps, and other communication channels.

Regular tracking of GHG emissions is essential to ensure that Salem is making progress toward its goals of 50% reduction by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. As a best practice, emissions should be estimated consistently over time using the same methods, data sources, boundaries, and assumptions. Salem’s 2016 greenhouse gas inventory was prepared with the widely-used Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). This protocol should continue to be used for subsequent GHG emissions inventories.

Over the 30-year time horizon of Salem’s long-term goal, maintaining consistent evaluation practices will likely become increasingly challenging. Salem may need to consider updating its original inventory if there are changes in the City’s boundaries, improvements in GHG methodology that warrant a re-evaluation, changes in data accuracy that warrant a re-calculation or use of a new data source, or discovery of errors and/or incorrect assumptions in the original inventory. Any changes, or decisions to maintain previous inventory assumptions, will need to be well-communicated to the community and well-documented.

The interval at which Salem inventories emissions should be decided upon early and should be kept as consistent as possible throughout the time period of the plan. It is recommended that Salem update its GHG inventory every two years, with additional inventories in the goal years of 2035 and 2050. Salem should make these updates publicly available and should include an overview that tracks overall progress as more data points are available. This will provide a clear picture of Salem’s emissions trajectory.

Reporting can occur directly via the City of Salem’s website or through a reporting platform. If the City of Salem decides to adopt a third-party reporting system, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) offers one avenue for robust reporting. The CDP includes GHG inventories from other cities that have entered data into the City Inventory Reporting and Information System (CIRIS) tool. Either way, it is essential that this data is readily available and clearly articulated to the public. Care should also be taken to provide GHG updates in accessible and inclusive modes of communication.

In addition to tracking emissions, it is recommended that the City of Salem establish a baseline of community equity metrics. These data would be tracked over time to provide data showing how Salem residents are faring across a range of indicators related to income, race, health, housing, language access, disaster recovery and more. Though this City effort will inform far more than the Climate Action Plan, it is recommended that variables related to equity and climate impacts are regularly tracked and reported, and that new strategies to address identified needs are added to the Climate Action Plan implementation as needed.

Recommendations for Tracking Progress

  • Create an internal tracking document for the City and partners to track progress on implementing Climate Action Plan strategies.
  • Update Salem's greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory every two years or as often as possible using the Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories. Make these updates readily available and clearly articulated to the public. Ensure that the inventory is updated for the goal years of 2035 and 2050.
  • Document and communicate to the community any changes to GHG inventory methodology or data that may become necessary over time.
  • Establish a baseline of community equity metrics and track and report these data over time.
  • Add new strategies to address community equity to the Climate Action Plan implementation as they are identified over time.
  • Use an online dashboard tool to communicate goals and progress toward achieving them.


Regular tracking of key metrics is essential to ensuring that Salem is making progress toward its goals.



Assessing the status of all strategies in Salem’s climate action plan will be critical to realizing the vision of being resilient to climate change and achieving the goals to reduce GHG emissions. An internal tracking document should be created for all responsible parties to easily share updates and view progress made related to implementing strategies, becoming more resilient to climate change, improving equity, and reducing GHG emissions in Salem. This tracking document may also serve as the source for updates provided to the community via an online dashboard, GIS maps, and other communication channels.

Regular tracking of GHG emissions is essential to ensure that Salem is making progress toward its goals of 50% reduction by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. As a best practice, emissions should be estimated consistently over time using the same methods, data sources, boundaries, and assumptions. Salem’s 2016 greenhouse gas inventory was prepared with the widely-used Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). This protocol should continue to be used for subsequent GHG emissions inventories.

Over the 30-year time horizon of Salem’s long-term goal, maintaining consistent evaluation practices will likely become increasingly challenging. Salem may need to consider updating its original inventory if there are changes in the City’s boundaries, improvements in GHG methodology that warrant a re-evaluation, changes in data accuracy that warrant a re-calculation or use of a new data source, or discovery of errors and/or incorrect assumptions in the original inventory. Any changes, or decisions to maintain previous inventory assumptions, will need to be well-communicated to the community and well-documented.

The interval at which Salem inventories emissions should be decided upon early and should be kept as consistent as possible throughout the time period of the plan. It is recommended that Salem update its GHG inventory every two years, with additional inventories in the goal years of 2035 and 2050. Salem should make these updates publicly available and should include an overview that tracks overall progress as more data points are available. This will provide a clear picture of Salem’s emissions trajectory.

Reporting can occur directly via the City of Salem’s website or through a reporting platform. If the City of Salem decides to adopt a third-party reporting system, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) offers one avenue for robust reporting. The CDP includes GHG inventories from other cities that have entered data into the City Inventory Reporting and Information System (CIRIS) tool. Either way, it is essential that this data is readily available and clearly articulated to the public. Care should also be taken to provide GHG updates in accessible and inclusive modes of communication.

In addition to tracking emissions, it is recommended that the City of Salem establish a baseline of community equity metrics. These data would be tracked over time to provide data showing how Salem residents are faring across a range of indicators related to income, race, health, housing, language access, disaster recovery and more. Though this City effort will inform far more than the Climate Action Plan, it is recommended that variables related to equity and climate impacts are regularly tracked and reported, and that new strategies to address identified needs are added to the Climate Action Plan implementation as needed.

Recommendations for Tracking Progress

  • Create an internal tracking document for the City and partners to track progress on implementing Climate Action Plan strategies.
  • Update Salem's greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory every two years or as often as possible using the Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories. Make these updates readily available and clearly articulated to the public. Ensure that the inventory is updated for the goal years of 2035 and 2050.
  • Document and communicate to the community any changes to GHG inventory methodology or data that may become necessary over time.
  • Establish a baseline of community equity metrics and track and report these data over time.
  • Add new strategies to address community equity to the Climate Action Plan implementation as they are identified over time.
  • Use an online dashboard tool to communicate goals and progress toward achieving them.


Page last updated: 15 November 2021, 15:11