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STEP 1.8 – Action plan

What measures to implement and monitor for improving company performance?


In the final step of the planning phase,  the TEST Team presents the savings catalogue to the top management and subsequently, the company decides which of the proposed actions are to be implemented based on internal priorities and resources. In some cases, the management requests that certain measures are subjected to further study of their technical-financial aspects before they take a final decision. The TEST Team is encouraged to record all feasible measures in the savings catalogue, including those that have been rejected by top management, as they could be relevant for implementation at a later stage.

At the end of the internal review and consultation process, the TEST Team will formalize the TEST action plan. This will allocate responsibilities, and define timelines and budgets for the approved measures. Opportunities to access external financing or incentive schemes for measures requiring high investment may be investigated at this stage.

As part of the TEST action plan, the TEST Team should establish a monitoring plan to measure the real savings from implementation. For instance, for each RECP measure in the action plan, the TEST Team should define indicators and set up a cost-effective monitoring system for both consumption and driving factors. This is the final element of the overall information system for resource efficiency that has been developed step by step throughout the TEST methodology.

RECP Information system

Many companies only have the mandatory minimum financial accounting system. For better data monitoring, a stock management system and eventually a cost accounting and production planning system may be needed. Companies set up their information systems to monitor resource efficiency and environmental performance in many different ways. At the beginning some only have information on key consumers at the process level. Some companies have energy sub-meters to monitor consumption by key consumers, which register consumption data at regular intervals. Few companies analyze data on energy and raw material consumption and correlate them with the relevant consumption-driving factors to calculate relative indicators in order to measure resource efficiency.

However, a proper information system for RECP is essential and can provide the following benefits:

  • It can control the enterprise’s performance at the level of selected priority flows using KPIs (for assessing performance against enterprise goals, for internal and/or external benchmarking and for internal/external reporting).
  • It can monitor performance at the level of the focus areas and sources of losses through OPIs, for:
  • Measuring, recording and reporting performance vs. baseline for the implemented resource efficiency measures included in the TEST action plan, evaluating them against specific objectives and targets to enable corrective action;
  • Understanding causes of inefficiency and implementing corrective measures and generating new options;
  • Setting performance improvement objectives;
  • It can measure improvements of performance resulting from implementation of RECP actions (e.g. TEST action plan);
  • It can make people who influence use of resources accountable for resource efficiency at all levels.


  • Savings catalogue (feasible measures)
  • KPIs and OPIs already defined in the previous steps
  • Elements of existing information on resource efficiency
  • Information on existing incentives schemes for resource efficiency and environmental investments
  • Draft an action plan reflecting top management’s decisions. The plan includes timeline, budget, responsibilities for implementing a set of RECP measures
  • Select indicators for each measure in the TEST action plan and set up a cost effective way to monitor both consumption and driving factors of KPI/OPI.
  • Finalize the overall monitoring plan for resource efficiency (responsibility, frequency, procedure, budget) as part of operation control
  • Identify modalities for accessing financing for high investment needing solutions
  • Management commitment to implement selected measures and the information system on resource efficiency
  • TEST Action Plan and Monitoring Plan


  • The review of existing, or preparation of new, specific internal operational criteria and working instructions related to good housekeeping measures or monitoring material and energy flow data and environmental performance should be included in the action plan.
  • Training of enterprise staff is an integral part of the action plan to ensure that people involved in the implementation of the action plan are capacitated and motivated not only to implement particular measures and monitoring, but also to sustain their effects.
  • An effective information system on flows should be finalized at this last stage of the planning, otherwise monitoring and evaluation may be forgotten later when measures have been implemented and no baseline is available.
  • If relevant, a budget should be allocated for additional monitoring and measurements (e.g. installation of sub-meters, software, external services for sampling wastewater pollution loads, human resources, etc.).
  • OPIs should be defined in such a way that they enable feasible measurements of both absolute consumption and associated driving factors for meaningful correlation, leading to monitoring of real performance in resource efficiency.
  • A solution for real-time monitoring should be considered only if needed to manage important flows (and if it pays back). Monitoring selected OPIs once a week can be sufficient to enable the implementation of any necessary corrective actions or the identification of possible improvement options.