AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



EPE TIG Week: Annelise Carleton-Hug on Greening Your Evaluation Practice

I’m Annelise Carleton-Hug, principal evaluator of Trillium Associates, a small evaluation company with a focus on environmental program evaluation. I’m also the Chair of the Environmental Program Evaluation TIG and I invite you to learn more about our TIG by visiting the EPE TIG website.

Hot Tip: Consider this aea365 post a conversation starter that encourages the AEA community to share tips and ideas for reducing the environmental impacts of our work. Personally, I’m much more attuned to living a greener life in my home life. I know I have a lot to learn about thinking sustainably in how I conduct my evaluation business. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking of how you can reduce your use of resources as well as the amount of waste you create.

Hot Tip – Marketing your business: Investing in a professionally-crafted website is not only one of the best ways to market your evaluation services, it is also a sound ecological choice.

Hot Tip – Conducting the Evaluation: Consider how data will be collected. Can you effectively use online surveys rather than paper copies? Consider conducting interviews and focus groups via telephone, Skype or other conferencing platform to reduce travel costs and environmental side effects.

Hot Tip – Reporting: Do you really need a paper report? Many times I’ve found that the clients are satisfied with an electronic file; however, I don’t want to simply transfer the burden of printing the report to the recipient. Rather than producing one long report, it’s a good idea to “chunk” the electronic version of the report into sections (e.g. Executive Summary, separate reports for each stakeholder group) so that the client can choose to print out only what is necessary. Another tip: create a PowerPoint with pertinent data summaries so that the client can share the results in that format, foregoing the need for long reports. For times when I do produce a printed report, I make sure to use post-consumer recycled paper and earth-friendly inks, and I include notation of this fact in the front pages.

Hot Tip – Office materials: When it comes time to upgrade your office equipment, keep your old computer and other electronic equipment out of the waste stream by recycling or donating. Check out these helpful resources from the EPA:

Hot Tip – Recharge your own batteries: Be sure to make time for yourself to spend time in nature, to remind yourself why it is so vitally important that we reduce our negative environmental impact. Take a hike, work in your garden, ride the rapids, watch the sunset. Make connecting with nature a regular part of your life. In addition to physical and mental health benefits, you’ll probably be inspired to learn more ways to protect and restore our planet.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Earthweek with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to  aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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1 comment

  • Amy Germuth · April 22, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Great tips – especially to recharge your on batteries. Also like the fact the Annelise is conscious about the paper and ink she uses.


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