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Spreadsheets for Environmental Footprint Analysis (SEFA)

EPA developed a set of analytical workbooks known as "SEFA" (Spreadsheets for Environmental Footprint Analysis) to help decision-makers analyze the environmental footprint of a site cleanup project, determine which cleanup activities drive the footprint, and adjust project parameters to reduce the footprint. Information to be input by the user may be gathered from project planning documents, field records and other existing resources. Automated calculations within SEFA generate outputs that quantify 21 metrics corresponding to core elements of a greener cleanup.

Core Element Green Remediation Metric Unit of Measure
Materials & Waste M&W-1 Refined materials used on site tons
M&W-2 Percent of refined materials from recycled or waste material percent
M&W-3 Unrefined materials used on site tons
M&W-4 Percent of unrefined materials from recycled or waste material percent
M&W-5 Onsite hazardous waste generated tons
M&W-6 Onsite non-hazardous waste generated tons
M&W-7 Percent of total potential onsite waste that is recycled or reused percent
Water   Onsite water use (by source)  
W-1 - Source, use, fate combination #1 millions of gallons
W-2 - Source, use, fate combination #2 millions of gallons
W-3 - Source, use, fate combination #3 millions of gallons
W-4 - Source, use, fate combination #4 millions of gallons
Energy E-1 Total energy use MMBtu
E-2 Total energy voluntarily derived from renewable resources  
E-2A - Onsite generation or use and biodiesel use MMBtu
E-2B - Voluntary purchase of renewable electricity MWh
E-2C - Voluntary purchase of RECs MWh
Air A-1 Onsite NOx, SOx, and PM10 emissions lbs
A-2 Onsite HAP emissions lbs
A-3 Total NOx, SOx, and PM10 emissions lbs
A-4 Total HAP emissions lbs
A-5 Total GHG emissions tons CO2e
Land & Ecosystems Qualitative description
Access SEFA Workbooks
Version 3.0, November 2019 Release Full functionality requires simultaneous downloading and opening of all three workbooks.
Point of Contact
Luci Dunnington

SEFA was first released in 2012 and updated in 2014. In 2019, SEFA was updated to incorporate new default footprint conversion factors for additional materials, diesel or gasoline engines of various sizes, and laboratory analyses. The 2019 update (Version 3.0) also provides additional areas for entering user-defined footprint conversion factors.

Instructions for SEFA Users

  • SEFA comprises three internally linked workbooks (files) in a standard spreadsheet (Excel) format; the files should be saved in a single directory to assure accurate/complete data exchange.
  • Optimal functioning of the workbooks relies on use of Microsoft Office 2013 or higher.
  • An "Introduction" worksheet (tab) in the "Main" workbook provides an overview of SEFA, including its data structure.
  • Technical support in using SEFA is not available outside the Agency; other parties interested in using or adapting the workbooks may wish to obtain technical assistance from qualified environmental or engineering professionals.

Supporting Methodology

EPA's "Methodology for Understanding and Reducing a Project's Environmental Footprint" report provides a seven-step process for quantifying the 21 metrics associated with a site cleanup. The report also addresses the value of footprint analysis; discusses the level of effort and cost involved in footprint analysis; details interpretative considerations; provides illustrative approaches to reducing a cleanup project's environmental footprint; and contains related planning checklists and reference tables.

Quantification Process in the Methodology
Step 1: Set goals and scope of analysis
Step 2: Gather remedy information
Step 3: Quantify onsite materials and waste metrics
Step 4: Quantify onsite water metrics
Step 5: Quantify energy and air metrics
Step 6: Qualitatively describe affected ecosystem services
Step 7: Present results

EPA pilot tested the methodology from 2009 through 2011 at several sites, including Romic East Palo Alto, BP Wood River, and Travis Air Force Base. Prototypes of the methodology and the SEFA workbooks were used in the pilot testing. In 2014, the methodology and SEFA were used together to analyze the environmental footprint of a steam-enhanced extraction remedy at the former Williams Air Force Base, Site ST012, in Mesa, Arizona. Visit Footprint Assessment to view additional reports on site-specific footprint analyses and related EPA studies and to access publicly available tools addressing particular core elements of a greener cleanup.

SEFA workbooks do not individually or collectively represent EPA guidance or requirements nor is their use required by EPA. EPA is making SEFA available to the public as a means of disseminating useful information about environmental footprint analysis. The Agency is not responsible for adaptation of this workbook model by other organizations or associated analytical results.