Steps 4 and 5

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GreenStep blocks
If you don’t measure results, you can’t tell success from failure. If you can’t see success, you can’t reward it. If you can’t see failure, you can’t correct it. David Osborne and Ted Gaebler

The primary purpose and benefit of Steps 4 and 5 is for participants to gather data against which they can compare itself over time. We are, however, aware that sustainability is a very local condition and unique elements in each community make it difficult to set one number as “the number” to which every participant must aspire. Recognizing that there are different ways to package metrics, participants should, in addition to submitting these GreenStep metrics, feel free to present the metrics to their leaders and residents in a way that makes the most sense to the community, and to add in relevant additional metrics that the city or tribal nation has historically been tracking and perhaps not communicating to community members.

  • Step 4: Measure and report a minimum number of core and optional metrics for the previous calendar year or the most recent available data (specific metrics are described below).
    • Category A communities: In addition to the CORE metrics, include 5 additional metrics of choice. 
    • Category B communities: In addition to the CORE metrics, include 3 additional metrics of choice. 
    • Category C communities: In addition to the CORE metrics, no additional metrics are necessary. 
  • Step 5: Demonstrate improvement three eligible metrics measured in Step 4, from one data year to the next.
    • Category A, B, and C communities: Improve upon 3 eligible metric elements. 

Metrics for Steps 4 & 5

In order to receive Step 4 or 5 recognition, communities will record all of the CORE metrics listed below under “Step 4 Metrics,” along with a handful of additional metrics chosen by the participant. Each metric contains multiple metric elements. Every element within a metric must be completed in order for a metric to be completed for Step 4 recognition. Click on the links to see the complete list of elements for each metric, as well as explanations of each metric element and how to record it. Certain metric elements from these lists are considered “eligible metric elements” for Step 5 recognition. Participants may improve upon any three of the eligible metric elements listed in the Step 5 column to receive recognition for Step 5. Recognition will be awarded each year, so participants must continue to show improvement to maintain their Step 5 status.

Use the 2024 Step 4/5 Worksheet to take notes or assign tasks to colleagues. To record metrics for Steps 4 or 5, you need to use the unique username that will be emailed directly to Step 3, 4, and 5 GreenStep Coordinators (If you are not Step 3/4/5 but are ready for Step 4, please let us know so we can add you to the email list). Then use the reporting tool (sent to all Step 3-5 communities in January) to submit your data. If you have questions about the reporting tool, contact Kristin Mroz at or 651.757.2793.

Step 4 & 5 Metrics - Virtual Tour

Guidance Documents

Use the Step 4&5 Worksheet to get started. 

  1. City and Tribal Government Buildings and Lighting (CORE
  2. Green Buildings
  3. Government Fleets (CORE)
  4. Infrastructure for Biking and Walking
  5. Car, Transit, and Bike Options
  6. Transportation Modes & Miles (CORE for A & B communities) 
  7. Land Use
  8. Open Space, Parks & Trees (CORE)
  9. Stormwater (CORE
  10. Drinking Water 
  11. Wastewater (CORE
  12. Surface Water 
  13. Solid Waste 
  14. Renewable Energy (CORE
  15. Local Food 
  16. Jobs & Employment
  17. Climate (CORE for Regional Indicators Initiative communities) 
  18. Additional Metrics 

Steps 4 & 5 Metrics Submittal

To submit your data, use the Step 4/5 Reporting Tool that will be emailed to GreenStep Coordinators in January 2024 (if you need the link again, let Kristin Mroz know). You do not need to submit the worksheet to us. Please see the metric sheets in the table above for descriptions of the metrics and how to record them. If you have any questions about reporting your metrics, contact Kristin Mroz at or 651.757.2793.

Like best practice action reports, Step 4 & 5 metrics must be submitted by April 1 for recognition at the annual League of Minnesota Cities conference in June.

Step 4 & 5 Metrics Dashboard Step 4 & 5 Metric Dashboard

You can view 21 of the key metrics that Step 4 and 5 communities have reported on the Step 4 & 5 Metric Dashboard. The primary purpose and benefit of Steps 4 and 5 is for communities to gather data based on the best practices that the community has taken and identify areas of improvement over time. The tool is updated annually as communities voluntarily report their metrics.


Please direct all critical comments and suggestions for improvement to the GreenStep coordinators via