MTD’s ISO 14001:2004 certification is “good” for three years. Part of the certification agreement is annual auditing to ensure we are still adhering to the International Standard. Because the ESMS MTD created had never been certified, MTD’s ESMS Team underwent three audits [in the first year]…[and] for years two and three, MTD will only undergo one audit per year. We are scheduled for Surveillance Audits in July 2014 and July 2015.
So what’s on the agenda for our final surveillance audit?
In Green Lights past, we’ve covered the significant aspects we identified and targeted for our ESMS. An aspect is an element of our organization’s activities, products, or services that has the potential to interact with the environment. Therefore a significant aspect is one that has or can have a, you guessed it, significant environmental impact.
MTD’s Maintenance Department recycles just about everything possible. This includes burnable oil, fluorescent light bulbs, ink cartridges, small electronics, Freon, and batteries.
We recently identified our battery recycling as something that can be improved upon. Batteries are used in the Maintenance Facility to power flashlights, power-tools, and other equipment. Even though we are diligently recycling this material, waste is still created. We have established the goal to replace all single-use batteries with rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be reused multiple times and are much less wasteful. This means less of an environmental impact for MTD’s operations.
A 296.94 kilowatt solar array was installed on MTD’s Maintenance Facility in early 2014 and went online in August 2014. Our goal is to replace 25% of the Maintenance Facility’s energy consumption with solar energy generated on site.
As of June 2015, MTD had decreased this facility’s non-renewable energy usage by 30% since September 2014! See how much energy the solar array is producing in real-time.
We announced on the blog earlier this year that work was in motion to add Illinois Terminal to our Environmental and Sustainability Management System’s fenceline. This upcoming audit, then, is the first opportunity for an auditor to review the aspects and programs we’ve developed for MTD’s downtown intermodal facility.
The fast-paced, customer-driven environment at Illinois Terminal makes recycling a little more challenging than MTD’s other two facilities. Illinois Terminal is a facility with a variety of activity including MTD’s bus stop platforms, passenger waiting areas, our Customer Service Center, Amtrak platform and waiting area, Greyhound ticket office, commercial space, office space, classrooms for R.E.A.D.Y. School, CityView Banquet and Meeting Center, and a catering kitchen.
We established the goal to increase the number of recycling bins throughout Illinois Terminal. Specifically, we hope to establish a one-to-one ratio of recycling containers to waste containers by August 1, 2015.
Last year, fluorescent lighting on the first two floors of Illinois Terminal, as well as the exterior of the building, was replaced with LED light fixtures. We wrote about this retrofit in this Green Light.
We are now working to reduce energy consumption even further by replacing lighting on the fourth floor with LED bulbs. The fourth floor of Illinois Terminal is home to the CityView Banquet and Meeting Center as well as a catering kitchen. Replacing the fluorescent bulbs with LED lighting fixtures will further reduce the environmental impact of this facility.
The auditor arrives next week and will be reviewing our system’s documentation, touring our facilities, and interviewing employees throughout the week. Wish us luck!