May 22, 2018
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Green Light: EMS Institute


MTD is committed to a greener future.

MTD is embarking on a major environmental initiative. This campaign affects every MTD employee and benefits all of our stakeholders. From our riders, to the person walking along the sidewalk, to the residents of our fine cities, this project will be an ongoing commitment to the surroundings we interact with.

MTD staff is creating an Environment Management System (EMS) for our entire agency, which includes all four buildings and all vehicle types. The guiding structure and documentation will adhere to ISO 14001 standards, which is an international code of accreditation.

To create a complete EMS, one that an auditor would evaluate for ISO 14001 certification, will take approximately two years to develop. Thanks to the professors at Virginia Tech, and the support of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), MTD staff is enrolled in an EMS Institute to enable us to fully commit to this endeavor.

Beginning in February of this year, MTD started sending a core team of staff to attend workshops in Roanoke, Virginia. Each workshop covers new sections within the EMS and provides us with documentation outlines to help create and implement it. There are four workshops total and each one starts with the submission of homework and the introduction of new material (and thus, new homework assignments).

There are behaviors small and large that can be altered for a greater impact.

As we work through the EMS Institute, MTD’s team is only focusing on our Maintenance Garage located at 803 E University Ave in Urbana. After we graduate from the Institute, we will turn our focus to the remaining MTD facilities.

An EMS focuses on continual improvement of an agency’s environmental practices and pollution prevention. This pledge, in the form of an Environmental Policy, is posted on our website and throughout our agency. To execute this, we must identify and control our environmental impacts. These are called “aspects,” which are an activity, product, or service MTD is responsible for that interacts with the environment.

To operate in the most environmentally responsible way, we’ll examine all facets of our work. Everything from standard operating procedures for day-to-day activities, to emergency response plans, to persons responsible for action will receive updated and fresh documentation. Baselines will be established for our significant aspects so we can monitor our use and make certain our numbers go in the right direction.

The creation and updating of all these documents requires heavy amounts of employee time. Additionally, training programs must be updated to include the most accurate information as well as employee handbooks. The good news? We’ve kept detailed monitoring records since 2006 and started implementing recycling and reduction programs formally in 2009 with the APTA Pilot Sustainability Program. Be prepared to see several updates to our “Go Green” section and new sustainability messaging! Read more about our development of an EMS in our latest STOPtalk enewsletter issue.

About Amy Snyder

Amy Snyder is the Customer Service Manager at the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. She writes and manages content for this blog, The Inside Lane, as well as the social media pages for CUMTD.
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2 Responses to Green Light: EMS Institute

  1. Pingback: Environmental Management System | The Inside Lane

  2. Pingback: CUMTD Green Thing | The Inside Lane

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Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
1101 East University Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802-2009
(217) 384-8188
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