This month’s Green Light was written by Jane Sullivan, MTD’s Grant Manager and Sustainability Planner.
MTD became a founding signatory of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Sustainability Commitment in 2009. In August 2014, MTD extended this commitment by reaching Gold Level Achievement recognition.
Signing the initial commitment required MTD to follow, and document, this set of core principles:
1) Make sustainability part of MTD’s strategic objectives;
2) Identify a sustainability champion within MTD coupled with the proper human and/or financial resources and mandates;
3) Establish an outreach program on sustainability for all MTD staff;
4) Undertake a sustainability inventory of MTD including: water usage, criteria air pollutant emissions, greenhouse gas emissions and savings, energy use, and recycling/waste levels
All signatories can obtain higher recognition levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum) by achieving action items and stretch goals, committing to additional action items and stretch goals, and attaining reduction targets for a series of set indicators.
To achieve Gold Level, MTD identified short and long-term accomplishements and created additional goals. What follows is a sampling of those items.
Action Items Achieved
- Reduce waste oil disposal
- Use environmentally friendly building materials
- Upgrade toilets to conserve water
- Reduce greenhouse gas impact of buses
- Establish program for employee input and engagement in MTD’s sustainability program
- Support research in pollution prevention
Action Items Committed To
- Increase use of renewable energy (we’re getting there!)
- Reduce water usage through plumbing upgrades
Stretch Goals Achieved
- Institute a successful Environmental and Sustainability Management System certified by the ISO 14001:2004 Standard
- Utilize renewable energy sources
- Make efforts to be viewed as a sustainability leader in our community
Stretch Goals Committed To
- Achieve zero waste at all facilities (we’re working on it!)
- Obtain green business certification of Administration and Operations Building (achieved in May 2014!)
- Replace older diesel buses with diesel-electric hybrid to obtain 75% hybrid fleet
- Expand ESMS to the remaining MTD facilities
To achieve Gold Level, MTD made the following improvements to our Sustainability Inventory. The reduction percent measures 2012 numbers against 2009.
Water Usage – Reduction = 20%
Criteria Air Pollutant Emissions – Reduction = 46%
Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Reduction = 10%
Facility Energy Use – Reduction = 22%
Vehicle Energy Use – Reduction = 11%
MTD was and is proud to be a recipient of the GOLD Level recognition for APTA’s Sustainability Commitment. This achievement represents years of hard work and our devotion to continuing the District’s sustainability efforts.