Transit's top 2017 sustainability achievers recognized by APTA

Posted on September 12, 2017

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized eight of its member organizations for continued achievements in sustainability.

Based on specific measurable achievements, organizations are given Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Level recognition.

Amtrak (Washington, D.C.) and the TRC Companies (Lowell, Mass.) are this year’s recipients of Gold Level recognition. The four Silver Level recipients are Jacksonville Transportation Authority (Jacksonville, Fla.), Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (Reno, Nev.), HDR (Omaha, Neb.), and Louis Berger (Washington, D.C.). The two Bronze Level recipients are Transit Authority of River City (Louisville, Ky.) and Wendel (Williamsville, Ky.).

Below are some examples of the sustainable accomplishments that this year’s recipients have achieved.

GOLD Level – Amtrak – Washington, D.C.

Amtrak realized reductions in electrical consumption at facilities through energy efficiency lighting projects, automated building controls, and facility-based energy plans. Sustainability initiatives include adopting green building codes and standards such as the International Green Construction Code and obtaining LEED certifications for stations. The corporation implemented a Waste Minimization Pilot Program at one of its facilities to help Amtrak replicate findings across all facilities towards a waste reduction goal of 20% by 2020. Amtrak has expanded connectivity options for customers to travel to and from the stations on their bikes with equipment upgrades on a growing number of services.

GOLD Level – TRC Companies – Lowell, Mass.

Against baselines set in 2014, TRC achieved a 16% reduction in electricity usage per employee; 2% reduction in natural gas usage per employee; 9% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions, per employee; 19% reduction in paper usage from FY15 to FY16, per dollar of revenue; and 95% of offices recycling at least one waste stream.

The company implemented a Health and Safety Management System aligned with OHSAS 18001, a corporate-wide Sustainability Coordinator Network, and a corporate-wide community engagement initiative centered on Earth Day. Additionally, TRC’s services to the public transit industry have reduced greenhouse gases, minimized water use, developed green construction policies, advanced environmental management systems, and identified innovative energy efficiency opportunities.

SILVER Level – Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) – Jacksonville, Fla.

JTA invested in LED lighting, helping the agency realize reductions of energy use by 13.4% at facilities. The agency also has installed bioremediating parts washers to detoxify runoff prior to disposal, helping protect the ecosystem surrounding the city. Additionally, the agency installed electric vehicle charging stations inside its public parking garages, encouraging more sustainable modes of transportation.

SILVER Level – Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County – Reno, Nev.

In 2014, the RTC replaced four older model diesel buses with fully electric model buses and has plans to add up to 15 more. RTC also constructed two LEED certified major transit stations in downtown Reno and Sparks, Nev., which include low-flow water infrastructure, energy efficient lighting, and a solar PV array. Additionally, the RTC is continuing to work to retrofit existing buildings with more energy efficient LED lighting, solar arrays, and low-flow water fixtures. The combination of all RTC efforts resulted in a 32.3% reduction in facility energy use per Unlinked Passenger Trip from 2010 to 2016.

SILVER Level – HDR – Omaha, Neb.

The company, which has a comprehensive Sustainability Policy and Procedures document and a Waste Prevention and Recycling Standard, demonstrated adherence to APTA’s core sustainability principles at the company’s headquarters and North American office locations. With more than 750 sustainability professionals — 525 LEED Aps, 215 ENV SPs, 12 Greenroads STPs – HDR currently has 135 LEED certified projects, eight Envision projects, and one Greenroads pilot project in its portfolio.

SILVER Level – Louis Berger – Washington, D.C.

Louis Berger enhanced its services with the certification of more than 130 Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SPs). Louis Berger regularly engages employees around sustainability through initiatives such as the Reduce Your Foodprint office competition, which challenged employees to take simple actions to reduce the impact of their food choices. The company also partnered with Direct Energy Solar to offer employees a discount on the purchase of a residential solar system.

BRONZE Level – Transit Authority of River City – Louisville, Ky.

At Louisville’s historic Union Station, TARC invested in significant energy efficiency improvements that resulted in a 35% reduction of energy consumption. It also built a LEED Gold-certified training center featuring a graywater system for non-potable uses, a green roof, and 4kW solar PV array on the facility. TARC collaborates with many organizational partners to provide free or greatly reduced transportation to employment and educational programs. The agency is the first in the mid-west to introduce electric battery bus technology to its community.

BRONZE Level – Wendel – Williamsville, N.Y.

As part of Wendel’s 2020 Strategic Plan, a Stewards of Environment leadership group has been established to help drive forward the company’s sustainability goals. The company established metrics to measure environmental, social, and economic impacts for both internal operations as well as project development. Wendel has achieved a reduction in energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and increased the percent of material being diverted from landfills.

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