Public transportation is a cornerstone of community vitality, sustainability, and environmental stewardship. We uphold these qualities through our commitment to sustainable practices, leadership principles, and accessibility.
Sustainability is integral in our daily practices and long-term objectives to meet the transportation needs of the community.
Sustainability must consider people, planet, and prosperity. Read entire Sustainability Statement...
Agency Policy Supports Sustainability
Our Environmental and Sustainability Policy states that we commit to:
- Continual improvement;
- Complying with all environmental laws, regulations, and industry standards;
- Communicating our policy to employees and those who work on our behalf;
- Preventing pollution;
- Incorporating sustainable practices in all areas of our operation; and
- Maintaining an ISO Certified Environmental & Sustainability Management System (ESMS).
Environmental and Sustainability Management System Developed
What is an Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS)? It's a set of management processes and procedures that allow organizations to prioritize, track, measure, and improve their environmental goals and objectives.
How did we develop an ESMS? The Federal Transit Administration selected us for its national ESMS training program. Five staff members engaged in this in-depth training through Virginia Tech’s ESMS Institute. This core team implements, evaluates, and continually improves our Environmental and Sustainability Management System.
What are the benefits of an ESMS?
- Continually improve our performance toward environmental goals;
- Reduce our risk of harming the environment;
- Increase efficiency and reduce operating costs; and
- Be a good community member; Read more about the basic elements of an ESMS.
What does it cover? The ESMS at our Pattison Street facility focuses on four aspects of our operations that can have significant impacts on the environment:
- Vehicle performance and fuel use: Reduce environmental, natural resource, and financial impacts of fuel use. Target for 2014: 2 percent improvement in fuel economy
- Inventory and Storage of Chemicals and Fluids: Reduce environmental and personal health impacts of chemicals. Target for 2014: Keep chemical and fluid inventory the within 2 percent of 2013 levels.
- Emergency Preparedness: Prevent or reduce environmental and health impacts of spills.
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention: Prevent spills and eliminate pollution from entering stormwater runoff.
Read more about the basic elements of an ESMS.
How are we doing? See how we are doing in our annual report.
ISO 14001 Certification Achieved
We achieved ISO 14001 certification in 2014. We are one of only a few U.S. transit systems to earn this prestigious certification, achieving a high international standard of environmental management and resource conservation.
What is ISO 14001? ISO stands for International Standards Organization (ISO). They lay out a voluntary framework that helps organizations control their environmental impacts, the ISO 14001:2004 standards.
ISO standards require organizations to write procedures and set up processes that employees must follow to prevent impacts and help the reach their goals and targets. The standards follow a Plan-Do-Check-Act process.
Why is it important? ISO certification confirms we are in control of our impacts. It proves someone else thinks we’re doing a great job.
How do you get certified? Getting certified is a rigorous process. An objective, outside auditor investigates our documents and facilities and interviews many employees. Then he or she evaluates us against a standard used all over the world.
What’s next? The certification is good for three years. The auditor will return in February 2015 and February 2016. During each visit, we must show continued improvement toward our environmental goals and how we manage our environmental impacts.
APTA Gold: The American Public Transportation Association awarded us the nation's first "Gold" signatory status for our commitment to sustainability in 2012. We share the 2012 award with Sound Transit. Read more...
Green Business: Thurston Chamber Green Business program awarded us top honors for our business practices in 2012 and 2014. We received green business designation each year since the program began in 2007.
Bicycle Friendly Business: In 2013 the League of American Bicyclists recognized us as one of the first transit systems in the U.S. designated as Bicycle Friendly Business.
Alternatively Fueled Vehicles
Hybrid Biodiesel-Electric: Currently, 18 percent of our coach fleet is hybrid biodiesel-electric. By mid-2014, 33 percent of our fleet will use hybrid technology. Read more...
Biodiesel: We have fueled our buses with biodiesel since 2002. The fuel is a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel. Read more...