Intercity Transit recently received a top honor for its green business practices as part of the fifth annual Thurston County Chamber of Commerce Green Business Designation Program.
Intercity Transit won in the large business category, sharing the honor with O Bee Credit Union. The transit agency was recognized for meeting requirements in multiple categories including: waste reduction; transportation and commute trip reduction; water conservation; energy efficiency; pollution prevention; and buying/selling green. The award is based on efforts made prior to March 9, 2012. Intercity Transit has participated in the Green Business Designation Program every year since the program’s inception in 2007. This is the first time they have received the highest honor in their size category. More than 40 businesses received designations this year – the most in the program’s history. Top honorees are selected in small, medium, and large-business categories.
The Thurston Green Business honor falls directly after Intercity Transit received the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Gold-level award for their significant efforts in support of the public transportation industry’s Sustainability Commitment. Intercity Transit, along with Sound Transit, is the first in the nation to receive this high honor.
Intercity Transit has a history of practicing sustainability and places a strong emphasis on integrating sustainable practices into its organizational culture. The agency’s sustainability activities include: establishing a Sustainability Committee; implementing programs that reduce staff drive-alone commuting; expanding its recycling and conservation program; implementing anti-idling and operator training initiatives that reduce fuel use; and introducing the first hybrid, diesel-electric buses in the South Sound region. Intercity Transit was among the very first transit agencies in the nation to power its entire bus fleet with an eco-friendly biodiesel (B20) blend over a decade ago.
Intercity Transit’s sustainability work relies on analysis and tracking of environmental metrics. Between 2007 and 2010, the agency’s initiatives saved 2700 metric tons of harmful CO2 emissions. In recent years, Intercity Transit’s sustainability efforts have:
• Cut the agency’s total waste output by 5,480 pounds, a 4.8 percent reduction;
• Cut total water use by 500,000 gallons, a 5.5 percent reduction;
• Reduced Energy use per bus trip by 8 percent;
• Reduced greenhouse gas emissions per bus trip by 5.4 percent; and
• Increased ridership by 1.2 million boardings, a 31.9 percent increase.
To learn more about Thurston Chamber’s Green Business program, visit www.thurstonchamber.com.