RTA’s sustainable commitment

Environmental sustainability is important to RTA.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is building a stronger company for a sustainable future. By moving toward reducing our environmental footprint, RTA is focusing on a triple bottom line:

  • People (social),
  • Planet (environmental) and
  • Profit (economical).

RTA is striving to provide the most efficient and sustainable public transportation system for customers, stakeholders, employees and the public, in respect to preserving the environment.

Offering solutions

Looking ahead to meet sustainability challenges, in 2009 RTA developed a 10-year Carbon Management Plan, which calls for a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2019. A major goal, a reduction in energy consumption, is underway, thanks to a Federal Transit Administration competitive grant award of $2.25 million under the Transit Investment for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program.

RTA used the grant for an Energy Lighting Retrofit Project at the Hayden Bus Garage. RTA installed new high-efficiency lights. The estimated annual retrofit savings for this facility is projected at more than 1.2 million kWh and a cost savings of $132,600.

So far, RTA has:

  • Retrofitted more than of 22,600 light bulbs, fixtures and sensors at seven operating facilities.
  • Replaced a roof at the Woodhill Bus Garage.
  • Installed several overhead doors at our rail facilities.

This significant investment toward energy savings will allow for an annual return on investment (ROI) of more than $500,000.

RTA buildings are becoming greener, too.

The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center, RTA's first LEED-designed facility, is at Cleveland State University.

There are four more additional LEED projects in various design and construction stages.

  1. Cedar-University Rapid Station.
  2. Lee-Van Aken
  3. Little Italy-University Circle
  4. Brookpark

Environmental categories:

These environmental categories are part of the RTA’s sustainability program:

Sustainable Transportation Stormwater Management
Energy Conservation Fugitive Emissions
Solid Waste Reduction Water Conservation
Recycling Green Procurement/Supplies
Building Renovation/Maintenance Banned Equipment, Products, materials
Health & Wellness Environmental Health

Employees add sustainable value

RTA believes that the day-to-day actions of employees will ultimately demonstrate commitment and progress towards sustainable growth.

Most companies develop traditional sustainable objectives, but RTA approached employees to find out about their current level and knowledge of environmental preservation. This impacts both their personal and work environment.

RTA developed a plan to create a valued environment, where sustainability and engagement were mutually reinforcing. RTA's actions are driven by voluntary initiatives. Policies and procedures are used as a guide toward successful achievements.

With each goal achieved, RTA's vision to integrate measurable emission reductions throughout every business level will serve as a breakthrough toward future environmental preservation, cost savings and financial performances.

For an example, employees are participating in an agency-wide recycling and compost program that is part of a Zero Waste @ Work Initiatives. RTA achieved a 34 percent waste stream reduction since the program implementation. As staff continues to rethink and re-evaluate operations, RTA will track these successes and disclose sustainable results.

Sustainable operations 

  1. RTA enrolled in the Ohio Green Fleets Program to evaluate and learn about alternative technologies to reduce fuel emissions.
  2. Employees participate by operating vehicles with respect and care for the environment by powering off revenue and non-revenue vehicles as part of a “no idling” initiative.
  3. To reduce non-revenue vehicle use, a supervisor vehicle was replaced with a Segway, personal transit mobile unit. This is zero-emissions addition to RTA's fleet is being used to help customers from Public Square to Cleveland State University.
In the office, RTA is focusing on better emission reductions in areas such as waste diversion, energy conservation, water conservation, green procurement and health and wellness initiatives for a cleaner, safer and sustainable work area.
 
RTA purchased a Segway, as personal transit mobile to replace non-revenue vehicles as an eco-friendly and zero-emissions solution toward air quality and climate control.

Environmental stewardship

RTA is committed to the development and implementation of programs and initiatives to sustain our environment and our natural resources. The following environmental indicators will be targeted and tracked at the RTA by using the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines (G3) when disclosing performance measurements.

Environmental performance (planet)

  • EN1 Materials used by weight
  • EN2 Percentage of materials used that are recycled input materials
  • EN3 Direct energy consumption by primary source
  • EN4 Indirect energy consumption by primary source
  • EN5 Energy saved due to conservation and efficiency improvements
  • EN7 Initiatives to reduce indirect energy consumption and reduction achieved
  • EN8 Total water withdrawl by source
  • EN9 Water sources significantly affected by withdrawl of water
  • EN10 Percentage and total volume of water recycled and reused.
  • EN16 Total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions
  • EN17 Other relevant indirect gas emissions
  • EN18 Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reductions achieved.
  • EN19 Emissions of ozone depleting substances
  • EN20 NO,SO, and other significant air emissions by type and weight
  • EN21 Total water discharge by quality and destination.
  • EN22 Total weight of waste by type and disposal method.
  • EN23 Total number of volume of significant spills.

Economic performance indicators (profit)

  • EC1 Direct economic value generated and distributed, including revenues and operating costs
  • EC2 Financial implications and other risks and opportunities for the organization’s activities due to climate change.
  • EC8 Development and impact of infrastructure investments and services provided primarily for public benefits.

Society performance indicators (people)

  • SO1 Nature, scope, and effectiveness of any programs and practices that assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities, including entering, operating and exiting.
  • SO5 Public policy positions and participation on public policy development.
  • LA1 Total workforce by employment type, contract and region
  • LA2 Total number and rate of employee turnover by age group, gender, and region.
  • LA13 Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per category according to gender, age group, minority group membership and other indicators of diversity

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