RTA Guiding Principles for a Sustainable Operations
- Identify and establish sustainable objectives and goals
- Add targets for cost savings from each sustainable area of focus;
- Initiate employee training for an ISO 14001 environmental management system;
- Provide a framework for developing sustainable procedures and initiatives;
- Communicate awareness to all employees stakeholders;
- Develop an agency-wide culture of sustainability;
- Measure and report annually on the indicators to track progress toward improved sustainability.
AREAS OF FOCUS - OBJECTIVES
Accompanying each area is a set of objectives that outline the actions necessary for achieving the Authority’s sustainability goals throughout our operation. Each area will have an assigned management representative who will be responsible for the implementation and annual reporting to the Office of Sustainability.
As part of our effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the Authority will pursue the following objectives:
- Avoid physically traveling to meetings where alternatives are available and practical, such as teleconferencing, video conferencing, or web cams;
- Reduce the need for multiple and frequent travel to local meetings;
- Reduce the use of non-revenue vehicles for short and unnecessary trips (ie., with trips less than 15 miles employees should use public transit vs. non-revenue automobile usage as appropriate and within reason);
- Identify and implement sustainable alternatives for non-revenue vehicle use where appropriate;
- Purchase or lease all future company vehicles with the lowest available emission standards within their particular class;
- Establishing and enforcing our idling and fuel efficiencies policies for revenue/non-revenue vehicles;
- Establish a program to continuously green our vehicle fleet;
- Add an emissions recording metric on employee traveling forms to monitor impact and cost savings.
- Establish ozone depletion strategies under the GWP (Global Warming Potential) scale.
The Authority encourages sustainable modes of transportation and recognizes the need to balance the demands of pedestrians and cyclists in and around its transit centers, facilities and shelters to promote link trips. To adhere to this goal, the Authority will pursue the following objectives:
- Collaborate and coordinate with other community agencies and groups to encourage the use of sustainable modes of public transportation;
- Provide high density development/land use near transit stations;
- Provide amenities to encourage link trips to our public transportation system (i.e. bicycle racks, shelters, enhanced waiting environments and pedestrian-priority access) around facilities and shelters;
- Provide educational awareness to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety in and around transit centers, rapid stations and bus shelters.
The GCRTA is committed to reducing its energy consumption, implementing conservation programs, and promoting energy efficiency. To adhere to this goal, the Authority will pursue the following objectives:
- Provide tools, procedures and information regarding best practices to promote energy conservation at the Authority;
- Implement energy conservation programs to engage employees to practice energy efficiency;
- Minimize the impact of the energy use by supporting alternative energy sources.
The Authority is committed to minimizing the amount of waste generated at all operating facilities and public use sites. In order to adhere to this goal, the Authority will pursue the following objectives:
- Minimize the amount of waste generated;
- Introduce a Zero Waste@ Work program for 100% landfill diversion by 2016;
- Maximize the proportion of waste recycled when reduce and reused options have been exhausted;
- Plan and coordinate office and facility initiatives to reduce waste consumption;
- Encourage the use of tap water vs. bottle water to reduce plastic bottle use;
- Ensure that products purchased may be recycled by our waste management provider and ensure that recycling is widely available at all operating facilities and public sites;
- Develop and implement effective programs and practices that support the above objectives toward landfill diversion.
The Authority recognizes that fresh water is a non-renewable resource that needs to be conserved. We will pursue the following objectives for long-term water conservation:
- Analyze employee water use and pressure systems;
- Invest in metering systems to gauge usage and replace inefficient fixtures;
- Reduce the quantity of water used and waste water produced at operating facilities;
- Initiate more efficient methods of cleaning and fire sprinkler maintenance;
- Reduce water pressure (or install pressure reducing valves) as needed;
- Employ natural storm water management procedures: impervious paving and other mitigation, corrective actions as part of our renovation and new construction facility projects;
- Reduce landscape irrigation needs by planting native and drought-resistant species for all landscape and green space sites;
- Invest in automatic flush mechanisms on restrooms toilets;
- Invest in infrared/sonic sensors on restroom faucets;
- Implement water-recycling programs to use rainwater for future landscape irrigation where possible.
The GCRTA will promote landfill diversion to preserve the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the following recycling objectives:
- Incorporate recycling bins and containers at all operating facilities to appropriately dispose of the following:
- Plastic items #1-7:
- PET 01 (Soft drink, water, peanut butter and jams jars)
- PE-HD 02 (Milk, juice and water bottles; trash bags)
- PVC 3 (Juice bottles; PVC Piping)
- PE-LD 04 (Squeezable bottles)
- PP 05 reusable microwave able ware; kitchenware, yogurt containers
- PS 06 Disposable cups, plates, trays, take-away containers
- 07 (Beverage bottles)
- Corrugated Cardboard
- Aluminum/tin cans (Bi-metals; Aluminum foil)
- Composting (food items)
- Wood Palettes
- Remaining Waste & refuse collection (minimum waste)
- Phase out the use of virgin paper and adopt a minimum standard of 100% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) recycled content paper for all office supplies;
- For uncut paper uses, including but not limited to janitorial supplies, adopt a standard of 100% PCW recycled content paper;
- Recycle all electronic waste in a responsible manner and disposed of at approved regeneration or recycling facilities.
The GCRTA is committed to the procurement of products and services that minimize negative environmental impacts and emphasize long-term values. The following procurement objectives will be fully developed to help the Authority establish environmentally responsible purchasing and service initiatives by:
- Reducing the impact of products purchased including product miles;
- Consider the amount of packaging on an item before purchasing it (over packaging creates waste for the Authority);
- Purchasing items in large, economy size and use concentrates mixed in reusable containers;
- Avoiding the purchase of disposable products;
- Purchasing durable goods and products that have a long life expectancy;
- Where possible, purchase reusable products and attempt to extend the lifecycle of goods where appropriate;
- Improving inventory control throughout the agency including a central supply program for certain products;
- Establishing sustainable proposal policies to be added to all RFPs and IFBs (ie proposals for bids sent on 100% recyclable paper, double-sided hard copies, set maximum page limits, and with reduced number of hard copies, etc.)
- Include a copy of our Sustainability Policy in all of our proposals to vendors, suppliers and consultants;
- Establishing a "Green Seal Certified Products" listing as part of a procurement source registry;
- Negotiating better pricing for commodities with recycled content as compares to products without recycled content;
- Working toward increasing procurements of products with high recycled contents;
- Conducting vendor and DBE workshops for current and future vendors about our environmentally responsible procurement initiatives (ie., products, packaging, value, biodegradable; non-toxic; 100% post-consumer recycled material, recyclable and reusable, construction site disposal methods);
- Include extra points under the evaluation criteria section for companies who will deliver sustainable services and products to the Authority;
- Incorporating an effective end-of-life recycling program into each commodity as applicable;
- Develop a program with our suppliers to establish re-use or recycling “take-backs” at no extra cost toward waste disposal (packaging, containers, etc.).
Health & Well-Being /Working Environment
The Authority understands that our employees are integral components to maintaining sustainability. To ensure a high level of investment into the Authority’s human resources, we will pursue the following objectives:
- Reduce the impact of emissions/toxins from office equipment;
- Promote programs, groups and departments which support all areas of personal health and well-being including smoking cessation, weight loss, healthy eating habits, etc.;
- Recognize accomplishments and achievements of our employees.
Employee Educational and Awareness
The Authority also recognizes its role as a sustainable organization and is committed to promoting awareness and education, as well as engaging the community in the collective responsibility to implement this policy. To adhere to this principle, the Authority will pursue the following objectives:
- Provide employees with opportunities to increase their awareness and knowledge of sustainability;
- Promote leadership roles among individuals from a variety of levels that provide support toward sustainable initiatives;
- Promote education, training and research across all divisions and departments;
- Coordinate and cooperate with educational groups, organizations, institutions, and surrounding communities pursuing sustainable programs and initiatives;
- Participate with community and environmental awareness programs.