Silver Spring, Md.
VP of Technical Services
Taking steps for the planet: Veolia Transportation North America’s 2008 Sustainable Development Initiatives
As concern for the environment gains momentum on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world, Veolia Transportation North America is quickly becoming recognized as a leader in sustainable development. Fast, convenient public transportation is a key to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and solving the global climate crisis. We have worked hard to make our name synonymous with efficient, innovative sustainability solutions.
Veolia Transportation North America launched its sustainable development program in 2007. First steps included checking out industry trends and researching what could be done to make a difference. Benchmark information was gathered and presentations were hosted to build awareness. The Advantage Series, a collection of professional technical manuals dedicated exclusively to sustainability, was created and circulated to staff and clients.
Veolia Transportation’s Sustainable Development program accelerated in 2008 with the launch of many more initiatives, all aimed at building a culture of sustainability.
Our Sustainable Development Charter, a powerful statement publicly affirming our commitment to protecting the environment and promoting solutions, was developed.
Our Advantage Series was expanded with the creation of The Green Garage Advantage and The Idle Reduction Advantage. The Green Garage Advantage focuses on best management practices in new and existing garages, and contains valuable information to help shop managers and employees do their jobs in a greener way. The Idle Reduction Advantage demonstrates how adopting an idle reduction strategy will help us lower harmful emissions, plus save on fuel and maintenance.
An updated version of The Biodiesel Advantage was released in November, reflecting changes in the fast-moving world of alternative fuels.
Quicklists and checklists were developed for several Advantage Series manuals. These summarize the key priorities and action items of the manuals, providing a quick-and-simple reference for all employees to understand and use best sustainability practices in vehicles, facilities and offices. Both are serving as the basis for green action plans at locations across the country.
A series of colorful posters and Green Team cards were created to promote sustainability in offices and facilities.
A “CO2L” ad campaign was developed to help our clients promote the environmental benefits of public transit.
Veolia Transportation’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. In 2008, more clients, industry-groups and Veolia colleagues from around the globe than ever before inquired about our Sustainable Development programs, materials and presentations.
In February, a California Working Group was formed, comprised of Veolia Transportation executives and managers from several locations. The group attended the Carbon Forum America conference in San Francisco, and learned how important carbon management will become for businesses of every kind as the United States tackles climate change more aggressively.
Veolia Transportation is playing an influential role in APTA’s Standards Working Group on Climate Change. This group is responsible for helping the public transportation sector prepare for a new era of sustainability and greenhouse gas measurement.
In July, Veolia Transportation took part in APTA’s 5th annual Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop, the industry’s premier best practices event. Ruth Otte, executive VP, Marketing & Communications, introduced the luncheon keynote speaker and Mitun Seguin, director of marketing services, delivered a presentation on the market for sustainability.
In 2008, Veolia Transportation completed dozens of additional sustainable development activities across the country:
Nearly 50 site visits and environmental investigations were carried out.