As an active participant in environmental stewardship and transit agency leadership across the country, HART is moving Florida forward with powerful steps fueled by green initiatives and innovative technologies.
By continuing to reduce its environmental impact while increasing operational efficiency, HART is aggressively working to become Florida's first ISO 14001 certified transit agency in 2015. The certification conveys international recognition that an agency is expertly managing its environmental program. Only nine of the 520 transit agencies in the USA have earned the prestigious ISO 14001 certification.
The HART Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) is a tool for managing every aspect of the agency to hit desired environmental targets. HART is one of 24 transit agencies nationwide that have successfully completed Virginia Tech's special ESMS training program.
As HART Chief Financial Officer and the agency's Sustainability Champion Jeff Seward explains, "The Sustainability Program continues the agency's commitment to protect the environment in which we operate and reduce our carbon footprint and use of electricity and water consumption."
Goals and benefits of the ESMS program include:
- Protection of natural environment
- Enhancement of health and safety within the workplace
- Reduction of overall operating costs
The ESMS program demonstrates the agency's long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility:
- Fuels, vehicles and emissions
- Reducing vehicle carbon emissions by 4,285 metric tons by the end of FY2018 by transitioning from diesel fuel to cleaner-burning Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
- Energy and water conservation
HART reviewed five years of electrical and water usage data to identify utility efficiency opportunities and develop consumption and expense goals.
HART is conducting energy audits at all of its operational facilities to further uncover opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint.
Water conservation initiatives at HART include the installation of more efficient bus washing equipment, sustainable landscape management, use of solar lighting, and appropriate use of reclaimed water.
Last year, for example, HART provided 14.6 million rides, taking thousands of cars off the highways and significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, in 2014 HART continued its progressive and groundbreaking shift toward cleaner-burning Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) which is better for the environment and is produced right here in the USA.