Public transit, by its very nature, contributes to regional sustainability by keeping tens of thousands of vehicles off area roads each day.
In addition to operating the Metro transit system for the St. Louis area, Bi-State Development Agency/Metro is also proud to promote and expand sustainability inside its workplace each year through the efforts of its employee “Lean & Green Team.” The team holds green activities and continually seeks out ways to make the agency more sustainable.
Metro was honored yesterday (Jan. 21) at the 2014 St. Louis Green Business Challenge awards ceremony with a Leaders Level Award of Achievement.
The Challenge, administered by the St. Louis Regional Chamber, encourages area companies to adopt sustainable business practices that can in turn help grow the region’s green economy, reduce environmental impact and improve bottom lines. The Challenge requires participants to complete sustainability strategies from a scorecard in the areas of outreach, energy reduction, indoor environmental quality, waste reduction and clean transportation options.
Metro’s 2014 green accomplishments included top-level sponsorship of Earth Day and ongoing partnerships with Trailnet, Great Rivers Greenway, Citizens for Modern Transit and other alternative transportation groups; a mail reduction program reducing junk mail by 50 percent; a new policy to purchase only paper with 30-50 percent recycled content; a robust recycling program with special drives throughout the year collecting shoes, cell phones, medical devices and holiday lights; participation in Cardinals and Rams green teams; full transit benefits for employees, and encouraging bicycling with bike parking and showers provided at Metro facilities.
Innovations included the donation of three MetroBus vehicles to Wings of Hope, which turned the buses into mobile hospitals, complete with surgical and clinical wards; a program to recycle 75 percent of old MetroLink rail ties via reuse in small business industry tracks; and a program to recycle old polycarbonate bus shelter panels and scraps through a new partnership with Cope Plastics.
“Our MetroBus vehicles are powered by low-emission, clean diesel engines. This, combined with our internationally recognized vehicle maintenance program, helps us continue to make a positive impact on the region’s sustainability,” said John Nations, President & CEO of Bi-State Development Agency.