Amtrak embraces sustainability as a way to operate our passenger rail business. Our company-wide Sustainability Policy guides how we incorporate environmental, financial, and social considerations into our risk assessment processes and project outcomes. Over the course of the last decade we’ve implemented new technologies and changed employee behavior which resulted in reducing Amtrak greenhouse gas emissions by more than 199,040 metric tons of CO2, equivalent to 42,259 passenger vehicles driven for one year. Now we’re focused on delivering safe and reliable service to our customers and we’re evaluating ways to improve operations in the face of changing climate conditions across the national network.
Our Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) supports environmental compliance by establishing environmental procedures and training programs for employees across the corporation. Our environmental audit program provides a systematic review of compliance with environmental regulations and internal procedures. The audit program currently includes 32 large and medium facilities that are audited on a biennial basis by a trained, independent auditor. In addition to the full compliance audits, Amtrak environmental staff conducted 53 small facility assessments (SFAs) in FY2018 and 34 in FY2019 for facilities and operations that present a lower environmental risk. Both the audits and SFAs require development of a corrective action plan (CAP) to address the issues identified, and the facility must provide regular reports until all findings are closed.
Our environmental compliance program recognizes facilities for innovative or leading practices that reduce risks to the environment. These best practices are shared on our internal website for other facilities to adopt. This year, the Wilmington Maintenance Facility received recognition for several outstanding initiatives:
The facility received a grant from the State of Delaware to develop a recycling program. In the two years since implementation of the program, the facility is now consistently one of the top three facilities in the country for recycling. Their recycling rate is currently at 53%, well over the corporate goal of 20%. The facility has reduced the number of 30-yard trash dumpsters from 11 to 6.
The Engineering department replaced diesel powered pressure washer with electric units.
The facility installed a rip rap structure for erosion control in various locations, and they installed a silt fence to prevent stormwater pollution around storage bins in the south yard.
The Mechanical department purchased a new Environmental Response Trailer that can be mobilized in the event of a spill.
The facility implemented suggestions boxes to encourage employee participation on energy saving measures and share environmental issues or concerns.