Top 6 in 2016 - Sustainability Program

Top 6 in 2016

Let's ring in the New Year by reflecting on some of the District's "green" achievements over the past year. Here are the District Sustainability Program Top 6 highlights for 2016:

  1. Reduced the District’s carbon footprint by using cleaner electricity.The District is participating inthree Community Choice Energy programs launching this year and next:CleanPowerSF,Peninsula Clean Energy, andSilicon Valley Clean Energy. These programs provide District facilities withelectricity from more renewable sources like solar, wind, geothermal, and small hydropower – allwhile delivered on the same utility poles and wires. At no additional cost, SamTrans’ power will be20% more renewable and Caltrain’s power will be nearly 10% less carbon-intensive, making ourtransit services even more sustainable. Depending on where you live, your residential electricitymeter may be automatically enrolled in these programs too – check out their websites for moreinformation.
  2. Initiated LED lighting upgrades that will save energy while reducing operational and maintenance costs.LEDs are 80% more efficient than the lights they will replace at the Bases, and require less maintenance. In addition, the District will defray some of the capital costs through an energy efficiency rebate partnership with PG&E andSan Mateo County Energy Watch.
  3. Improved waste management practices.In 2015 the District introduced composting service and upgraded waste bins and signage at Central, and in 2016 we rolled the program out to the Bases and Brewster. Overall this initiative reduced SamTrans’ landfill waste by 30%, equivalent to the amount of waste produced by 200 California households. For reminders on what goes in the compost, recycle, and landfill/trash bins, employees can check out the updatedSamTrans Waste Sorting Training Manual.
  4. Conserved 40% more watercompared to the state drought baseline year of 2013, through water conservation efforts in fleet, facilities, and station maintenance.
  5. Continued the District’s partnership withSea Change San Mateo Countyto assess sea level rise vulnerabilities and adaptation options for key District facilities as well as the region.
  6. Launched the Bay Area Transportation and Sustainability Working Groupin partnership with SFMTA, VTA, BART, AC Transit, and WETA to share best practices and support each other in sustainability efforts. The District, VTA, and SFMTA took this collaboration to the next level with a joint presentation on water conservation at the 2016 APTA Sustainability Conference.

And of course, the District’s ongoing work towardsCaltrain Electrificationand aSamTrans electric bus fleetwill deliver more sustainable transportation options to the communities we serve.

Many of these efforts are ongoing and there are more in the pipeline – sustainability is about continuous improvement and thoughtful collaboration between all our departments. Thank you for your support of the District’s sustainability initiatives. And many thanks in particular to the dedicated Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations teams who ensured the success of these projects this year.

Let’s keep up the great green work – here’s to a very happy, prosperous, and sustainable 2017!

1/18/17 - ms