APTA Announces 2023 Sustainability Commitment Awardees
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has recognized the efforts of its member organizations HDR and Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) by awarding them with Platinum and Gold recognition, respectively, in the APTA Sustainability Commitment Program.
The program is a voluntary initiative where public transit agencies and businesses pledge to implement processes and actions that drive continuous improvements in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Based on measurable achievements, organizations receive recognition at Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze levels. Since its inception in 2009, 138 public transit agencies and businesses have joined the APTA Sustainability Commitment, and currently 50 signatories have earned higher-level recognition.
“APTA is thrilled to celebrate the exceptional efforts of HDR and CATA in championing sustainability in public transit and social equity,” APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said. “Their leadership in sustainability solutions, along with successful outcomes of their actions, is leaving a lasting positive impact on both our environment and communities.”
Platinum Level – HDR
HDR is the second business member and seventh organization overall to achieve Platinum recognition in the APTA Sustainability Commitment Program, and provides clients with economic, social, and environmental value through integrated solutions. For example, HDR’s Regenerative Design Framework is an interactive, online tool that allows HDR’s multidisciplinary teams to design for a project’s connected ecosystem, looking at key performance indicators for carbon, water, air, biodiversity, nutrients, human health, and community. This framework was honored as a Fast Company World Changing Idea.
Moreover, the employee-driven and -funded HDR Foundation awarded a record $1.44 million in grants to nonprofits in the communities where HDR employees reside in 2022. Since its establishment, the HDR Foundation has granted over $6 million to more than 250 organizations aligned with HDR’s areas of expertise: education, healthy communities, and the environment.
Lastly, HDR joined over 60 international architecture, engineering, and construction firms in 2021 to issue a communiqué to government leaders attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). By signing the communiqué, HDR reaffirmed its commitment to the 2030 Challenge for reducing carbon emissions in the design and building professions, and to its internal commitment to reduce environmental impact through sustainable business practices.
Gold Level – Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA)
In fiscal year 2019, the executive employees of Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) formulated a strategic plan that emphasized their core values, including a dedication to sustainable solutions as responsible stewards of the community and the planet. To achieve this, CATA committed to adopting sustainable business practices and operations. The agency promptly appointed a sustainability champion and transitioned all three facilities to utilize 100 percent renewable energy sources. CATA is further committed to implementing an agency-wide environmental management system (EMS) aligned with ISO 14001.
CATA also played a pivotal role in facilitating discussions on multi-modal transportation with the tri-county Metropolitan Planning Organization, including collaboration on bike-sharing options. The agency equipped all fixed-route buses and select small buses with bike racks accommodating up to three bicycles free of charge, while also offering bike lockers for rent at the CATA Transportation Center.
In April 2022, CATA’s Board of Directors took a significant step and approved transitioning to a zero-emission fleet by 2035, aiming to decarbonize its operations and contribute to a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable transportation future for the Capital City region and Michigan as a whole. These initiatives are part of CATA’s multifaceted approach to enhancing efficiency and implementing sustainable solutions.