By Colleen Murphy, Environmental Analyst
“Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
This proverb has been attributed to Native American tribes, Kenyan natives and even Ralph Waldo Emerson. Regardless of the source, it’s an honorable view about each generation leaving the Earth better than we found it.
To implement this Core Value, Community Transit operates an active Environmental Management System (EMS). An EMS is a process of continually improving our environmental performance by using the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Our EMS began in 2004 and is compliant with ISO 14001-2004. Our EMS is a tool we use to go above and beyond environmental regulations.
A multi-departmental team evaluates all of our activities to identify opportunities to reduce waste, reduce natural resources used and switch to “greener” options. We then create an action plan to implement the identified improvements and train affected employees. Using this process we have improved air quality by reducing vehicle emissions, reduced fuel waste, reduced electricity usage, increased recycling of office and work products, installed solar panels at the Mountlake Terrace Parking Garage, increased emergency response preparedness and made many more improvements to our everyday operations.
These efforts make a positive impact on our local environment every day and help to lower our operating costs, which preserves bus service. On Earth Day 2013, Community Transit is doing its part daily to utilize natural resources wisely, improve the local waterways for our children to play in, and help keep the air cleaner in our part of the world. After all, we live here too!