APTA Honours 2023 Sustainability Achievers
In a momentous acknowledgement of their dedication to sustainability in public transit and social equity, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has awarded its prestigious Platinum and Gold recognition to member organisations HDR and Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA), respectively, under the APTA Sustainability Commitment Programme.
The APTA Sustainability Commitment Programme is a voluntary initiative where public transit agencies and businesses pledge to adopt processes and practices that foster continuous improvements in environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
Organisations are recognised at various levels, including Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze, based on their measurable achievements. Since its inception in 2009, the programme has seen 138 public transit agencies and businesses join, with 50 currently holding higher-level recognition.
HDR, a leading member in the programme, has achieved the esteemed Platinum recognition, making them only the second business member and seventh organisation overall to do so.
Renowned for their integrated solutions that provide economic, social, and environmental value, HDR's Regenerative Design Framework stands out as an interactive tool driving sustainability. It enables HDR's teams to design projects while considering crucial indicators like carbon, water, air, biodiversity, nutrients, human health, and community impact. This revolutionary framework earned recognition as a Fast Company World Changing Idea.
Furthermore, HDR has made a profound impact through its employee-driven and funded foundation. In 2022, the HDR Foundation awarded an impressive $1.44 million in grants to nonprofits within the communities where HDR employees reside. The foundation has so far granted over $6 million to 250 organisations, aligning with HDR's focus on education, healthy communities, and environmental stewardship.
In 2021, HDR took a significant step on the international stage by joining over 60 architecture, engineering, and construction firms in issuing a communiqué to government leaders attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
By doing so, HDR reaffirmed its commitment to the 2030 Challenge, aiming to reduce carbon emissions in design and building practices while also embracing internal measures to minimise its environmental impact through sustainable business practices.
CATA has earned distinguished Gold recognition through its unwavering commitment to sustainable solutions and responsible stewardship. CATA's strategic plan, initiated by its executive employees in fiscal year 2019, prioritised sustainable practices, leading to the appointment of a sustainability champion and the adoption of 100 per cent renewable energy sources across all three facilities.
Additionally, CATA has been instrumental in promoting multi-modal transportation discussions with the tri-county Metropolitan Planning Organisation. Collaborative efforts on bike-sharing options and equipping buses with bike racks have made it easier for commuters to choose environmentally friendly options.
In a transformative move, CATA's Board of Directors approved transitioning to a zero-emission fleet by 2035, demonstrating the agency's strong commitment to decarbonising its operations and contributing to a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable transportation future for the region and the state of Michigan.
These outstanding achievements by HDR and CATA exemplify their dedication to advancing sustainability in the public transit sector. Their initiatives and accomplishments serve as inspiring examples for other organisations to follow, promoting a brighter and more environmentally conscious future for communities nationwide.
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