Amtrak hits FY2019 sustainability targets, according to report

Posted: 20 July 2020 | | No comments yet

According to its FY2019 Sustainability Report, Amtrak has achieved all energy, fuel, recycling and emissions targets.

Amtrak hits FY2019 sustainability targets, according to report

Amtrak has released its FY2019 Sustainability Report that showcases company performance against year-over-year sustainability goals and highlights sustainability projects across Amtrak’s regions and operations.

According to the report, in FY2019, Amtrak achieved all energy, fuel, recycling and emissions targets with the support of more than 18,000 employees. 

Amtrak CFO, Tracie Winbigler, said: “Traveling on our electrified system in the northeast corridor emits up to 83 per cent less greenhouse gases than driving and up to 73 per cent less than flying. Across our national network, Amtrak is 47 per cent more energy efficient than driving and one third more efficient than flying. These numbers speak for themselves; Amtrak is fundamentally the better transportation option for those looking to reduce their environmental impact.”

Every year, sustainability and climate resilience work expand to encompass new projects, more departments and more ambitious commitments to ensure long-term operations. This year, executive leadership included a new corporate goal in the FY2020 annual operating plan to ‘develop and implement a climate resilience strategic plan’.  Since 2015, Amtrak completed several vulnerability assessments to anticipate future conditions, and have already begun amending business practices and design standards to protect their rail assets and lessen the disruption to Amtrak’s customers and employees from acute events and in anticipation of long-term climate shifts. 

Highlights from the report include:

  • Reduced company greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent since 2010 and lowered emissions by four per cent in FY2019
  • Prepared for the new Acela fleet, which will be 40 per cent more energy efficient than the original Acela train sets
  • Reduced locomotive idling time
  • Recycled an estimated 437 tonnes of clean paper and cardboard and more than 34 tonnes of seat cushions, fabrics and other materials keeping them out of landfills.

Building on Amtrak’s mission to provide efficient and effective intercity passenger rail mobility, Amtrak awarded a contract to Siemens for new Tier 4 locomotives. The first of 75 locomotives will go into service in 2021. The new locomotives are more fuel efficient and have lower pollutant emissions compared to older technology, leading to significant reductions in the fleet’s overall environmental impact. In addition to purchasing more fuel-efficient locomotives, Amtrak also incorporated sustainability into end-of-life considerations for the Amfleet 1 and Acela passenger car refreshes. Several significant waste streams were removed from landfill destinations and recycled, e.g., foam, seat covers, carpet and light bulbs. Incorporating sustainability has been successfully applied to all other fleet refreshes.

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