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It’s Easy Being Green

As Earth Day approaches it is a good time to think about how SDOT is being green.  I don’t want to get too wonky here but SDOT thinks about its approach in 3 ways.  Actually two sets of 3 ways.  The first is the standard 3 E’s definition of Sustainability – meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  We are building a transportation system that protects the Environment; by providing transportation choices that mean you don’t have to drive and by using green products and materials.  We strive to be Equitable and serve all our citizens. Our Race and Social Justice initiative  is a Citywide effort to reduce racial disparity and foster multiculturalism.  We try to be Economically sound – both enabling economic vitality and living within our means. 

The second 3 ways to think about being Green are

1) What we do to make it walking biking and transit the easiest ways to get around.  Our Walk Bike Ride initiative and Summer Streets are good examples of that. 
2) How we do it – our practices and procedures protect the environment.  Our GreenDOT initiative has great examples like reducing our fuel use this year 20% below 2008 levels (we already reduced it 17% over the last two years), using green paving materials, or protecting runoff from entering the water during our construction work. 

3) Our connection with the rest of the City, Region and State to accomplish our environmental goals.  For example, developing and implementing our Climate Action Plan and Council’s goal of carbon neutrality. With the driving we all do adding up to 60% of the City’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, SDOT has a big role to play.  What we do, and how we do it, has a big impact both locally and globally.  We also recognize that environmental stewardship is not only the right thing to do; it’s a good business practice and saves money. 

Soon we will update our GreenDOT and Sustainable Transportation Web pages with a more detailed summary of what we are up to.  In fact time to wrap up this blog post and get working on those.