GreenDOT is SDOT’s Watchdog for the Environment

 Yesterday was Earth Day; but here in SDOT everyday is Earth Day!  And that’s not just lip service; SDOT’s  GreenDOT  team and program ensure that we continually evaluate our work activities to reduce our impact on the environment.  By following a four-step improvement model set forth internationally of “plan, do, check, repeat,” we are making tremendous strides!

Here are just a few examples of our many achievements:

  • Cut our CO2 emissions by a whopping 846 tons – that’s the equivalent of the fuel required to drive 1.5 million miles.  How have we done it? We have saved fuel by planning our travel routes, not idling our trucks, upgrading our fleet so that equipment can run  off  battery instead of engine power,  and using fuel efficient vehicles.  We are paving with “green concrete” whenever possible, and using warm mix asphalt when feasible (this also produces less air pollution).
  • Reduced the number of chemicals we use in our operations by an impressive 55%.  This has been accomplished by eliminating multiple brands of the same chemicals; eliminating products that weren’t being used; finding environmentally-friendly Best Management Practices to replace insecticides and pesticides; consolidating and replacing the majority of our paints with water-based  paints; eliminating products containing carcinogens or chemicals that target human reproductive organs.
  • Overhauled our operations – for example, monitoring construction site activities for best environmental management practices; adding BMP conditions  and improving  inspections  for  the right of way  material storage permits we issue; implementing more stringent permit procedures such as the process for removing or decommissioning underground storage tanks (USTs) which can leak and potentially contaminate soil and groundwater. 

We are pleased with our progress, but by using the international improvement model, we plan to continue fine-tuning all that we do to keep raising the bar beyond mere compliance with environmental regulations.