The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has awarded Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) operating partner for commuter rail, the Gold Sustainability Award for its commitment to and organizational enhancements focused on environmentally friendly business practices.
Keolis is the first private commuter rail operator in the United States to earn the APTA Gold Sustainability Award.
“We are thrilled to recognize Keolis and the MBTA commuter rail for proactive steps and plans to advance the organization to be more sustainable and climate-friendly,” APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said. “This lays the groundwork that will allow for future investment in new technologies and practices that will make for a brighter future for many generations to come.”
First started in 2009, the APTA Sustainability Commitment recognizes public transit agencies and private operators that pledge to implement processes and actions that create continuous improvements in environmental, social and economic sustainability. APTA transit, sustainability and environmental experts review these actions and plans, while also providing input to further advance certain programs. APTA uses this analysis and reporting to determine which organizations earn recognition.
“In close partnership with the MBTA, our Keolis team has been working to deploy and advance sustainable operations where possible across the commuter rail organization, which includes 16 facilities, two offices and 2,400 employees,” said David Scorey, Keolis general manager and CEO. “We’re grateful to APTA for recognizing the efforts we have taken with the MBTA. I want to recognize our employees who have measurably advanced the organization to be more sustainable while running 10,000 more trains per year and delivering each day the highest levels of locomotives and coach cars the network has ever seen. Their ability to balance these demands reflects their dedication to passengers and our communities.”
Keolis has been the MBTA’s commuter rail operating and maintenance partner since July 1, 2014, and over this time has developed and advanced a strategic roadmap for the organization that enables more sustainable practices and provides for excellence programs in safety, operations, corporate social responsibility and other core components of the business. As part of this roadmap, Keolis is promoting greater environmental awareness to its 2,400 Boston-area employees and more climate-friendly operations.
“At Keolis, we strive to continuously improve and challenge ourselves to innovate and seek opportunities that will help pave the path towards a more resilient and reliable network to meet the demands of the 21st Century and drive progress responsibly,” said Clary Coutu, director of environmental services, Compliance and Sustainability.
This includes the implementation of a new environmental management system which follows ISO 14001 standards. According to ISO, ISO 14001 is a family of standards, best practices and tools for organizations to draw upon as a resource to more effectively manage environmental responsibilities. Developing and adhering to a strategic roadmap and implementing ISO 14001 standards are key components to earning APTA recognition.
Another APTA priority is employee recognition and engagement. Recognizing the progress made across a diverse workforce and toward a more climate-friendly operation, Keolis established an annual Steward of the Year award, which is given to employees demonstrating an outstanding commitment to sustainable practices. The company also created the Keolis Heroes award, which is given to team members who go above and beyond daily duties in emergency situations. In partnership with the MBTA, Keolis instituted these programs to further elevate a comprehensive and proactive sustainability commitment and drive progress responsibly.