Amtrak 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. In FY19, Amtrak achieved all energy, fuel, recycling and emissions targets with the support of more than 18,000 employees.
“Traveling on our electrified system in the northeast corridor emits up to 83% less greenhouse gases than driving and up to 73% less than flying. Across our national network, Amtrak is 47% more energy efficient than driving and one third more efficient than flying,” said Amtrak CFO Tracie Winbigler. “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 FY20 annual operating plan to “develop and implement a climate resilience strategic plan.” Since 2015, Amtrak completed several vulnerability assessments to anticipate future conditions. We have already begun amending business practices and design standards to protect our 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% since 2010 and lowered emissions by 4% in FY19.
- Prepared for the new Acela fleet, which will be 40% more energy efficient than the original Acela train sets.
- Reduced locomotive idling time.
- Recycled an estimated 437 tons of clean paper and cardboard and more than 34 tons 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.
-via Press Release