Posted by Jeff Mullan, MassDOT Secretary & Chief Executive Officer
Today is Earth Day, a day when millions of Americans will take time out to acknowledge our need to protect the environment. Started in 1970, the tradition is considered by many to be the start of the modern environmental movement. Let me also take time to note the progress we have made toward our goal of becoming the “greenest” DOT in the nation.
You may know that the transportation sector generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts. Even while those emissions are increasing, the law requires a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 1990 emissions levels by 2020. We are committed to helping Massachusetts meet that requirement.
In June of 2010, we adopted our award-winning GreenDOT policy, a comprehensive initiative that is designed to embed sustainability into all of our practices and decision-making by promoting sustainable development, protecting the natural environment, and enhancing quality of life for today and tomorrow.
Through GreenDOT, we have, among other things:
created a Sustainability Committee to coordinate GreenDOT initiatives and share best practices across divisions;
changed our paving specifications to increase the use of recycled asphalt product;
begun a cooperative effort with NStar to consolidate and ramp up our energy efficiency program; and
increased our investment in projects like Safe Routes to School in order to promote safe walking and bicycling.
We have also hosted a record attendance Bicycle and Pedestrian conference focused on GreenDOT, built new bicycle and pedestrian facilities statewide, and we are preparing to sponsor our second statewide Bay State Bike Week in May. And this month, we launched NuRide, a free rewards program for individuals who travel green in Massachusetts. If you are not ‘NuRiding’ yet, please contact Leon.Papadopoulos@dot.state.ma.us at MassRIDES who can assist you ‘green’ your commute.
We are very proud that your hard work and accomplishments have been recognized with a Leading By Example Award and the Federal Highway Administration Exemplary Human Environment Initiative Award. Thank you for your efforts in making MassDOT greener every day by embedding sustainability into our core business. Keep up the good work.