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Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-1 Appendix F Case Studies and Rating System Summaries CASE STUDIES Each of the case studies included in this document provides the following information, organized into sections: â¢ Details about the interview contacts and any background documents reviewed for compilation of the case studies, â¢ The agencyâs adopted definition of sustainability or a discussion of the lack of definition, â¢ Specific agency programs and practices that incorporate sustainability principles, â¢ The impetus or history behind the agencyâs incorporation of sustainability principles, â¢ Actual sustainability performance measures in use and discussion of the development of those measures, â¢ A description of how the performance measures are tracked, â¢ How the measures have been applied to decision making, â¢ Lessons learned by the agency as a result of development and/or adoption of sustainability performance measures, and â¢ The future outlook of sustainability performance measures at the agency.
F-2 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies California Department of Transportation A set of recent state bills have required Californiaâs agencies to consider topics correlated with sustainability. Much of Caltransâ sustainability work responds to this legislation, which includes Assembly Bill 32: Global Warming Solutions Act (the primary goal of which is to reach 1990 greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2020 and 80% of 1990 levels by 2050); State Bill 375, which furthers the greenhouse gas related activities proposed in AB 32; and State Bill 391, which requires Caltrans to prepare a state plan to address how the state will meet its GHG reduction targets. In 1998 (updated 2004), Caltrans published the Transportation System Performance Measures Report, which outlined how to develop performance measures and identified mode-neutral candidates for measures. The measures used throughout Caltransâ programs are guided by this report. Caltrans has a number of programs and efforts that incorporate sustainability principles and measures, including â¢ California Transportation Plan (CTP). CTP updates have, since 2006, included the â3Esâ (equity, environment, and economy), which inform the goals and policies that direct all programs and projects. Although none of the related performance measures were specifically identified to address sustainability, many of them are related. The next CTP update will focus on GHGs and climate change and will have a context-sensitive solutions orientation. The Smart Mobility Framework, a recent effort to add action and implementation to the policies in the CTP, recommends 17 performance measures for use in project evaluations. â¢ Regional Blueprints. The Caltrans Regional Blueprints are voluntary planning processes that engage residents of a region in creating a vision of the regionâs future. Applicants are required to provide information on how they plan to measure success in the short-term and how they will measure the long-term impacts of the process toward meeting blueprint goals. There are no specific guidelines for this measurement, and it is up to the agencies to determine what they will measure and how. â¢ California Progress Report. In 2007, information gathered from the Regional Blueprints was used to compile the California Progress Report, a snapshot of regional conditions and progress across the state. A set of indicators was selected by an advisory team, which reviewed the blueprints to determine what was being measured at the regional level. The 2010 Progress Report update will feature 15 indicators, distributed among up to 10 potential issue areas: greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, energy use, water use and quality, health, transportation, economy, natural resources/productive farmland/open space, housing, and land use. The indicators will be selected to provide a good cross section of data and answer the question: âAre our regions becoming more sustainable?â The intent is that this will also serve as the overarching sustainability framework for the Strategic Growth Council and help to align state programs to better achieve progress. Caltrans has two units set up to track performance. The Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Measures is responsible for measures that Caltrans can control through programs and policies. The Transportation System Information group sources data from other divisions and then categorizes the data into a set of system indicators.
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-3 Colorado Department of Transportation CDOT does not currently have an official definition of sustainability, although the agencyâs overall approach to sustainability is along the lines of the United Nations Brundtland Commission definition. CDOT has also adopted an âenvironmental ethic,â defined as a responsibility to âsupport and enhance efforts to protect the environment and quality of life for all of Coloradoâs citizens in the pursuit of providing the best transportation systems and services possibleâ (CDOT, 2011). CDOT addresses sustainability through four primary structures or processes: â¢ Environmental Stewardship Guide. This guide documents how social, economic, environmental, and engineering considerations are to be integrated into transportation decision making. The current (2005) version has expanded beyond NEPA processes to discuss community impacts and livability. â¢ Transportation Environmental Resource Council sustainability subcommittee. TERC is composed of representatives of transportation agencies and resource agencies from throughout the state. The sustainability subcommittee encourages sharing between agencies working on sustainability, with a focus on sharing best practices, creating a sustainability template, creating a potential coordinated certification system, creating a sustainability policy that can be adopted by all members, and developing performance measures, including a potential statewide baseline. â¢ CDOT Greening Council â greening government initiative. A 2007 executive order by Coloradoâs governor directed state agencies to reach a set of goals (including reduced energy use and petroleum consumption) by June 2012. Transportation was one of the focus areas, and CDOT is implementing this initiative through the CDOT Greening Council. The aim of the council is to share expertise at a statewide level, among CDOTâs regions. â¢ I-70 Corridor â sustainability applications. The I-70 Corridor Context Sensitive Solutions process included identifying a means for evaluating the sustainability of construction activities and a pilot application of NYSDOTâs GreenLITES effort. However, the primary acknowledgement of the I-70 sustainability effort is that the larger issues of sustainability are outside the control of the state DOT and need to be led and addressed by the local governments. Currently, performance measures are not being used for sustainability, although there are existing economic and functional performance measures, which could be expanded to encompass sustainability. Future applications envisioned for a program of sustainability performance measures include funding, resource allocation, and the development of standards and specifications.
F-4 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Florida Department of Transportation Florida has a long history with sustainability and environmental protection. Most recently, in 2007, then-Governor Crist issued Executive Orders establishing a climate action team, setting state emissions reduction targets, and prompting additional state actions on issues of energy climate change. The Florida Governmental Carbon Scorecard was established to track and report the reduction of GHGs, with each jurisdiction required to report its contribution to emissions. FDOT has responded to state initiatives by reiterating the role of transportation in enhancing the environment, communities, and economy, largely through the following initiatives: â¢ Florida Transportation Plan. FDOT is currently updating the FTP for the year 2060, which will result in goals, objectives, and strategies to address the long-term needs of the state transportation system. Sustainability is expected to be a focus area, with specific attention to issues of climate change and energy. The prior FTP (2025) focused on sustainable investments and also addressed sustainability with a specific objective related to conservation of the natural environment, nonrenewable resources and energy, and reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollutants. â¢ Strategic Intermodal System (SIS). The SIS Strategic Plan calls for the department to strengthen the linkage between transportation and land-use planning by working closely with statewide partners to develop and implement a complementary land use management strategy to preserve capacity and communities. â¢ Metropolitan planning. Florida MPOs are legislatively required to minimize GHG emissions as part of the planning process. MPOs also must consider strategies for integrating transportation and land use to provide for sustainable development and to reduce GHG emissions. In addition, energy considerations must be included in all state, regional, and local planning efforts. â¢ Regional visioning. FDOT has supported the development of long-term regional visioning processes throughout the state, including several visions that are well established and moving into implementation phases. Several regions are assessing impacts through the use of key measures of sustainability, including acres of land urbanized, water consumption, greenhouse gases and air pollutants, and vehicle miles travelled. â¢ Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM). The ETDM process and screening tool creates linkages between land use, transportation, and environmental resource planning initiatives through early, interactive agency involvement and availability of data. FDOT has an established performance measurement framework. FDOT reports on performance within three categories: âhow we report on what we are accomplishing,â âhow we are being measured by others,â and âhow we measure ourselves on an ongoing basis.â Specific environmental performance metrics are reported regularly by the Office of Policy Planning in a publication series entitled Trends and Conditions: Environment, which includes general, statewide metrics as well as measures addressing the actual impact of DOT decisions or activities. Specific measures include acres of wetland directly affected by federal-aid roadway construction projects, number of parcels of right-of-way acquired annually, and estimated amount of recycled asphalt pavement used in construction annually.
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-5 Minnesota Department of Transportation In 2006, Minnesota Executive Order 06-03 mandated the increased use of renewable fuels by state agencies, and in 2007 the Next Generation Energy Act required an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Although MnDOT does not currently define sustainability, the agencyâs vision statement refers to a âsafe, efficient, and sustainable transportation system,â and the agency is moving in that direction. MnDOT has seen a noticeable shift in public opinion, with growing public support for transit and alternative modes. MnDOT considers sustainability as a factor in several key agency initiatives: â¢ The most recent state transportation plan is more focused on sustainability than earlier versions, though sustainability is not fully defined. The energy and environment policy areas look to improve the efficiency and sustainability of Minnesotaâs transportation system. The next iteration of the long-range plan is expected to be more explicit in discussing sustainability issues. â¢ MnDOT conducted an internal strategic planning effort that identified sustainability as a flagship focus area. â¢ MnDOTâs annual performance report has measures and indicators for the 10 policy areasâ with individual measures/indicators for pavement quality, mobility, transportation fuel consumption, and more. MnDOT defines performance measures as those that the agency has control over and that can be actively improved through agency decisions. Performance indicators, however, are considered reflective of how the transportation system is functioning, without regard to MnDOTâs role in managing the variables. Generally, performance measures/indicators are based on policies in statewide plans. Performance measures pertaining to sustainability include those under the energy and environment policy areaâincluding air pollution, clean fuels, and wetland preservation. CO2 emissions are listed as a developmental performance measure, meaning the measure has yet to be operationalized with specific data. Measures from other policy areas such as mobility, accessibility, and so forth also touch upon sustainability issues. Other MnDOT programs also use transportation and land use measures that are relevant to sustainability. Each of the measures has a specific office/division with a reporting responsibility assigned. In the future, performance measures may facilitate the comparison of transit and highway projects in terms of their sustainability impacts.
F-6 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies New York State Department of Transportation While many of NYSDOTâs programs and practices have long incorporated some aspects of sustainability, the agency initiated the GreenLITES program to recognize and expand upon existing sustainability practices. The GreenLITES certification program was developed as a project-evaluation tool. The GreenLITES program was put in place in 2008 and has since been expanded to include an operations program and a voluntary local project certification program for federally funded projects. In recognition that issues such as GHG emissions and habitat connectivity need to be tackled at a higher level, a proposed expansion of GreenLITES to include planning metrics is currently being considered. As a part of the GreenLITES effort, NYSDOT defined transportation sustainability as a philosophy based on a set of six principles: protect and enhance the environment; conserve energy and natural resources; preserve or enhance the historic, scenic, and aesthetic project setting characteristics; encourage public involvement in the transportation planning process; integrate smart growth and other sound land-use practices; and encourage new and innovative approaches to sustainable design and how facilities are operated and maintained. Currently, however, efforts are under way to redefine sustainability to emphasize the ways in which transportation serves a sustainable society, rather than just considering sustainability in the context of transportation operations. As a rating system, GreenLITES is highly focused on metrics. Both the project design and operations programs have extensive metrics built into spreadsheet-based scorecards. The identification of measures was accomplished through a discussion-based process, in which measures were brainstormed and then refined by NYSDOT staff and stakeholders. A similar process was followed for assigning a weight to each metric. The proposed GreenLITES planning and program management scoring tool would contain metrics reflecting the eight federally required planning factors, along with other goals such as GHG reduction, smart growth, environmental stewardship, social equity, quality of life, and innovation. Tracking the GreenLITES project design metrics is mandatory for NYSDOT projects and voluntary for non-NYSDOT projects. Currently, however, the GreenLITES program only provides ratings and does not directly tie into funding allocations or decision making. Future GreenLITES applications might include project prioritization or the provision of comparative project results.
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-7 Oregon Department of Transportation A few key state initiatives set the groundwork for sustainability at ODOT. In 2000, the Oregon Progress Board convened a comprehensive assessment of Oregonâs ecological health to help non- scientists understand the need for better environmental stewardship. This report forms the basis of Oregonâs and the Oregon Department of Transportationâs current sustainability efforts. Subsequently, the Oregon Sustainability Act of 2001 was passed, and Executive Orders 03-03 and 06-02 established a plan for sustainability leadership in each of 20 state agencies and an overall sustainability leadership team composed of high-level state leaders. To comply with Executive Order 03-03, ODOT issued its first formal sustainability plan in 2004. This plan integrated the stateâs sustainability goals with ODOT strategic goals, which are: (1) improve safety, (2) move people and goods efficiently, and (3) improve Oregonâs livability and economic prosperity. Based on the mandates and strategies set out in the sustainability plan, the Oregon Transportation Commission adopted a new Oregon Transportation Plan (OTP) in 2006 that emphasized sustainability. ODOTâs sustainability strategies are initiated and coordinated by the Sustainability Program, which also acts as a resource to staff members as they adopt new sustainability activities in their own work. The program is responsible for developing the sustainability plan and identifying strategies to implement it. In 2008, ODOT updated the sustainability plan, which remains the prevailing document. The plan addresses the vision, goals, and strategies included in the 2006 OTP. This plan establishes seven focus areas for ODOT efforts: energy/fuel use and climate change, material resource flows, environmental stewardship, land use and infrastructure, economic health, social responsibility/workforce well-being and development, and health and safety. Volume 2: Internal Operations, issued in 2010, addresses how ODOT staff and contractors will pursue sustainability within the agencyâs internal operations. It establishes specific performance measures for each of the sub-focus areas, although much of the data required are not currently collected. In the future, a supplemental installment of the ODOT sustainability plan will be prepared to address project-level sustainability plans. To develop these project-level plans, a team of ODOT managers has been tasked with investigating potential strategies for integrating sustainability into the agencyâs transportation projects. This committee is seeking a tool that can be used to provide project-level performance measures and is actively investigating the use of Greenroads for roadway design and construction.
F-8 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Washington State Department of Transportation Impetus for many recent sustainability initiatives at WSDOT came from a series of executive orders, including Executive Orders 02-03: Sustainable Practices by State Agencies, 04-01: Persistent Toxic Chemicals, 05-01: Establishing Sustainability and Efficiency Goals for State Operations, and 09-05: Washingtonâs Leadership on Climate Change. WSDOT is currently in the process of determining their definition of sustainability, which will bear close relation to the relevant executive orders and revised code of Washington, while at the same time maintaining the core mission of WSDOT. WSDOT has translated these executive orders and relevant legislation into 18 tasks, the most significant of which include adaptation issues, GHG strategies, VMT measurement, and VMT effectivenessâall of which have a designated technical advisory group. The agency considers itself to be well structured to carry out these tasks and to address sustainability. The executive level staffs of the Environmental Services, Public Transportation, and Strategic Planning groups jointly lead the effort, with support from the WSDOT Steering Committee. WSDOT prepared its first sustainability plan in 2007, which was updated in 2008. This plan identifies existing WSDOT objectives that support sustainability and creates four long-range goals based on Executive Order 02-03. The plan contains some quantifiable metrics pertaining to internal operations (e.g., ferry fuel use, number of low-emission/hybrid vehicles, biodiesel use, paper purchases, paper recycling, and energy use). WSDOT has long tracked agency-wide performance measures in their Grey Notebook, including some basic metrics related to sustainability. The agency is currently considering the future implementation of more significant sustainability metrics.
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-9 Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning CMAP embarked on its long-range comprehensive planning process, GO TO 2040, in 2007. During the first phase of gathering public input and developing a vision, stakeholders expressed significant interest in sustainability principles. Therefore, the agency realized it needed to understand and define sustainability. In response, CMAP created a definition of sustainability composed of four principles: protect the environment and improve natural resources for future generations; improve economic performance and quality of life for individuals; preserve the value of human and man-made capital for future generations; and ensure a fair distribution of life- quality. A central element of the GO TO 2040 effort is the Regional Indicators Project, which involved the development of a set of 250 performance measures for the region grouped by 10 overarching themes, including environment and natural resources, with over 50 subcategories. The first indicators developed during the GO TO 2040 process were primarily for evaluating the impacts of potential regional scenarios, and therefore were more physically oriented and focused on transportation, land consumption, environmental, and economic measures. As the Regional Indicators Project evolved, CMAP made sure that all facets of the agency had a role in developing sustainability performance measures. CMAP also convened outside groups to define indicators in areas beyond those traditionally addressed by CMAP, including workforce development, arts and culture, health, public safety/crime, emergency preparedness, food systems, and hunger. CMAP anticipates continuously collecting data and tracking performance measures while publicly reporting progress every two years. Ongoing performance-measure tracking on a biannual basis will be enabled via a website under development by CMAP. The website will display a dashboard of key measures comparing the Northeast Illinois region with the five other most populous U.S. regions, Illinois, and the United States. Throughout this process, CMAP has identified a need for improved data sharing among government agencies, and CMAP hopes that other agencies using the web tool will take a more active role in data collection and sharing. As it considers major transportation projects for inclusion in the GO TO 2040 plan, CMAP is using a subset of 23 indicators to evaluate each projectâs sustainability. The agency is currently performing the analysis for 50 major capital projects that have been proposed for inclusion in the GO TO 2040 plan. Results of each project evaluation are presented to the sponsors and will be used to prioritize the list of projects for inclusion in the GO TO 2040 plan. Use of the sustainability performance measures is not possible for Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) projects because the regional travel model is the main tool for calculating the measures, and TIP projects are too small in size for such calculations to be meaningful.
F-10 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Land use was a driving factor in MORPCâs history of sustainability promotion. In the 1990s, the Greenways program was developed to coordinate among several stakeholders such as parks, grassroots citizen groups, and municipal governments on waterways planning. The effort strove to develop a cohesive organization and get approval for common goals and directions for county waterways. In 2006, the Greenways program became the Center of Energy & Environment (CEE), which is focused on improving sustainability in the region through watershed planning, local foods, sustainable development, air quality, and weatherization of homes and businesses. The Green Pact program, run by CEE, is a voluntary commitment program through which local municipalities and other agencies pledge to follow several guidelines focused on sustainability, such as investing in greener public fleets, purchasing green products, and supporting mass transit. MORPC releases an annual public policy agenda that states their policy goals and informs political stakeholders of their priorities. Smart growth and patterns of sustainable development and multimodal transportation have been features of this document for many years. Among several other sustainability-oriented elements, the 2009 Public Policy Agenda calls for the region to âestablish âRegional Prosperity Indicatorsâ that enable annual measurement and analysis of regional performance versus our peer regions and ourselves on an ongoing basis.â In recent years, MORPC has promoted 40 sustainability performance indicators through its annual State of the Region reports, divided into the focus areas of people, place, and prosperity. The State of the Region reports contain indicators that are intended to be included in the long-range plan (Shaping Our Region), currently being developed for release in the spring of 2012. In the long-range plan, MORPC intends to draw from the performance indicators of the State of the Region reports and define targets for the year 2035, growing the current indicators into true long- range sustainability performance measures. The State of the Region reports and long-range plan will also serve as mechanisms for tracking and monitoring progress. MORPC anticipates continued emphasis on sustainability performance measures through their long-range planning effort, the continued work of the CEE, and additional multimodal transportation planning efforts such as the Complete Streets program.
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-11 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments The primary impetus for addressing sustainability was the growing interest across the Washington, D.C., region in solutions for the interconnected challenges that face the region, including population growth, aging infrastructure, threatened environmental quality, and growth in social and economic disparities. The National Capital Region Climate Change Report (2008) was also an important precursor to current efforts, focusing attention on the greenhouse gas impacts of the predicted new residents and jobs that will come to the Washington region by 2030. Preparation of the Climate Change Report was led by a Climate and Energy Steering Committee that was later reorganized into a Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee. Most recently, sustainability has emerged as a priority at MWCOG via special policy study designed to provide a long-range vision for the regionâs development that outlines desirable attributes for the region in 2050. The study is called Region Forward: a Comprehensive Guide for Regional Planning and Measuring Progress in the 21st Century. It outlines four principles that participants agree should be used as a framework for guiding regional development in the future: accessibility, sustainability, prosperity, and livability. The Region Forward report sets out ambitious goals associated with these principles. To ensure progress on each goal, the report identifies multiple performance targets. Most targets include specific, measureable milestones and can be tracked with available data. Several are annual targets, while others are set for a longer horizon, such as 2025 or 2050. In addition to targets, the report also identifies numerous indicators that track progress toward achieving the goals. Although tracking protocols have not yet been established, MWCOG is in the process of beginning a plan for regularly monitoring progress toward the goals identified in Region Forward through regional progress reports. While the concepts of sustainability embodied by the MWCOG Region Forward report have yet to be integrated into MWCOGâs Transportation Planning Boardâs policies and decision making, in the future it is hoped that the goals, targets, and indicators will help inform regional leadership and policy making.
F-12 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) HRT began to get involved in sustainability practices in 2005 when it was chosen by the Federal Transit Administration to develop a pilot EMS. This initiative was made a priority in 2007, when the HRT added staff support and committed to meeting ISO 14001 certification standards. HRT was also the first American transit agency to sign the APTAâs Sustainability Commitment Pilot in January 2009. All programs that address sustainability at HRT are included under the HRT CARES (Creating Accessible Regional Sustainability) âGo Greenâ program. These include activities at headquarters to reduce waste and conserve energy, an energy reduction lighting program at the bus maintenance facility, the purchase of cleaner buses, and an agency-wide EMS designed to embed sustainable practices into the agencyâs daily activities and services. HRT has a set of measures they have identified for the EMS. When HRT committed to create an EMS that would meet ISO 14001 standards, they created an internal EMS team tasked with the responsibility of setting objectives, targets, and procedures for the EMS. The team chose three impact areas and related measures as a starting point (prevent future releases from HRTâs underground storage tanks, reduce HRTâs GHG footprint, and reduce HRTâs overall energy consumption). The EMS team felt that it made more sense to start measuring a few areas and add more as goals were met. The data for HRTâs sustainability performance measures come primarily from the facility maintenance group or the operations manager. The Director of Energy Management and Sustainability is in charge of collecting the data and tracking the measures. HRT has encountered challenges in measuring some of the required APTA measurements, due in part to resource constraints. HRT expects to begin compiling an annual report for tracking its sustainability performance measures in the near future. HRTâs goal is to see a full sustainability program in place, as a routine and integrated as a part of the culture at the agency, with the EMS functioning as a program to spur continual improvement.
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-13 City of Alexandria, Virginia The City of Alexandria has a strong track record of environmental stewardship by government and engagement by its citizens on environmental issues. Examples include the 1998 Environmental Quality of Life Summit, which led to Alexandriaâs first strategic environmental plan, and the Alexandria 2015 Strategic Plan published in 2004. The original strategic environmental plan and the later strategic plan vision statement helped build momentum for three interrelated activities over three years that have driven Alexandriaâs sustainability agenda: â¢ In 2007, a âGreen-ventoryâ of city environmental policies, plans, and programs; â¢ In 2008, an Eco-City Charter; and â¢ In 2009, the Environmental Action Plan 2030, which is based on the Eco-City Charter and frames Alexandriaâs sustainability policy. The Environmental Action Plan (EAP) provides the foundation for incorporating sustainability principles into all the cityâs programs and plans. It does this by (1) making sector-specific recommendations for concrete short-, mid-, and long-term sustainability actions and (2) identifying nine cross-cutting strategies for supporting integration of sustainability principles into plans and programs. The majority of the Environmental Action Plan 2030 is dedicated to sector- focused chapters on transportation, green building, air quality, water resources, health, energy, land use, solid waste, and climate change. Each sector features a single statement on guiding principles and a related set of policy goals that will be achieved through a series of short-, mid-, and long-term actions. In addition, each sector has a handful of performance targets that are designed to demonstrate progress toward the goals. The city plans to continue to expand its efforts to track sustainability-related performance measures and to use this information in decision making. With the EAP in place, the City of Alexandria is working to incorporate the concepts of sustainability into its master plan and area plans as they are updated.
F-14 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Swedish Road Administration Sustainability became a dominant force with the passage of the Swedish governmentâs transport bill of 1997, entitled Transport Policy for a Sustainable Development (translated). Sustainability thus came to the road agency from the top, but has since also developed in a bottom-up way within the agency. Most recently (in 2009) the SRA produced its first specific sustainability report. Sustainability features in the following critical agency activities: strategic management, long-range planning and programming, project development and design, and construction. Performance measures have been defined for reporting at the sectoral level (addressing national objectives for the transport system) as well as at the agency level (addressing the strategic and performance objectives formulated at the SRA level). The measures have mostly been defined by the government agencies expected to report progress (e.g., the SRA), with reference to both national objectives and strategic plan objectives of the agency. Performance measures are used in strategic reports, long-term transport plans and associated program assessments, annual letters of appropriations, and agency annual reports and annual sectoral reports, as well as internally in SRAâs âGoals and Metricsâ database, in scorecards, in tertiary and monthly reports to SRA top management, and in several other contexts. Ideally they help craft and adjust transport plans and guide agencies and the government ministryâs control of their implementation activities. However, efforts to develop meaningful performance measures have only been partly successfulâfor several objectives only general measures exist, or performance measures exist that only partly address the objective. Although data collection and reporting is handled by SRA (using a goal and metrics database), another agency is charged with producing aggregated interpretations and assessments of progress toward the national transport policy objectives, based on all the transport agenciesâ submitted data. The idea is to have a neutral body charged with making this overall assessment. SRA believes that interagency collaboration may help pave the way toward more integrated, intermodal transport policy development and assessment, but may also increase the need for external oversight of the performance measures.
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-15 UK Highways Agency Sustainable development has been formally incorporated into the management goals of the UK Highways Agency since 2005â06, when the agency began its corporate social responsibility reporting. In 2007â08, the agency established its first Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP), which is reported on and refreshed every year. In order to ensure that sustainability was properly incorporated within the agencyâs thinking and practices, changes were made to management structures and processes to ensure that sustainability had a high priority at board level that would support further changes within the operating practices of the agency. Sustainability principles cut across the actions of all parts of the organization, including strategic management, long-range planning and programming, project development and design, construction, and operations and maintenance. The 2007â08 SDAP set about defining what sustainable development meant to the Highways Agency. It was important that the agencyâs actions were consistent with the five overarching goals of the UK-wide strategy: living within environmental limits; ensuring a strong, healthy and just society; achieving a sustainable economy; promoting good governance; and using sound science responsibly. The 2007â08 SDAP was largely populated with process measures. Subsequent updates have strengthened and expanded on this document. In addition to the SDAP, a series of management tools were developed to help ensure that sustainability is part of the decision-making processes, including a monthly scorecard for each business unit (internal), a reporting tool to assess the compatibility of proposals with the SDAP goals, a corporate social responsibility report, and a national framework for project appraisal decisions.
F-16 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies SUSTAINABILITY RATING SYSTEMS FHWA Sustainable Highways Website: www.sustainablehighways.org Purpose: The FHWA Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool identifies characteristics of sustainable highways and provides procedures and techniques to help agencies and organizations apply and integrate sustainability best practices into highway and other roadway projects and programs within system planning, project development, and operations and maintenance. While the words âhighwayâ and âroadwayâ are both used in this tool, the FHWA Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool is designed to be applied to all roadway projects, not just highways. The goal of the FHWA Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool is to encourage increased application of the principles of sustainability by presenting best practices and establishing standard and qualitative measures for sustainability. Sustainability definition: The definition of sustainability used by Sustainable Highways is simply that sustainability is the capacity to endure. Sustainable Highways describes the goal of sustainability as the âtriple bottom lineâ concept, which includes equity (also known as social or people), ecology (also known as environment or planet), and economy. The goal of sustainability is the satisfaction of basic social and economic needs, both present and future, and the responsible use of natural resources, all while maintaining or improving the well-being of the environment and ecology on which life depends. Weighting or scoring logic: There are 68 credits in the beta version of the Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool. The credits are grouped into three categories based on what the credits address. Each category serves as an independent self-evaluation tool that can be scored independently of the others. These categories are system planning (SP), project development (PD), and operations and maintenance (OM). Currently, it is not possible to mix credits from the three different categories. SP credits are concerned with agency-wide management and planning of highway networks, and apply to all roadways under the jurisdiction of the owner-agency, not a specific project. PD credits address the development of a specific project once the general need and proposal for a solution to a transportation problem has been programmed. They involve environmental review, project planning, design, and construction decisions related to a specific project. OM credits are credits concerned with agency-wide practices, policies, and procedures required for the overall functionality and efficiency of a highway network and are not specific to one project. Currently PD credits are individually weighted, and the credits within other categories are equally weighted. The overall goal of weighting within the PD credits is to make the point value for each credit commensurate with its potential to promote sustainability. Greater weights are assigned to credits that are likely to have the greatest impact on sustainability from project to project. Sustainable Transportation Access Rating System Website: http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?a=319882&c=34749 Purpose: STARS is an integrated planning framework and rating system for transportation plans, projects, and employer programs that is based on sustainability principles. STARS aims to evaluate the full life cycle of transportation projects and acknowledges that the decision of what to build in the first place is just as important (and sometimes more important) than how it is constructed. This upstream approach to transportation projects distinguishes STARS from other rating systems that are centered on the design and construction phases. STARS is designed as a
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-17 third-party certification rating system and was initiated by the North American Sustainable Transportation Council. The current draft of the STARS-Project manual was developed through a partnership between the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Council; the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation; CH2M HILL; Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc.; ECONorthwest; Brightworks; Confluence Planning, LLC; and numerous volunteer credit peer reviewers. Sustainability definition: STARS uses the Natural Step as a sustainability framework, which is based on systems thinking and recognizes that what happens in one part of a system affects every other part of the system. STARS focuses on sustainability with respect to access, climate, and economic health. Weighting or scoring logic: Currently, the draft STARS-Project manual serves as a planning and evaluation tool. Subsequent versions of STARS will include credit weighting, scoring, and certification levels and will also function as a rating system. The current draft version of STARS- Project is organized into 29 credits, five of which are required. To be considered for certification, a project applicant must demonstrate that they have met the minimum credit requirements for the five required credits and several of the non-required credits. The credits are broken down into six categories: integrated process, access, climate and energy, ecological function, cost effectiveness analysis, and innovation. The latter category is provided to allow for flexibility and enable applicants to receive credit for new and innovative strategies that meet sustainability goals. Greenroads Website: www.greenroads.us Purpose: Greenroads is a voluntary sustainability rating system, or performance metric, for roadway design and construction, including project planning. It is applicable to all roadway projects including new, reconstructed, and rehabilitated roadways. It awards points for sustainable choices/practices and can be used to assess roadway project sustainability. Greenroads is a metric that helps quantify the sustainable attributes of a roadway project. This quantification can be used to â¢ Define what features contribute to sustainability on the project, â¢ Provide accountability for sustainability on roadway projects, â¢ Measure and track specific sustainability goals over time, â¢ Manage and improve roadway sustainability, â¢ Encourage new and innovative practices, â¢ Promote competitive advantage and other economic or market incentives for sustainability, and â¢ Communicate sustainable features to stakeholders in an understandable way, especially to the general public. Greenroads is a publicly available system that can be used by anyone. However, the Greenroads logo and name are trademarked and remain the property of Greenroads. The University of Washington and CH2M HILL are the Greenroads developers, and the Greenroads Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, now owns Greenroads. Agencies and organizations can use Greenroads in a variety of ways, including (1) a performance metric for roadway design and construction sustainability, (2) a means to define basic roadway sustainability attributes, (3) a means of conferring market recognition on more sustainable
F-18 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies roadway projects, and (4) a voluntary or required baseline standard to which roadways are designed and constructed. Sustainability definition: Greenroads defines sustainability as a system characteristic that reflects the systemâs capacity to support natural laws and human values. The definition of sustainability used in Greenroads centers on seven different components that are demonstrated by a metric in a variety of ways. These seven components are the basis for the phrases ânatural lawsâ and âhuman values.â These components include the three commonly cited principles of sustainability: ecology, equity, and economy. Additionally, there are four other essential components to this systems-based definition that are emphasized within the context of the Greenroads metric: extent, expectations, experience, and exposure. Since sustainability is context sensitive and dependent on the human needs and values of the project management team and stakeholders, the extent and expectations components were identified because they act as the project system boundaries. The experience component includes technical expertise, engineering ingenuity, and knowledge of applicable historical information, which is critical in decision- making processes. The exposure component represents the idea that implementing sustainability in practice requires ongoing educational and awareness programs for the general public, professionals, agencies, and stakeholders. Weighting or scoring logic: Greenroads applies sustainability best practices to roadways. Best practices are divided into two types: required and voluntary. Required best practices, called âproject requirements,â are those that must be done as a minimum in order for a roadway to be considered a Greenroad. Voluntary best practices, called âvoluntary credits,â are those that may optionally be included in a roadway project. Each voluntary credit is assigned a point value (1â5) depending upon its impact on sustainability. Currently, there are 37 voluntary credits that total 108 points. Greenroads also allows a project or organization to create and use its own voluntary credits (called âcustom creditsâ), subject to approval of Greenroads, for a total of 10 more points, which brings the total available points to 118. Green Leadership in Transportation and Environmental Sustainability Website: www.nysdot.gov/programs/greenlites Purpose: The GreenLITES rating system is owned and was developed by NYSDOT for use on state roadway projects. The system was first published in 2008 and serves primarily as an internal management program for NYSDOT to measure performance, recognize good practices, identify needed improvements, and share advances in sustainable practices with the public. GreenLITES is a self-certification program that distinguishes transportation projects and maintenance activities based on the extent to which they incorporate sustainable practices. Sustainability definition: Sustainability is defined broadly in the GreenLITES rating system to refer to any human use of resources that does not exhaust those resources. The concept is described as balancing what is beneficial to people with what is economically sound and environmentally compatible. Specifically, NYSDOT defines transportation sustainability to mean a design philosophy that: â¢ Protects and enhances the environment; â¢ Conserves energy and natural resources; â¢ Preserves or enhances the historic, scenic, and aesthetic project setting characteristics;
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-19 â¢ Encourages public involvement in the transportation planning process; â¢ Integrates smart growth and other sound land-use practices; and â¢ Encourages new and innovative approaches to sustainable design. GreenLITES also acknowledges that increases in project costs may result from some sustainability efforts; however, these cost increases are often warranted when all external environmental and social costs are fully considered. Weighting or scoring logic: The GreenLITES system is rated in a similar fashion to Greenroads with certified, silver, gold, and evergreen serving as the progressive certification levels for more sustainable practices. Certification is based on the total amount of points received. Points are allocated to different activities and levels of accomplishment based on their perceived sustainability impact (weighting). Projects receive points in the GreenLITES Project Design program for undertaking actions in the following categories: sustainable sites, water quality, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, and innovation/unlisted. The latter category is provided to allow flexibility in the scoring system and allow points to be received for new and innovative sustainability practices. Projects receive points in the GreenLITES Operations program for undertaking actions such as using alternatives to herbicides during roadway vegetation maintenance, improving or retaining bridge aesthetics, optimizing signal timing, or improving ADA access. Illinois Livable and Sustainable Transportation System and Guide Website: www.acec-il.org/ and http://www.dot.il.gov/green/projects.html Purpose: I-LAST is a sustainability performance metric system developed by the Joint Sustainability Group of the Illinois Department of Transportation, the American Council of Engineering CompaniesâIllinois (ACEC-IL), and the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA). The stated purposes of I-LAST are threefold: (1) provide a comprehensive list of practices that have the potential to bring sustainable results to highway projects; (2) establish a simple and efficient method of evaluating transportation projects with respect to livability, sustainability, and their effect on the natural environment; and (3) record and recognize the use of sustainable practices in the transportation industry. Sustainability definition: I-LAST uses the United Nations Brundtland Commission definition of sustainability. The Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as âMeeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needsâ (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). Specifically, I-LAST identifies the following goals for providing sustainable features in the design and construction of highway projects: â¢ Minimize impacts to environmental resources; â¢ Minimize the consumption of material resources; â¢ Minimize energy consumption; â¢ Preserve and/or enhance the historic, scenic, and aesthetic context; â¢ Integrate highway projects into the community in a way that helps preserve and enhance community life; â¢ Encourage community involvement in the transportation planning process;
F-20 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies â¢ Encourage integration of nonmotorized means of transportation into highway projects; â¢ Find a balance between what is important to the transportation function of the facility, to the community, to the natural environment, and to what is economically sound; and â¢ Encourage the use of new and innovative approaches in achieving these goals. Weighting or scoring logic: The I-LAST Guidebook and Construction Practices Addendum consist of a total of eight credit categories and 20 unique credits. The credit categories are planning, design, environmental, water quality, transportation, lighting, materials, and innovation. The innovation credit is included to foster creativity and reward the use of experimental and innovative features to improve the sustainability of the transportation industry. Each credit identifies criteria to meet the intent of the credit. Point values are assigned to each criterion, depending on the level of sustainability benefit. To evaluate a projectâs sustainability performance, the I-LAST guidebook recommends that the number of points earned be taken as a percentage of the total number of points possible. However, due to the varying nature of highway projects and the range of items in I-LAST, not all credit topics are relevant for every project. It is therefore recommended that the number of points possible be determined at the outset by deciding which credit topics are applicable to a specific project. Using this method, I-LAST users are encouraged to compare their final percentage-based score to the scores of other projects to estimate their level of sustainability achievement. Green Guide for Roads Website: http://www.tac-atc.ca/english/projects/greenguide.cfm Purpose: The stated purpose of Canadaâs national Green Guide for Roads is to promote sustainable growth and alternative multimodal transportation solutions within corridors, along with safe, long-lasting roadway infrastructure and green construction principles. The intent of the guide is to respect traditional design objectives for safety, efficiency, capacity, and maintenance, while integrating objectives relating to compatibility, livability, universal accessibility, modal equity, conservation of resources, affordability, and environmental protection. The Green Guide for Roads is currently designed as a self-evaluation tool and was initiated by the Transportation Association of Canada in 2010. Sustainability definition: No explicit definition of sustainability is offered throughout the documents produced to date for the Green Guide for Roads. However, the Benefits of Green Roads section of the document offers the following information on the role of transportation in creating a sustainable society: A fundamental component of sustainable development is having a transportation system that is affordable, safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly. While a transportation system brings people and goods together and contributes to the growth and prosperity of Canada, it does have environmental, economic, and social costs that affect our quality of life. As such, decisions and choices made with respect to the development, operation, and use of the transportation system shape the communities we live in and have an impact on the future sustainability of our communities. (http://www.tac- atc.ca/english/projects/pdf/greenguide-benefits.pdf) Weighting or scoring logic: Currently the working template is a compilation of sustainability requirements and best practices to meet the 13 identified sustainability principle application areas. The 13 sustainability principle application areas in the working template are community interface,
Case Studies and Rating System Summaries F-21 valued environmental components and land consumption, mobility choices, intersections and driveways, hard surfaces, landscaping, amenities, drainage, safety, energy consumption, construction, operations and maintenance, and services and utilities. A suggested ordinal ranking system is provided to help the users of the template score their projects based on their level of accomplishment in meeting the requirements of each application area. The ordinal ranking system is based on a three-point low, medium, and high scale, which is weighted equally between the requirements. Currently there are no point thresholds or certification levels established since these will be included in the next phase of the rating system development. Additionally, the ability to earn points for new and innovative strategies that are not already included in the working template is limited; currently only a few of the 13 sustainability principle application areas allow points to be earned for innovation. Building Environmentally and Economically Sustainable Transportation-Infrastructure- Highways (BE2ST-in-Highways) Website: www.rmrc.unh.edu/Outreach/docs/Lee,Edil,Benson,Tinjum.pdf Purpose: BE2ST-in-Highways was developed by the University of Wisconsin to provide a quantitative methodology for rating the benefits of sustainable highway construction. The methodology is grounded in quantitative metrics so that a transparent linkage exists between the project rating and the sustainable practices employed in design and construction. This rating system can be used by the highway industry to help incorporate sustainable elements into projects more easily at the forefront but also in any phase of a project. Sustainability definition: BE2ST-in-Highways defines sustainable development as the ability to âmeet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,â which is the definition from the United Nations Brundtland Commissionâs 1987 report entitled Our Common Future. Weighting or scoring logic: With the criteria and their target values established, weights are assigned to each criterion along with credit levels. An equally weighted system consisting of 2 points for each criterion, resulting in 18 total points, is the default in the BE2ST-in-Highways system. In application, stakeholders can select the weights and credits. Weights are based on the importance ascribed to each criterion and can be assigned using the analytical hierarchy process, which is a separate software package designed to compute the weighting value. GreenPave Website: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/transtek/roadtalk/rt16-1/#a6 Purpose: GreenPave is a Canadian system developed by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). The system primarily focuses on roadway pavements. GreenPave is a green rating system for pavements that provides a way of recognizing sustainability in pavement projects. The points-based system is designed to assess the sustainability of flexible and riding pavement designs and their construction. GreenPave is modeled after Greenroads and GreenLITES, but is customized for Ontario.
F-22 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Sustainability definition: The definition of sustainability that serves as an organizing concept for GreenPave is the same definition used to guide MTO. MTO is committed to enhancing the sustainability of Ontarioâs transportation infrastructure, including safe, efficient, economical, environmentally friendly technologies and materials that meet the needs of present-day users without compromising those of future generations. Weighting or scoring logic: GreenPave assesses pavements within four categories: pavement design technologies, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, and innovation and design process. Each category has a maximum number of points that can be awarded, for a total of 36 possible points. Each category is further broken down to address specific objectives, with corresponding points assigned to each subcategory. Achievement levels of bronze, silver, gold, and trillium can be awarded.