Our Sustainability Story
Amtrak embraces sustainability as a fundamental part of how we operate. Our company-wide Sustainability Policy guides how we incorporate environmental, financial, and social considerations into our decision-making processes.
Environmental Sustainability Operate within compliance of applicable environmental laws and regulations and with best practices that increase efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, and promote the sustainable use of resources.
Financial Sustainability Operate in a manner that promotes a financially stable and successful operation, improves efficiency, and reduces waste.
Social Sustainability Operate in a manner that provides quality service, engages and fosters safety, connectivity, and mobility in the communities we serve, and cultivates a healthy and productive workforce.
The mission of our company-wide Sustainability Program is to increase awareness and integrate better practices throughout our operations in transparent and measurable ways. Various teams across the company work diligently to create lasting benefits for our stakeholders, including customers, employees, state partners, and business partners. Our work includes recycling seat cushions to avoid landfilling, re-lamping maintenance facilities for lower energy bills, delivering donated supplies to communities after a natural disaster, and improving the fuel and energy efficiency of our fleet.
Ultimately, every Amtrak employee has the responsibility to incorporate sustainability into our jobs. Whether it’s turning out the lights when we leave for the day, conserving diesel fuel, telling our customers about our bikes-on-board program, or asking for recycled content in the materials we buy, each of us can do our part. Together, we will make Amtrak a better place for our customers, our employees, and our planet.
Over the years, we have made a number of public sustainability commitments and below are a few examples of organizations with whom Amtrak reports and benchmarks year over year performance.
CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) is a voluntary framework whereby companies self-report their climate-related data and impacts. Through CDP, Amtrak commits to publicly report greenhouse gas emissions data (our carbon footprint) and information on our climate change initiatives and mitigation strategies. CDP scores range from A to E, with A indicating robust climate data and a strong understanding of corporate climate-related issues. In 2018, Amtrak received a B score, placing Amtrak among the leading transport-sector organizations with regards to identifying and managing risks and opportunities related to climate change. Our CDP climate change response can be viewed at cdp.net.
In signing the UIC Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge in 2015, Amtrak joined with other members of the international rail sector in pledging to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, stimulate modal shift to rail in national and international markets, actively communicate climate-friendly initiatives and publicly report data on energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
The climate responsibility pledge reads in part: “The worldwide railway community is aware that a shift towards sustainable transport is essential to achieve the internationally agreed goal of limiting climate change to a rise in average global temperature of no more than 2 degrees Celsius. The rail sector is the most emissions efficient transport mode, but as a major transport mode we acknowledge our responsibility and that further improvement is needed. This pledge sets out ambitious but achievable goals for the sectors contribution towards the solution to climate change.” See the full pledge.
Using data supplied by Amtrak and other members, the UIC and International Energy Agency (IEA) annually publish a railway handbook focused on the main energy consumption and CO2 emissions trends in the world’s railway sector. Get the latest handbook.
Amtrak signed onto the APTA Sustainability Commitment in 2009 as one of the founding signatories and advanced to Gold Level recognition status in May 2017. Amtrak achieved this goal by realizing energy efficiency gains through lighting projects and facility-based energy plans, adopting green building codes and standards such as the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), and obtaining Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) certifications for stations.