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Sustainability at SRP 101

Sustainability at SRP is an ever-evolving practice, and we have built a strong foundation thanks to the dedication of our leaders and employees.

Sustainability at SRP is easy thanks to ‘Sustainability in Action’ programs

We’ve spent a lot of time thinking and talking about what being a “sustainability superstar” at SRP can look like for our employees.

We’re implementing practices into everyday life at SRP to make sure day-to-day operations are more sustainable, which recently drew the attention of Valley Metro’s Clean Air Campaign.

Recently, Maricopa County presented SRP with a Champions for Clean Air award for its employee-driven initiatives to practice being greener.

For anyone who is interested in taking a deeper dive into what sustainability at SRP looks like, I wanted to give you a glimpse into my world as an environmental scientist and coordinator of sustainability initiatives.

Here’s a peek into how our Sustainability in Action programs provide tools to support our employees on a quest to be more sustainable.

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Photo courtesy of Valley Metro. SRP proudly accepts Champions for Clean Air award.
From left: Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith; Tempe Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage; Sarah Fitzgerald, Program Strategist, Sustainability Policy and Programs; Sean McLaughlin of 3TV and CBS 5; Madison Doyle, Program Strategist, Sustainability Policy and Programs; Tony Perez, Policy Analyst, Sustainability Policy and Programs; Amy St. Peter, Deputy Executive Director, Maricopa Association of Governments; and Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke.

How do you define sustainability? Hint: There’s more than one answer

“How do you define sustainability?” You’d likely receive very different answers depending on who you ask. To some, sustainability might mean turning the tap water off when they are brushing their teeth.

To others, sustainability means that they are leaving the earth a better place than they found it. One person’s definition of sustainability doesn’t necessarily mean another person’s definition is wrong — it just means they may contribute to sustainability in different ways.

Sustainability at SRP means that we recognize our responsibilities to future generations while doing the following:

  • Strengthening our ongoing stewardship of natural resources
  • Proactively addressing our customers’ and communities’ priorities
  • Maintaining our strong commitment to fiscal responsibility while responding to a rapidly changing industry

Sustainability at SRP: Teamwork makes the green dream work

We see sustainability as an active practice where many small actions have the ability to create a big impact. We encourage sustainable practices among our employees through an initiative called Sustainability in Action (SIA).

From giving employees the information they need to reduce their waste, to assisting employees in reducing their emissions with incentivized vanpool and carpool options, here are ways that we encourage sustainability at SRP.

ReEnvision Waste:

Properly managing the materials we dispose of at SRP is important to our sustainability success. SRP has a goal to divert 75% of our municipal solid waste from the landfill by 2035 and 100% by 2050.

The ReEnvision Waste program helps employees achieve this by educating employees about best practices. ReEnvision Waste also works to manage the materials we bring in and throw out. It’s common to see helpful instructions on how to use different bins for recycling and even composting in our breakrooms.

Local Roots:

Several times a month, a local farmer comes on-site to SRP facilities so that employees can buy fresh and local produce at a farmers market.

Bike Share and Public Ride Share:

Through SRP’s RideShare program, employees are incentivized to carpool or vanpool to work. SRP also provides metro cards for employees to take public transit to off-site meetings. By sharing the ride, we can all work to improve our air quality.

Since SIA was launched, SRP has seen a 96% increase in carpooling, a 41% increase in light rail use and a 43% increase in alternative fuel vehicles. In addition, the campaign helped bring the single-occupancy vehicle rate from 75.57% to 70.99% in a single year.

SRP Green Team:

What better way to build a culture of sustainability than with a group of passionate employees who care about sustainability? SRP has more than 250 members on its Green Team, like Ashley Isnor, who act as sustainability stewards.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Workplace Charging:

SRP currently has the largest workplace charging program in the state and offers free workplace charging at more than 12 SRP facilities to employees who drive EVs. (We anticipate needing more chargers after seeing all the cool electric vehicle highlights from CES 2020!)

We hope that after reading how employees practice sustainability at SRP, you feel inspired to think about ways you can practice being more sustainable in your daily life.

Though small daily changes may seem insignificant, these changes can add up over time to have a significant impact. We encourage you to talk about sustainability with your peers and family members soon.

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