In our monthly Green Team series we talk about the various efforts AMS is making to reduce our negative impact on the environment. For example, we purchase recyclable products and do careful recycling. We take steps in lighting in warehouses and efforts to reduce the energy usage across the board. We educate employees on AMS waste life cycle in new hire onboarding for proper waste disposal on site, and we are in the process to become Carbon Neutral Certified. There are many different areas in which we are working on being as “Green” as is possible. One of those areas is the subject for this month – Vanpool!!
Vanpools allow groups of people to share the ride similar to a carpool, but on a larger scale. The key concept is that people share the ride from home or one or more common meeting locations and travel together to work and back. AMS employees have embraced the vanpool idea as there are some significant benefits. One benefit to the employees is that the van can use the HOV lane and get to work faster; another is that the van is on a fixed schedule; and there is a financial benefit as well – riders save not only on gasoline but auto insurance. Vanpools have a lower operating and capital cost than most transit vehicles in the United States and when people utilize a vanpool there is a reduction in emissions as well.
In the AMS vanpools, vehicles are provided by Enterprise. The AMS program is operated at a low cost to employees, depending on the price of gas and number of riders. Metro subsidizes $600 each month for vanpooling, lowering the cost even more.
The benefit to a “Green” AMS is called Carbon Offsets.
What are carbon offsets?
According to the Carbon Offset Guide, “A carbon offset broadly refers to a reduction in GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions – or an increase in carbon storage (e.g., through land restoration or the planting of trees) – that is used to compensate for emissions that occur elsewhere.
The key concept is that offset credits are used to convey a net climate benefit from one entity to another. Because GHGs mix globally in the atmosphere, it does not matter where exactly they are reduced. From a climate change perspective, the effects are the same if an organization: (a) ceases an emission-causing activity; or (b) enables an equivalent emission-reducing activity somewhere else in the world. Carbon offsets are intended to make it easier and more cost-effective for organizations to pursue the second option.”
AMS’ first reportable carbon offset program is our Vanpool program, over 5 years of C02 reductions. We are happy to report our 3rd quarter impacts, this is equivalent to carbon sequestered by:
534 tree seedlings grown for 10 years
38.2 acres of U.S. forests in one year
.218 acres of U.S. forests preserved from conversion to cropland in on year.
Thanks and appreciation for all of the AMS employees who have decided to vanpool. We hope it is serving you well!!