City manages environmental impacts and wins designation for it

The City of Asheville is proud to announce that we have received ISO 14001-based EMS certification for our transit operations!

Um. What?

Bear with us as we explain, because this is pretty cool.


What the heck does ISO 14001 EMS mean?

ISO is an international organization that develops standards for everything from technology to food safety in order to “ensure quality, safety and efficiency.” The 14000 series of ISO standards focuses on the environment, and is meant to help organizations and companies manage their environmental impact and responsibilities. 14001 gives an organization the tools to set up an environmental management system (EMS) to help measure and improve their environmental impact.


Why would a city transit system want to adopt an EMS?

As you can imagine, large buses running all day long can have a pretty big impact on the environment. Following an EMS has the potential to reduce emissions, increase fuel economy, and limit oil in wastewater.


How did we get certified?

In the summer of 2008, the City of Asheville’s Transportation Department applied to Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to train us develop and implement an ISO 14001-based EMS for transit operations. FTA used a number of criteria to select participants, including commitment and previous environmental experiences.

Asheville was selected to participate in four three-day workshops in 2009. Since that time, City staff have maintained the EMS, and in October 2015 City of Asheville Transit (ART) successfully received final certification.


In the Asheville area, only the City of Asheville Water Department and MSD also have the ISO 14001 EMS Certification.  Nationally there are approximately 12 transit agencies with the certification.


Why does it matter?

For the City of Asheville, the certification shows our commitment to prioritizing environmental sustainability for the ART service.

“This certification accomplishment positions you among the best in your industry for fulfilling the ISO requirements,” said certifier NSF. “This certificate also represents a major investment for your organization; tremendous resources have been dedicated toward this effort.”

Congratulations, City of Asheville team! Employees will be recognized for this accomplishment at the Jan. 12 City Council meeting.