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Metro Sustainability

Metro's 10-year strategic plan, Moving Beyond Sustainability , is now out!

Metro is dedicated to the sustainability of LA County’s people, environment and economy.

Our commitment means we plan, partner, design, build, operate and maintain transit infrastructure to meet our current needs without compromising the future needs of LA. We continually integrate the principles of sustainability in all aspects of decision making and execution. This includes seeking out and implementing innovative solutions to improve air quality, protect natural resources, reduce waste and create connected communities.

Our commitment is reflected in Metro's sustainability vision statement, which supports the agency's Vision 2028 Strategic Plan , Long Range Transportation Plan , and equity platform:


Create an organizational culture and workforce that continually integrates the principles of sustainability into all aspects of decisionmaking and execution to enhance communities through mobility and access to opportunity.

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Planning for a Sustainable Future

Metro is transforming LA County through a regional commitment to environmental sustainably and climate-safe infrastructure. Metro infrastructure and assets are planned and designed with changes to climate and stewardship of natural resources in mind.

Planning for sustainability includes coordination and support between the environmental, planning and engineering departments through many phases of project development including processes related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), resulting in project-specific Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) and exceptions to these requirements. For access to these and related documents, contact the Metro Library .


Sustainability is at the heart of Metro culture. Beginning with the adoption of the Energy and Sustainability Policy in 2007, Metro has set a steady course to reduce our environmental impact on air, land and water while reducing operational costs by monetizing environmental benefits. The following policies have been pivotal to creating a framework for Metro plans, programs and initiatives.

Countywide Sustainability Planning Policy
In 2012, Metro policy demonstrates a continued commitment to sustainability as a core business value and as a strategy for enhancing the quality, efficiency and value of the transportation system through integration of sustainability in planning functions, and development of partnerships.

Energy and Sustainability Policy
In 2007, Metro established policy to control energy consumption and embrace energy efficiency, energy conservation and sustainability.

Environmental Policy
In 2009, Metro established an on-going commitment to provide multi-modal public transit services that greatly improve the quality of the environment in the communities it serves; and its commitment to planning and constructing projects, operating and maintaining facilities and vehicles and procuring products and services in a manner that protects human health and the environment. This policy provides guidance in committing to the use of the ISO 14001:2004 standard as a sustainability management tool.

Renewable Energy Policy
In 2011, Metro policy established 33% of facility-wide energy use would be powered by renewable energy by 2020. This policy has driven action and as of 2017 Metro reached 30% of its goal. Most of Metro’s new major facilities are designed to include solar generation including the El Monte Transit Terminal (89kW), Division 13 (271 kW) and Location 64.


Sustainability at Metro has evolved into a revenue-generating enterprise whose proceeds are reinvested into programs and infrastructure that continually improve the environmental, social and economic footprint of Metro. The following plans set the course for each of our programs and initiatives:

Moving Beyond Sustainability (2020)
The 10-year master plan is Metro's most comprehensive sustainability planning document to date, updating the agency's vision, commitment and guiding principals for sustainability. This effort sets forth goals, targets, strategies and actions in the areas of energy resource management, water quality and conservation, emissions and pollution control, resilience and climate adaption, materials, construction and operations, solid waste, and economic and workforce development based on the principles found in our framework policy documents.

Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (2019)
The 2019 CAAP outlines how Metro is both fighting climate change and preparing for a changing climate.

Energy Conservation and Management Plan
In 2011, the Metro Board adopted this plan to guide energy use in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Active Transportation Strategic Plan (ATSP)
Adopted May 26, 2016, ATSP is Metro's countywide effort to identify strategies to increase walking, bicycling and transit use in Los Angeles County. The ATSP proposes a regional network of active transportation facilities, including shared-use paths and on-street bikeways.

First Last Mile Strategic Plan (2015 National APA Best Practice Award Winner)
identifies how Metro and its partners can improve access and connections to public transit. The goal is to better coordinate infrastructure investments in station areas to extend the reach of transit, and ultimately increase ridership.

  • Plan Appendix I contains resources including: station area, checklists, planning context review and technical memos.
  • Plan Appendix II contains context review, technical memos and case studies.

Orange Line Corridor Implementation Plan
In 2012, the Metro Board identified a range of improvements to the G Line (Orange) and the fourteen station areas on its original alignment that will increase transit use for commuters and discretionary riders, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and advance Metro’s sustainable development principles.

Sustainable Rail Plan (2013)
The plan presents a combination of qualitative and quantitative discussions regarding the feasibility, cost and energy reduction potential of various strategies to enhance the sustainability of Metro’s rail system.

Water Action Plan (2010)
Metro Board adopted the Water Action Plan to better understand the relationship between current practices, equipment and water use. This plan is currently being updated.


Metro is regarded as a model in sustainability across the country, as exemplified by the following programs:

Metro Sustainability Program
The Sustainability Program guides the design and construction of world-class projects by incorporating sustainable elements and CALGreen requirements into the design and construction process for Metro capital projects.

Green Certifications
Metro builds to the highest sustainability standards with all projects larger than 10,000 square feet designed to LEED silver or higher . The following Metro projects have obtained Envision Platinum Certification: Expo Line, Section II (2018 APA Sustainable Communities Division Excellence in Sustainability Award Winner) and Purple Line Extension, Section 1 (2020 Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo Award Winner)

Climate Program
Metro plans and designs infrastructure and assets with changes to climate and stewardship of natural resources in mind. Metro is both fighting climate change and preparing for a changing climate with resources in the areas of mitigation and resiliency.


Sustainability is guided and strengthened by initiatives that support Metro's commitment to equity and inclusion, environmental compliance and livable neighborhoods. Transportation has the capacity to drive long-term environmental stewardship, social change and economic prosperity through cost-reducing and cost-neutral initiatives:

In order to reduce Metro’s carbon footprint and ensure that bus and rail services operate consistently and reliably, Metro looks for ways to lower greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the Agency and our riders for severe weather events and potential changes to local climate. The climate program currently addresses two key avenues for climate change response: climate mitigation and resiliency.

Complete Streets
An initiative focused on creating a comprehensive, integrated transportation network reflecting infrastructure and design that allows safe and convenient travel along and across streets for users of all ages, including pedestrians, public transit riders and bicyclists. Over 700 jurisdictions throughout the United States have adopted Complete Streets policies.

Sustainable Design
The incorporation of design elements is aimed at reducing the construction-related and long-term environmental impacts of a project, including green street features, native or drought-tolerant landscaping and energy-efficient lighting. Training on the sustainable design plan and requirements for implementation and reporting are offered through Metro's Planning Department.

Sustainability Council

As the first fully-functional regional Sustainability Council in LA County, the Council provides recommendations on matters including policies, operations, maintenance and the sustainable development of more than $140B in infrastructure projects.

The Council is composed of 30 voting members representing a range of sectors and stakeholder groups with expertise in sustainability and transportation. [more]

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Metro is building better transit by providing more ways for people to get where they are going, improving roadways to reduce the amount of time people spend in traffic and developing local streets that support healthy, safe neighborhoods.

Metro is committed to building sustainable, renewable and climate-safe infrastructure projects that protect human health and the environment while attending to efficient delivery of quality public transit services.

Building Sustainably

Metro integrates innovative sustainability strategies throughout project planning, design and construction to mitigate the negative impacts of our capital programs on the environment.

CALGreen Tier 2
Metro has updated its design criteria and building specifications to design and build all capital projects (buildings and stations) to the CALGreen Tier 2 Building Standards.

Building Commissioning
Metro’s facilities play a critical role in delivering safe and reliable transit services across LA County. Our building commissioning process ensures new facilities are equipped for this task by embedding sustainability and performance considerations into every phase of a project, from design through operations.

LEED Certification
Metro has committed to build all new buildings over 10,000 square feet to LEED Silver standard or higher and to incorporate applicable strategies from other rating systems like Envision where LEED is not applicable.

To date, the following Metro projects and facilities have achieved recognition as LEED Silver or better:

Facility Certification Level Year / Status
Division 14 (Award-winning, 2020) NC Gold 2017
Division 24 NC Silver 2016
Division 7 Campus (Award-winning, 2016) EBOM Silver 2015
Division 10 Campus (Award-winning, 2015) EBOM Silver 2014
Division 3 Maintenance Annex NC Gold 2010
Union Station Gateway EBOM Gold 2010
El Monte Station (Award-winning, 2016 & 2020) NC Gold 2009
Division 13 NC Gold 2009
Division 3 Maintenance Building NC Certified 2008
Division 9 Transportation Building NC Gold 2008
CMF Building 6 NC Gold 2007
Building 64 (Award-winning, 2020) NC Silver
Division 16 (Award-winning, 2020) NC Silver

The following projects are in the process of achieving LEED certification:

Facility Certification Level Year / Status
Emergency Security Operations Center (ESOC) NC TBD In design
Airport Metro Connetor 96 th Street Station NC Silver In design
Willowbrook / Rosa Parks Station – Security hub NC TBD 2020 – under construction
Willowbrook / Rosa Parks Station – Bike hub NC TBD 2020 – under construction

Envision: Expo Line, Section II (award-winning, 2018, 2020) and Purple Line Extension, Section 1 are the first Metro projects to achieve Envision certification. With the focus on planning and process from the design stage through operations and maintenance, there is much in this system that helps Metro consider the best sustainability practices throughout the life of our projects. Learn more about Envision and take classes offered here at Metro.

Green Construction Equipment Initiative
Metro is committed to using greener, less polluting construction equipment and vehicles, and will implement best practices to reduce harmful emissions in all construction projects performed on Metro properties and rights-of-way. Data collected through this program are reported to the Metro Board annually. This site has information on the GCP Program, requirements for Metro contractors and resources including fact sheets, guides and associated links.

Metro's Environmental Construction Awareness (MECA) Project
In 2018, ECSD launched a new website of resources and information to assist SBE/DBE contractors in developing robust project proposals that meet environmental requirements and expectations. MECA ensures that contractors understand the importance of sustainability from project design through construction.

Other Noteworthy Projects

While many projects are large and take many years to complete, Metro also has smaller projects aimed to improve the ridership experience, strengthening connection to other modes of transit throughout the area.

Cesar E Chavez Ave Bus Stop Improvement Project
This project, located at the intersection of Cesar E Chavez Avenue and Vignes Streets will not only generate its own power, but provide additional energy back to the Gateway campus. Much more than a bus stop, the pavilion is equipped for solar panels to power the site while providing shade, enhanced lighting for increase visibility at night and project real-time and static transit information. Other amenities include a bike share kiosk, new drought-tolerant landscaping and rainwater catchment.

Lankershim Depot (Award-winning, 2018)
In 2014, Metro fully restored the Lankershim Depot. Originally built in the 1890s, Lankershim Depot connected the region's agricultural industry to the ports. In 1911, the Pacific Electric Red Car line opened at the station and operated until 1952. It's the valley's oldest unmodified railroad structure. In 2018, the plaza was re-landscaped to reflect the concept of sustainable development through the use of low water usage and highly efficient irrigation systems. Plantings were specifically chosen to thrive in drought conditions. This is part of an extensive water conservation effort throughout the Metro G Line (Orange) corridor, converting the irrigation systems from potable water to a recycled water source.

Minimizing Construction Impacts

ECSD provides site remediation support and monitoring during construction for Metro-owned properties. Some projects are particularly unique or challenging:

Vibration Monitoring
With over 40 historic buildings along the Purple (D Line) Extension and 14 adjacent to the Regional Connector, special measures are taken to monitor and protect structural integrity due to construction vibrations.

Bee Relocation
Metro has moved six hives and more than a quarter-million bees from its properties. Rescued bees are observed for temperament, then relocated following strict guidelines. Metro is happy to do our part to protect our local bee population .

Plant Removal
As part of Metro's waste diversion priority, plants removed during construction are either moved and planted until they can be returned as part of new landscaping or are donated to community destinations following all regulations.

Guiding Our Decision Making

The following documents guide the development of sustainable building practices on Metro projects:

Moving Beyond Sustainability (2020)
This 10-year master plan sets forth goals, targets, strategies and actions related to the building of new Metro infrastructure based on the principles found in our framework's policy documents.

Environmental Policy
In 2009, Metro established an on-going commitment to provide multi-modal public transit services that greatly improve the quality of the environment in the communities it serves; and its commitment to planning and constructing projects, operating and maintaining facilities and vehicles and procuring products and services in a manner that protects human health and the environment.

Green Construction Policy
In 2011, Metro provided requirements for 1) identifying and mitigating air emission impacts on human health, environment and climate of on-road and off-road construction equipment and generators used in our construction and development activities; 2) implementing appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs) to complement equipment mitigations; and 3) implementing strategies to ensure compliance with this policy.

Environmental Liabilities Assessment and Reporting Program
In 2009, this policy established a coordinated and integrated framework for determining Metro’s known and potential environmental liabilities. The reporting protocol under this program ensures Metro’s continued compliance with financial reporting standards, reduces current environmental liabilities and reduces the probability of similar liabilities occurring in the future.

Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling and Reuse Policy
In 2007, Metro committed to implement consistent criteria and procedures on the use of recyclable and recycled products and materials on capital projects.

Renewable Diesel
Starting in 2018, Metro began requiring the use of renewable diesel – a cleaner and more sustainable fuel – on all capital construction projects.

Contractor's Sustainability Plan Guidance Manual
In 2018, ECSD created a new reference document to assist contractors in documenting how they are fulfilling their compliance obligations associated with CalGreen. The Sustainability Plan program also collects evidence to highlight areas where contractors bringing the best innovative, sustainable practices to Metro projects.

Preserving and Protecting the Past

While Metro builds the next LA, we also believe in conserving and preserving the past and LA’s unique natural ecosystem. ECSD takes a leading role in preserving the natural, historical and cultural artifacts found during construction and infrastructure development.

Protection of cultural and historical resources

When an artifact is discovered during construction, the environmental lead ensures the right experts are on-site to properly handle, document, remove, research and preserve finds.  Those of significance are then given to the appropriate local museum or agency to be included in collections, many of which are later put on display and used for research.

In December 2016, a three-foot segment of tusk was uncovered along Purple Line Extension, Section 1. Just a few days later, an elephant skull was uncovered. In each case, Metro’s archeo-paleo team was called, excavation work was diverted to another part of the work site and the finds were properly recovered for preservation and restoration.

For more information on this and how Metro works with paleontologists, watch this video or visit Metro's capital project pages.

Maintaining natural processes

Tar still flows under LA. In the process of building rail tunnels, this tar has to go somewhere. ECSD works with other Metro departments to maintain natural processes of the region, creating new technologies and specialized equipment to improve systems for community safety.

Featured Projects and Programs

Resources and Tools

Metro has developed resources and tools to provide our contracting community technical assistance and training on our building program requirements.

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Conserving Resources in Operations

Metro integrates sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices, such as emissions and water use reductions, into the operations and maintenance of facilities and transportation systems. Lessons learned from operations and maintenance inform the planning, designing and building of future projects.

Our plan for robust conservation of energy, water and materials is woven throughout Metro's sustainability strategic plan, Moving Beyond Sustainability .

How we are doing?

Metro’s Sustainability Indicators were derived from the Recommended Practice for Qualifying and Reporting Transit Sustainability metrics, prepared by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Standards for Metrics Working Group. During this era of expansion, the continued adoption of best practices has enabled positive trending across several performance areas. See Metro's new sustainability reporting dashboard.

Download the Energy and Resource Report Data Set.

Emissions and Pollution Control

By providing convenient, efficient and appealing transportation options, Metro moves people while reducing GHG emissions for each trip taken — reducing the negative impact that transportation has on the environment and public health. The agency maximizes this impact by aggressively working to lower operational GHG emissions and criteria air pollutant emissions at every source.

Metro programs have received recognition from Breath CA (2018), APA (2018) and AQMD (2015).

To learn more about how our programs reduce emissions and combat climate change, watch this short video:

Zero Emission Vehicles

Metro is committed to mitigating emissions from the agency's operations, which is why Metro is focusing on lifecycle emissions reductions that not only target tailpipe emissions but also regional and global emissions. Metro is moving its entire fleet, including buses and non-revenue vehicles, to zero emission vehicles, which will reduce GHG emissions as well as criteria air pollutant emissions. The agency is also working to ensure that the fuel used to power our fleets is the cleanest possible.

Metro is the first transit agency in the nation to integrate EV charging at its park-and-ride lots. The program is expanding to ensure our riders can confidently fuel their zero emissions vehicles. Metro's 2020 sustainability strategic plan, Moving Beyond Sustainability , outlines how the agency will accomplish this monumental task. For information on our progress so far, visit our reporting dashboard.

Transitioning to Cleaner Fuels

As of 2018, 85% of Metro's GHG emissions came from vehicle fuels. Metro turned to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) as a cost-effective, low-carbon alternative to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Derived from waste sources such as landfills, RNGs have proven cost-effective in reducing emissions and fuel costs. The directly operated bus fleet completed its full transition to RNG fueled sources in mid-2020.

Clean Truck Program

In April 2020, Metro approved $50 million to ease congestion and reduce pollution on the southern part of the I-710 between the ports and rail yards. Metro is helping develop and incentivize zero- or near-emission truck technology in the neighborhoods most impacted by air pollution.

Carbon Credits

Metro generates carbon credits through the use of low carbon transportation fuels such as electricity and renewable natural gas. Follow the above link for information about program solicitations.


Our transportation system is powered primarily by electricity and natural gas. The use and sourcing of that energy has ongoing impacts and longstanding implications for the environmental, fiscal and infrastructural resilience of our system. As a result, Metro is taking proactive measures to create a more resilient system. The agency is procuring and generating more renewable energy and implementing innovative energy conservation practices and technologies in building stations.

Our programs have been recognized by APA (2018), the CA Sustainability Coalition (2018), LADWP for demand curtailment (2016) and the CA Energy Efficiency Industry Council (2015).

Renewable Energy Generation

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a critical component of our renewable energy strategy. We currently own and operate 2.6 megawatts (MW) of solar PV across eight facilities. However, we are working aggressively to increase renewable energy generation capacity through installations at multiple operating divisions. Together, these projects will help us achieve our 2013 goal of 7.5 MW of renewable energy generation — tripling current generation levels.

Facility Energy Management

Despite system growth and increasing demand, Metro is committed to reducing our energy consumption. We have identified many ways to achieve a 17% reduction from the 2013 business-as-usual scenario, including projects already underway:

  • Building Management System (BMS) Assessment: Metro is assessing the BMS in each of its operating Divisions to improve system performance, efficiency and provide consistent standards, specifications, guidelines and practices.
  • Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning Program Development : Metro is developing commissioning policies and guidelines to standardize our project commissioning requirements and provide a “best practices” level of commissioning authority and oversight to improve system efficiency and performance.
  • Lighting Retrofits: Metro's Parking Management Department completed a lighting retrofit of four parking structures in 2018. Upgrades to light fixtures produced an annual savings of 1.2 million kWh. Metro is currently retrofitting the parking garage at Union State Gateway with new LED lamps to replace existing fixtures. This project is estimated to reduce energy consumption by 866,000 kWh annually.


Metro aims to reduce potable water use by 22% from the 2030 business-as-usual scenario and increase runoff infiltration and capture capacity for stormwater by 15% from 2020 baseline levels, as further detailed in the agency's 2020 sustainability strategic plan, Moving Beyond Sustainability .

Our program has been recognized by LA Sanitation One Water LA (2019), LA DWP (2018) and the US Green Building Council (2016).

For more information on what we've accomplished so far and where we are headed, visit our reporting dashboard or watch this short video.

Conserving Operation Water

Potable water consumption is expected to increase due to our Twenty-Eight by '28 Initiative, featuring transit and facility expansion projects. This system growth could increase overall water use. To mitigate anticipated increases in water consumption, Metro is implementing several strategies to reduce potable water consumption.

  • Bus Washes
    ECSD has piloted adjustments to bus wash nozzles and wash schedules at Divisions 7, 9 and 15, looking for ways to conserve water while maintaining cleanliness standards. It is estimated that nozzle replacement will reduce water consumption by 20% at each bus wash. For more information on this effort, visit our reporting dashboard .
  • Recycled Water Use
    Nearly half of Metro's water consumption is used along Metro's right-of-way, largely for irrigation. In 2019, Metro replaced 41 conventional irrigation system controllers along the G Line (Orange) with "smart" weather-based, self-adjusting, irrigation controllers. Total water use along this alignment alone declined by 49 million gallons or nearly 44% between 2018 and 2019. Metro is also using recycled water systems at facility steam bays and channeling reclaimed water back into the main water line in partnership with LA DWP and Southern California Edison, using the power of partnership to save every drop.
  • Reducing the Use of Potable Water
    Nearly half of Metro's water consumption is used along Metro's rights-of-way, largely for irrigation. In 2019, Metro replaced 41 conventional irrigation system controllers along the G Line (Orange) with "smart" weather-based, self-adjusting, irrigation controllers. Total water use along the alignment alone declined by 49 million gallons or by nearly 44% between 2018 and 2019. Metro is also using recycled water systems at facility steam bays and channeling reclaimed water back into the main water line in partnership with LA DWP and Southern California Edison, using the power of partnership to save every drop.
  • Native Plant and Drought Tolerant Plant Landscaping
    Metro is installing drip irrigation systems to reduce water loss due to evaporation, selecting plants that reduce the need for irrigation, installing sub-meters to better understand where water can be conserved, and finding alternatives to turf.

Regional Water Investments

Intentional and responsible water consumption and resource management will contribute to community-wide resilience. To ensure regional water resources are not only conserved but replenished, Metro has implemented several projects, including:

  • Permeable Pavement (2019 ASCE Outstanding Sustainability Engineering Project Award Winner)
    Metro received a Proposition 84 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board to install permeable concrete at Division 4 to improve water quality, flood control and ecosystem protection while reducing polluted runoff. In 2018, Metro replaced 40,000 square feet of asphalt at the Metro Division 4 Bus Facility in Downey with permeable pavement and a landscaped bioretention area. This new installation can capture and filter more than 300,000 gallons of water during a single rain event, allowing this water to safely infiltrate into the ground to replenish local groundwater and aquifer systems.
  • Stormwater and Industrial Wastewater
    Metro oversees compliance with state and regional stormwater and industrial wastewater permits for Metro properties. This includes oversight of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), Water Pollution Control Plans (WPCP), Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plans (SUSMP) and minimum BPM Plans as appropriate to the site. As part of the agency's 2020 sustainability strategic plan, Moving Beyond Sustainability , Metro will collaborate with other Municipal Separate Storm Water Sewer System (MS4) permittees on implementing more enhanced watershed management programs.


Eliminating waste starts by evaluating our choices. Metro always looks for new ways to get the most out of the materials we use. We're working to reduce, reuse and recycle as we support the movement to zero waste and a circular economy.

Waste Disposal Reduction

As the system expands, the quantity of waste generated is increasing. However, recycling is increasing at a higher rate than landfill waste generation. Metro is undertaking several strategies to better understand our waste streams, minimize waste generation and maximize diversion from landfill.

As part of the agency's 2020 sustainability strategic plan, Moving Beyond Sustainability , we are looking to further reduce annual operational solid waste and increase landfill diversion.

For more information on our progress, visit our reporting dashboard.

  • Waste Characterization Study (2017):
    With the establishment of a solid waste baseline in 2017, Metro renewed its focus on increasing diversion from landfills while simultaneously decreasing the generation of waste through prevention and sustainable procurement efforts. This study continues to provide Metro with valuable information that informs new programs and supports the development of future solid waste reduction and recycling targets. It also gives the agency metrics with which to track compliance with emerging recycling and organic waste regulations.
  • Pallet Return Program:
    Metro's Central Maintenance Facility (CMF) relies on wooden pallets to distribute materials and supplies to support operations at its facilities across LA County. In 2019, Metro's Pallet Return Program prevented approximately 3,900 tons of wood waste from going to landfills, substantially reducing the GHG emissions associated with organic waste disposal. Reducing waste begins with throwing less away, but it also requires considering material lifecycle and sustainability goals in agency-wide procurement decisions. The Pallet Return Program is not only a waste prevention measure, but it also one of Metro's many sustainable procurement initiatives.

Repurposing Waste

Metro is looking for ways to divert waste from landfill by extending the life of existing materials, reusing or repurposing. Current efforts include:

  • Banners-to-Bags (2016):
    Advertising banners that hung outside buildings no longer go to the landfill when damaged or are no longer needed. They are turned into reusable shopping bags for distribution at local events.
  • Upcycling Pilot (2020):
    Metro is inviting manufacturing and design innovators to help us identify materials in our current waste stream that could be repurposed or upcycled as innovative, cost-effective solutions that will help us reduce waste to landfill.

EMS - Our Process

Environmental Management System

The Environmental Management System (EMS) creates a framework for implementing best practices that help ensure compliance with federal, state and local environmental regulations as well as agency sustainability goals and policies. Using the ISO 14001:2015 framework of Plan-Do-Check-Act, the EMS serves as a system for internal and external stakeholders to help us continually measure and improve our environment and sustainability efforts. As of 2019, the Metro EMS covers 19 operational facilities, bus and rail divisions and recently introduced construction as part of its scope.

Environmental Training Institute (ETI)

Metro is investing in the future of the LA region, which starts with investing in our greatest asset – people. ETI offers environmental and sustainability-focused trainings designed to build support for sustainability initiatives, ensure regulatory compliance and foster an agency-wide culture of sustainability. Metro is driving a cultural revolution and transforming our employees into agents of change.

Training is provided to employees in the following topics reflecting regulations and Agency goals:

  • Stormwater and Industrial Wastewater
  • Hazardous Waste and Universal Waste
  • Aboveground and Underground Tanks (AST/UST)
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Photovoltaic (PV) system monitoring and maintenance
  • Low Impact Development (LID) strategies
  • Other, including certification classes within Growing a Greener Workforce (2019 U.S. Green Building Council — Los Angeles Award Winner)

Guiding policies for our process include:

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Sustainable Innovation

Metro is committed to creating lasting solutions that enhance and protect Angelenos and our environment. Through innovation, we are reimagining LA County — transforming the region into a more resilient, sustainable environment place to live, work and play for everyone.

Energy Resiliency

Metro’s Energy Resiliency is focused on investing in infrastructure that reduces outage duration, cost and impact on critical services. Metro’s Energy Resilience vision is to continue implementing new technologies that increase system awareness and automation, allow for rapid islanding and hardening cyber-security against new threats.

As projects are designed with energy resiliency in mind, they are turned over to operations for implementation and verification. Metro's Energy Management System monitors the effectiveness of the system. Oversight controls identify opportunities for enhanced energy resiliency, such as the use of microgrids pictured below:

Energy resiliency also includes strategies to manage overhead costs by controlling energy pricing using a variety of options, including but not limited to Community Choice Aggregates (CCA), Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), microgrids and renewables. The agency's plan for a redundant and resilient energy system is outlined in Metro's Moving Beyond Sustainability .

Carbon Credits
Metro generates carbon credits through the use of low carbon transportation fuels such as electricity and renewable natural gas. Periodically, Metro conducts solicitations for the sale of these carbon credits.

Sustainable Partnerships

Metro is strengthening innovative sustainability efforts through leadership and collaboration with regional partners and agencies. Metro is sharing knowledge resources to multiply our efforts when working with our contractors, local and state jurisdictions and community-based organizations to bring diverse perspectives and unique solutions to region-wide efforts.

Engaging Our Partners

In February 2016, the Metro Board passed Motion 57 , committing Metro to further goals to reduce emissions, clean the air and improve urban areas. This includes reporting efforts to conserve water , create green infrastructure , first and last mile connections to Metro’s transit system, and strategies to better deploy technology and promote Green jobs . Metro staff provided an update in October 2016 .

Upcycling Pilot (2020)
Metro is inviting manufacturing and design innovators to help us identify materials in our current waste stream that could be repurposed or upcycled as innovative, cost-effective solutions that will help us reduce waste to landfill.

Policy Collaboration

Metro is working with organizations like the American Society of Civil Engineers on sustainable infrastructure standards development, reinventing the engineering process, increasing capacity and policy/advocacy.

All of our sustainability policies are available in the sidebar with highlights found under the Planning tab of this site.

Reporting Dashboard (2020)

Metro's annual sustainability reporting provides data to inform decision-making in accordance with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) standards. In 2020, Metro launched its first public-facing, dynamic dashboard to engage our community in new ways of seeing our progress.

Growing a Greener Workforce
Metro develops environmental and sustainability training for Metro employees and our community to deepen our knowledge about water and energy conservation, waste reduction and improving air quality through planning, building and operations decision making. GGW is training employees across a wide range of job classifications in over 80 departments and has reached over 340 community members, including Metro’s small business partners. Metro plans to expand the depth and breadth of this program to better equip our workforce as outlined in Metro's sustainability strategic plan, Moving Beyond Sustainability (award-winning program, 2019).

If you are looking for specific information, please make requests through the Records Information Management Department. For more information, contact Joe Parise.

Metro's Environmental Construction Awareness (MECA) Project
Metro values the relationships we build with our contractors and sub-contractors. We know that LA benefits from the innovation and ingenuity of talented teams, transforming our city into a more liable, sustainable ecosystem. MECA is a set of video, text and hotlink resources focused on specific environmental regulations and practices to be considered in proposal preparation and implementation.

Selected Recognition Awards in Sustainability

The following are some of the recent awards received by Metro that reflect our commitment to innovation and excellence at all levels of the organization.

Sustainable Construction

For more information on these projects, see the Building tab on our website:

USGBC-LA's Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo Sustainable Building Recognition

  • Westside Subway Extension - Section 1 (2020)
  • Building 61s (2020)
  • Division 16 (2020)
  • Division 13 (2017)
  • Division 7 (2016)
  • Division 10 (2015)

USBC-LA's Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo Sustainable Innovation Award

  • Division 14 (2017)
  • Division 13 - Water Efficiency (2016)

APA Sustainable Communities Division (SCD) - Excellence in Sustainability Award, Sustainable Transportation Project: Metro Expo Line Phase 2 (2018)


ASCE Outstanding Sustainability Engineering Project (2019): Division 4 Permeable Concrete Pilot Project

LA Department of Water and Power - Sustainability Award 2nd Place: Demand Curtailment (2016)

Air Quality

Breath CA: Community Impact Award (2018)

AQMD: Clean Air Award - Model Community Achievement (2015)


California Energy Efficiency Industry Council: Energy Champion Award for Advancing Energy Efficiency (2015)

Cultural Resources

LA Conservancy - Preservation Award for Lankershim Depot (2018)

Policy and Planning

LA Department of Water and Power One Water Award: Development of One Water LA 2040 Plan and Collaborating to advance more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable water management (2018)

National APA Best Practice Winner: First/Last Mile Strategic Plan (2015)

National Complete Streets Coalition Recognition

  • Metro Complete Streets Policy (2015)
  • Best Complete Streets Policy (2014)


LA Sanitation One Water LA - Partner of the Year (2019)

USGBC-LA - Partner Award for Growing a Greener Workforce (2019)

APA Sustainable Communities Division (SCD) - Excellence in Sustainability Award for Leadership in Sustainability Award (2018)

CA Sustainability Coalition/County of LA Department of Public Works - Outstanding Sustainability Awards (2018)