Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News Release

May 24, 2019

MnDOT releases annual sustainability report

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Transportation released its Sustainability Report 2018 this week. This voluntary report documents the agency’s progress towards its sustainability goals for managing assets like vehicles, buildings, and roadsides.

“MnDOT has long-demonstrated national leadership on sustainability through efforts like reducing excess road salt from entering waterways, promoting native roadside habitat for pollinators and birds, and leading national research to reduce energy use in construction and operations,” said Tim Sexton, MnDOT’s chief sustainability officer. “We are committed to ensuring that the agency continues to lead by example and prioritize resource conservation efforts that reduce emissions and save taxpayers money in the long-term.”

The Sustainability Report 2018 includes MnDOT’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from internal operations and from the transportation sector as whole. For example, MnDOT was the first state agency in the U.S. to:

  • Apply the GHG reduction goals to all agency operations, including fleet fuel use and building energy
    • Create GHG reduction goals for the state highway construction program

The report also outlines the agency's progress and strategies for achieving sustainability goals and shows MnDOT is making progress toward sustainability goals for roadside management and highway operations.

  • In 2018, 92 percent of lighting on MnDOT roadways was converted to LED. The agency is on track to convert 100 percent of highway lighting to LEDs by 2020. This will save 16,811 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.
  • In 2018, 57 percent of highway acres on large MnDOT projects were planted using native seeds and recent years have seen increased native seed usage.

However, the agency’s facility energy use, fuel consumption, and related greenhouse gas emissions increased between 2017 and 2018.

The agency is not on track to meet sustainability goals for facilities and fleet use by 2025.

  • While energy use increased slightly from 2017 to 2018, MnDOT’s energy use has generally declined over time, with some fluctuations due partly to weather, especially cold winters.
  • Fleet fuel consumption increased from 2017 to 2018 largely because more diesel was used to manage ice and snow.
  • Waste recycled at MnDOT facilities declined from 50 percent in 2017 to 43 percent in 2018. While this is better than the agency’s 40 percent recycling rate in 2016, increased effort is needed to reach the 60 percent target by 2025.

The Sustainability Report 2018 is available at: www.mndot.gov/sustainability/docs/2018-sustainability-report.pdf

MnDOT created the Sustainable Transportation Steering Committee in 2016 to connect its environmental stewardship and financial effectiveness work to agency operations and the broader transportation sector.