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July 23, 2020

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MnDOT releases annual sustainability report

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation this week released its fourth annual Sustainability Report that documents progress the agency has made toward its sustainability and climate goals. The report is based on data through 2019.

Progress MnDOT has achieved towards its sustainability goals include:

  • Reducing energy consumption per square foot by 17 percent between 2008 and 2019
  • Leading a competitive request for proposal for community solar garden subscriptions that will save MnDOT more than $1.5 million and account for almost 25 percent of total agency electricity use
  • Increasing the number of agency electric vehicles from four to 29
  • Exceeding MnDOT’s goal in the 2018-2019 winter season for reducing salt usage

“Transportation is the primary source of carbon pollution in Minnesota and the U.S. and MnDOT is committed to address climate impacts and to work with communities throughout the state to develop a sustainable transportation system of the future,” said Tim Sexton, assistant commissioner and chief sustainability director. “The agency has a long-demonstrated history of leadership and innovation that we can leverage to benefit the economy and environment of Minnesota.”
As much ground as MnDOT gained in 2019, the agency also experienced some setbacks:

  • Carbon pollution from transportation in Minnesota continued to increase between 2018 and 2019. This is attributed to low gas prices, increased freight traffic, people driving more miles, and more purchases of low-fuel efficiency pick-up trucks and SUVs.
  • MnDOT used more fuel in its fleet vehicles in 2019, mostly in plow trucks to manage snow and ice. Compounding the problem, the state experienced more multi-day snow and ice events than in recent years.
  • The agency is seeing a trend towards using less native seeding on projects in recent years.

This report includes data collected through December 2019. Impacts to the transportation system and the MnDOT response to recent events in 2020, including COVID-19 and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, may be addressed in future iterations of the report.

The 2019 Sustainability Report is available at mndot.gov/sustainability/docs/2019-sustainability-report.pdf.