Sustainability is How We Roll

by Olga Aulet-Leon, Sustainability Champion9/6/2017
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Imagine this: It’s a beautiful Portland summer day, and you decide to ride your bike to work. Riding in, you feel good about getting a solid workout for the day, knowing that you’re making a positive impact on the environment. You’re almost at the office and suddenly, shoot! You forgot that you have a dentist appointment on the other side of town today, and you can’t reschedule. As you internally debate whether you’re really in good enough shape to bike 15 more miles than you had planned, or whether you even have the time for that, you look over and see six green, electric smart cars in all their glory. Problem solved! You and your legs breathe a sigh of relief because Daimler Trucks North America has your back!

Long before we built our new headquarters and opened its doors in April 2016, DTNA decided to strive for the highest environmental standard available: LEED Platinum Certification. To achieve this goal, we focused on elevating a challenging range of sustainability priorities, including energy efficiency, water conservation, and occupant health and wellness.

These efforts include offering our employees environmentally friendly transportation options through our WeRide program. In addition to our electric smart cars, employees have access to subsidized public transportation and vanpool passes, charging stations for personal electric vehicles, and state-of-the-art amenities for bike commuters including a bike storage room, locker facilities, and free bike tune-ups.

Here at DTNA, these little green cars have quickly become an employee favorite. We can use them for work purposes, such as driving to meetings or to our truck plant here in Portland, or for personal errands during the day (like that dentist appointment)! We can even drive one home and keep it overnight or for a weekend. Every mile driven in one of our electric smart cars is another mile not driven in a gas or diesel powered vehicle.

Though these six cars may be small, their impact on the environment is quite powerful. With more than 700 employees using the program to date, collectively our smart cars have been driven more than 38,200 miles in a single year, saving nearly 1,800 gallons of gas and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 35,000 lbs.! According to the conversion rate used by the EPA, these savings are equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 15 acres of U.S. forest in one year! The environmental impact is even greater when you consider the increased number of employees who bike or take public transit to work, knowing that there is a car available if and when we need it.

Personally, I have driven these cars on numerous occasions, and as a bike commuter, I feel a sense of relief knowing that they are there in an emergency. These smart cars showcase DTNA’s commitment to the environment and to our employees, and this commitment truly makes DTNA a great place to work!

Olga Aulet-Leon Sustainability Champion

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