SEPTA’s SEP-TAINABLE Annual Report Highlights Industry-Leading Sustainability Efforts

SEPTA’s SEP-TAINABLE Annual Report Highlights Industry-Leading Sustainability Efforts

Today SEPTA provides an update to its industry-leading sustainability program with the release of the SEP-TAINABLE Annual Report for 2019.

Since 2012, SEPTA has established itself as an industry leader due to its dedication to a comprehensive triple-bottom-line approach to environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The 2019 Annual Report details sustainability achievements from the past year, including:

  • Continued transition towards one of the largest “green” bus fleets in the United States, including the largest zero emission fleet on the East Coast by the end of 2019 and more than 95 percent of the fleet either hybrid or electric by 2021;
  • Completion of the largest transit energy storage project on the East Coast, with 10.75 megawatts of batteries capturing, storing, and reusing energy created by braking trains on the Market-Frankford & Broad Street subway lines;
  • Contract execution for the second largest solar project in the history of the City of Philadelphia, with three megawatts of panels currently being installed on the roofs of four bus and rail maintenance facilities across the city;
  • Release of an RFP soliciting proposals to convert 10-20 percent of SEPTA’s base electrical load to renewable energy;
  • Implementation of a comprehensive building energy retrofit program that self-funds facility upgrades through guaranteed energy savings generated by each project;
  • Progress on an infrastructure resilience program with projects to reinforce power, rail right of way, and stormwater systems in an ongoing effort to guard against the impacts of extreme weather;
  • Aggressive enforcement of the vehicle anti-idling program that strictly adheres to city and state regulations, with initiatives as far-reaching as new signage at bus terminals, compliance checks by transportation managers and automatic-shut off devices for all new buses;
  • Certification of a second maintenance facility under the globally recognized ISO14001 standard for environmental management.

This Annual Report reinforces SEPTA’s enduring commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability for the region.

“SEPTA’s Sustainability Program has generated millions of dollars in cost savings, grants, and new revenues, benefitting both the environment and the bottom line,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon, Sr. “This annual report represents another year of progress towards building a safer, more efficient and sustainable transit system for our region.”

“SEPTA is proud of the accomplishments outlined in the 2019 Sustainability Annual Report,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “The achievements of the program solidify the reasons why SEPTA’s program has been recognized by the American Public Transportation Association as a GOLD level Sustainability Signatory, has received the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for the Wayside Energy Storage Systems, and is an active 2030 District participant.”

As a result, SEPTA has enabled Philadelphia’s transportation emissions to remain significantly below the national average. According to The City’s recently released “Clean Energy Vision for Philadelphia,” transportation represents 17 percent of citywide emissions. Nationally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has reported that for the first time in 40 years, nationwide, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions at 28 percent.

More information about SEPTA’s Sustainability Program is available at