Smart Trips was recently awarded one of eleven 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards after a panel of 22 professionals representing conservation fields and academia judged more than 89 nominations. The awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements for successful environmental projects and conservation measures. They recognize voluntary actions that improve or protect Tennessee’s environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives and are the most prestigious conservation awards in the state.
Three winners from Knox County were named this year, each in a different category. Keep Knoxville Beautiful won for Environmental Education and Outreach and Suttree Landing won for Land Use. Smart Trips, along with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, won for the Pursuit of Excellence. This award recognizes past award winners who continue to demonstrate high achievement in environmental stewardship practices.
Smart Trips, a program of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, was recognized for the continued growth of its incentive-based reward program for individual workers making green trips by telecommuting, working flexible schedules, ridesharing, biking, walking, and taking transit. On January 1, 2017, the program expanded to include all kinds of transportation from errands to social outings.
The program began in 2003 and is experiencing an increase in active participants this year. To date, there have been nearly a million trips logged. Over the last 6 years, more than 8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented as well as significant reductions of NOx, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and other tailpipe air pollutants. Participants have also saved nearly $2 million and more than 400,000 gallons of fuel during that same time.
Congratulations to the Smart Trips team, and thanks to all the participants whose dedication to making green trips made this possible!