Environmental Award Criteria

ASLRRA Environmental Award Criteria and Nomination Procedures

The ASLRRA Environmental Award recognizes a Class II or III railroad that has designed and enacted the most innovative and successful environmental initiative in the small railroad industry. Entries should give particular focus to how the program helped to reduce the company’s environmental impact or contribute to meeting sustainability goals for the railroad and/or the Shipper.

Who is Eligible?

All ASLRRA member railroads are invited to submit nominations for this award. Eligibility and outcome are not affected by the size of a competing railroad’s project or operations. Railroads that have developed any of the following should consider entering:

  • A sustainability plan or report
  • An innovative method for reducing emissions from operations
  • Implementing new methods, or projects for improving or reducing environmental impacts
  • Participation in EPA SmartWay Program

How do I Enter?

Submit a description of your company’s initiative via an online form on ASRRA’s website. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges, who will select the top entrants.

May a Railroad Submit More than One Entry?

Yes, a railroad may submit more than one entry for consideration. Each of a railroad’s initiatives is eligible for entry and will be judged separately.

What Factors are Used to Evaluate the Entries?

The following factors will be considered:

Small Railroad Factor - use the unique characteristics of a short line or regional railroad to improve the environment while maintaining excellent safety culture, and servicing of customers.

Connections to the larger transportation network - work successfully with environmental authorities, Class I railroads or shippers to elevate environmental stewardship, showcasing the positive impact of the railroad’s environmental initiatives.

Community Focus - be a positive voice, raising awareness of the positive environmental impact that rail has in the community. Educate community leaders on the benefits of rail, and the commitment the railroad has made to a sustainability plan, or other measurable initiatives for public good.

Emissions Disclosure – active engagement in an emission disclosure program such as EPA SmartWay, CDP, or other reputable organization.

When will the Award be Presented?

The winner will receive their award during the ASLRRA Annual Convention.

The Award winner will be asked to assist with the production of a short video highlighting their winning project. The winner will be required to submit b-roll video and still photographs to support the production of this video by ASLRRA, and a representative must make themselves available on Saturday April 1 for an interview, which will also be incorporated in the video. Award winners will be honored on stage Monday April 3 at the General Session.


The nomination form should be limited to a total of 4 pages (3 pages plus one page of supplemental information such as photographs), using a template with default Microsoft Word line spacing, margins (1” all around) and 11-point Calibri font.  Clearly define which contributions occurred in the previous calendar year, and which occurred in prior years. Focus will be placed on contributions of the prior year.

Please address the following areas.

  • Describe how the railroad has enhanced its environmental performance.
  • Describe how the railroad’s leadership has enhanced the environmental performance of others in the transportation industry or the community.
  • Describe example(s) of the railroad’s ability to identify climate related risk and implementation of sustainable solutions to reduce those risks.
  • Describe any positive bottom-line results (for the railroad, supplier, or community) of actions taken by the railroad to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Describe example(s) of off-duty activities railroad employees engage in to promote sustainability/environmental stewardship.