The company has helped partners secure grants through the Environmental Protection Agency's...

The company has helped partners secure grants through the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus Program.

Photo: Durham School Services

Ahead of Earth Day 2023, Durham School Services took stock of its position when it comes to sustainability and electric vehicle-related efforts.

The school transportation company based in Lisle, Ill., has taken several actions over the years to reduce environmental impacts and protect nature, and the company has pledged to keep striving for a greener and healthier future. Durham School Services and its parent company, National Express, aim to have a totally zero-emission school bus fleet by 2035.

Said Gary Waits, National Express CEO: “We are in full anticipation of what’s to come in the near future with the official rollout of the EPA’s grant-funded school bus EVs. It is an exciting time for the company because we are seeing the amalgamation of our efforts. Even on a local level, our team members are constantly participating in initiatives that contribute to the company’s sustainability mission. The next 10-15 years for the company will be monumental because we will be considered one of the few pioneers who positively changed the trajectory of the transportation and EV field.”

Recent Sustainability Efforts

Among other recent activities, Durham has:

  • Participated in the United Nation’s Vision 2045 campaign.
  • Secured EPA Clean School Bus Program grants for partners.
  • Expanded propane-powered fleets in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
  • Recycled and reclaimed parts from retired vehicles to reduce waste. In 2021, the company reclaimed 6,296 parts. In 2022, it was 7,997. Thus far in 2023, the company has reclaimed 2,399 parts.

Locally Focused Participation and Environmental Mindfulness

On a local level, the company’s service locations have: 

  • Participated in the company’s Partners Beyond the Bus (PBTB) community outreach initiative by donating retired vehicles, recycling, Adopt-a-Highway programs, cleaning up parks, and more.
  • Implemented preventative maintenance inspections to the highest standards.
  • Recycled fluids, such as fuel, oil, coolants, freons, and other fluids to reduce additional waste and pollution.
  • Used environmentally friendly cleaning solutions that are free of harmful chemicals and replaced paper towels with reusable cleaning cloths.
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