Adam Ata EcoChampion
NOV 02, 2021

EcoChampion Pilots Rechargeable Battery Lantern Project

CN is phasing out the current 6V-battery-powered lanterns used in Operations to a new rechargeable battery lantern that is lighter, smaller, has a magnetic base, and reduces our environmental impact. The initiative is a great example of putting ideas from the field into action.

Recently, Locomotive Engineer Darren Doucette, Conductor Michael Michaud and Conductor Warren George approached Transportation Manager and EcoChampion Adam (Ahmad) Ata to ask him to do something about all the lantern batteries that were laying about on the ground. The batteries posed a tripping and environmental hazard, not to mention being an eyesore, and the three were interested in exploring other options. Coincidentally, Conductor Justin Peters showed Adam the new lantern he had bought for himself. It was smaller and had a magnetic base that came in handy when he needed to use both hands for a job like connecting train line air hoses. “I called the manufacturer of Justin’s lantern,” explains Adam, “and they told me they have a similar one that runs on rechargeable batteries.”

Adam is a member of the Frontline Supervisor Council, which meets monthly with senior executives like Rob Reilly, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, and Janet Drysdale, Vice-President, Sustainability. When Janet asked if anyone had suggestions that would help the environment, Adam put up his hand. “I offered to run a small pilot project,” says Adam. Procurement and Supply Management researched equipment options and the Sustainability team fully endorsed the initiative through the EcoConnexions program.

When fully implemented network-wide, the new lantern is estimated to save $2.5 million annually in equipment, battery and disposal costs. Plus, we will re-use approximately 77,000 batteries each year.

Visit our "Delivering Responsibly" section to learn more about sustainability at CN.