This paper explains why and how the Electric School Bus (ESB) Initiative has committed to equity and the process we are using to develop and implement the equity framework. The first section outlines the framework elements including key equity concepts and why equity matters to the ESB transition. It also defines how we are leading with equity and centering intersectionality—defined as the impact from the combination of identities that make up a whole individual—as our overarching approach to project decision-making. The second section describes the process we are using to create and refine the framework including how we are leveraging our leadership and foundational research to shape our strategy. The final section summarizes the steps we are taking to transform our framework into action to ensure that all project activities reflect our equity goals and principles. A summary of the possible equity intersections and additional terms and concepts are provided in the appendixes.

Executive Summary:

  • The World Resources Institute’s Electric School Bus (ESB) Initiative is supporting an equitable transition of the U.S. school bus fleet to electric by 2030 by partnering with interested communities, advocacy groups, and stakeholders.
  • To ensure underserved communities are the first to experience the health and societal benefits of ESBs and are involved in transition decisionmaking, the project has committed to centering equity and developing an equity framework to outline the approach project staff will use to achieve the project’s equity objectives.
  • This paper explains the ESB Initiative’s equity framework including key concepts and definitions and relevant equity intersections. It outlines the process the ESB Initiative used to develop the initial framework and plans for future iterations based on ongoing foundational equity research.
  • The paper also summarizes how the ESB Initiative is translating the framework into action to achieve our equity objectives. This includes articulating overarching equity goals and strategies to guide project activities.
  • With this framework, we hope to emulate equity best practice, be transparent and inclusive, and provide ESB stakeholders an opportunity to track our efforts and provide feedback. This includes sharing our implementation challenges around needed time and energy to build capacity to connect activities with equity goals.