Airports Busy With Sustainability Initiatives

by | Sep 19, 2008

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airport.jpgU.S. airports are embracing eco-friendly initiatives such as using alternative energy, seeking LEED certification, and recycling and giving preferred parking to hybrid vehicles, USA Today reports.

Boston’s Logan International Airport is the first LEED-certified terminal in the U.S. The airport has also installed 20 wind turbines on the rooftop of the airport’s headquarters. Each turbine is expected to generate about 100,000 kilowatt-hours per year, about 3 percent of the building’s energy needs.

While Denver International and Fresno Yosemite are tapping into the sun for power. Denver has installed 9,200 panels, which is expected to generate about 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Denver airport also plans to implement a carbon offset program for travelers. Fresno Yosemite installed 11,700 panels in July, which is expected to provide up to 40 percent of the airport’s electrical needs.

Seattle-Tacoma airport composts the 143-tons of coffee grounds served by concessions per year, and will install garbage and recycling compactors later in the year. Denver airport has also found a way to recycle de-icing fluid.

Boston encourages cleaner driving by providing preferred parking and front-of-the-line privileges for vehicles that use cleaner fuel.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson is installing new toilets that are expected to save 44 million gallons of water a year, about a 13 percent reduction in the airport’s water consumption.

Here is a chart of green projects at airports.
The Air Transport Association recently released its 2008 Economic Report, revealing that U.S. airlines reduced 2.5 billion metric tons of CO2 from 1978 to 2007.

A legislation was proposed in May to establish a domestic GHG trading scheme, which could leave airlines with a $9 billion annual bill in carbon costs.

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