SFO Awarded Level 3 Carbon Accreditation by ACI

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Airport is first in California to receive advanced certification for greenhouse gas reductions

San Francisco, March 17, 2016:  The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced a major environmental milestone today, with the award of Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation by the Airports Council International (ACI), the foremost advocate for airport operators worldwide.  This advanced certification, the first for an airport in California and only the second awarded to an airport in North America, recognizes SFO for greenhouse gas reduction from its own operations as well as collaboration with third parties, such as airlines and service providers, in reduction strategies.

“We are an industry leader in environmental affairs, and our approach involves the engagement of the entire SFO airport community to meet and exceed our sustainability goals,” said Airport Director John L. Martin.  “Achieving Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation from Airports Council International represents a significant step towards our goal to be the first carbon neutral airport in the United States.”

SFO has achieved significant success in reducing its carbon footprint.  Since 1990, the Airport has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from airport-controlled operations by 38%, already far exceeding a City and County of San Francisco goal of 25% reduction by 2017. Reduction strategies have included:

  • Installation of air conditioning and electrical power to all parked aircraft, greatly reducing the need for aircraft to operate fuel-burning Auxiliary Power Units while stationary
  • Construction of the AirTrain, an electric-powered light rail system which eliminated over 600 daily bus trips to shuttle passengers between terminals and the Rental Car Center
  • Creation of a Clean Vehicle Policy to promote the adoption and deployment of low emission vehicles, by both Airport departments and ground transportation providers
  • Programs to encourage airport employees to take public transit to and from work

ACI adopted the Airport Carbon Accreditation program to assist airports in improving their sustainability performance by becoming more energy and carbon efficient.  The program covers on-site operational activities that contribute to airport carbon emissions, guiding and supporting airport environmental management through a process of continual improvement and partnership with airport stakeholders.

Airport Carbon Accreditation, awarded by ACI Europe, provides four levels of certification, 1 through 3+, with each higher level recognizing an airport’s increased achievement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy from the operations that are under their direct control, while aiding and encouraging other Airport enterprises to reduce their own GHG emissions.  The culmination of the program is Level 3+ accreditation, recognizing an airport that has achieved carbon neutrality.

SFO has been recognized on multiple occasions for contributions in the field of environmental sustainability.  In 2014, ACI honored SFO for its Recovery Action Plan, which ensures the protection of two endangered species on a 180-acre undeveloped area of the airport.  The previous year, ACI recognized SFO for its Climate Action Plan, which outlines a variety of efforts intended to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to airport operations.

Source: San Francisco Airport