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San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has renewed its Level 3 ‘Optimisation’ certification in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme for another three years.

First awarded to SFO in 2016, the re-certification at the programme’s ‘Level 3’ recognises SFO for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and management from its own operations as well as collaboration with third parties, such as airlines and service providers, in reduction strategies.

“SFO is an airport industry leader in sustainability, and renewal of our Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation from ACI represents a major milestone towards being a leading carbon neutral airport in the US,” said airport director Ivar Satero.

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“We have set big goals to achieve zero net energy use, zero waste, and carbon neutrality, and by working together, we will accomplish our goal to be the world’s most sustainable airport.”

The achievement was heralded by ACI-NA president and CEO, Kevin Burke, who commented: “Airports strive to be good partners within their communities and in the global aviation system by promoting sustainability and environmentally responsible practices.

“One of the chief ways North American airports can lower their carbon footprint is by participating in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

“I applaud San Francisco International Airport for achieving an ambitious three-year renewal at Level 3. Airports like SFO are leading our industry on a path toward continued success in innovation and sustainability.”

SFO has achieved significant success in reducing its carbon footprint and is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from a 1990 baseline, all by 2021.

Already, SFO’s carbon dioxide emissions are 39% below their level in 1990, as to be reported in SFO’s forthcoming tenth annual Climate Action Plan. In previous years, ACI has recognised SFO for its Climate Action Plan.

SFO’s Five-Year Strategic Plan actually sets the goal of becoming a ‘triple zero’ campus, achieving not just carbon neutrality, but also net zero energy and zero waste, as well as being an operator of healthy and water-balanced facilities.

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Some of the efforts SFO has engaged in to operate more sustainably while reducing its carbon footprint include:

• Achieving the world’s first Zero Net Energy (ZNE) facility at an airport with SFO’s Airfield Operations Facility, and holding all new construction to similarly high ZNE standards.

• Purchasing 100% carbon-free electricity from SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric plant.

• Installing over 1.5 MW of solar capacity at buildings and parking facilities across the Airport.

• Providing air conditioning and electrical power for all parked aircraft, avoiding over 47,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saving 4.9 million gallons of jet fuel annually.

• Eliminating nearly 220,000 annual bus trips by constructing the AirTrain, an all-electric train system to ferry passengers to the Rental Car Centre and soon, Long Term Parking.

• Driving the use of next-generation sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by convening a multi-sector working group and activating gateway projects to deliver alternative fuel to our airlines.


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