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Washington DC airport operator unveils new sustainability plan


Washington DC airport operator, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, is implementing a new sustainability plan designed to improve its facilities environmentally, operationally and financially.

Developed in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, it reveals that the plan is the result of a year long effort to interview stakeholders and analyse operations at Washington National, Washington Dulles and the Dulles Toll Road.

The new plan, it says, is designed to enhance the focus on MWAA’s sustainability efforts across all stakeholders, including employees, tenants and concessionaires.

“The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is committed to being a good corporate citizen as we provide top quality services and facilities to the travelling public,” says its senior vice president for engineering, Roger Natsuhara.

“A large part of that commitment includes mitigating environmental impacts of our operations. This updated Sustainability Plan, and our partnership with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab is a key component our effort to optimise our environmental performance.”

MWAA states that six overarching goals will highlight it commitment to sustainability:

• The desire to reduce fossil fuel use through electrification of the transport fleet
• Increasing the efficiency of its built environment
• Improving water use efficiency
• Reducing the amount of municipal solid waste generated and sent to landfill
• Developing and maintaining a stronger culture of sustainable administration
• Encouraging the efficient use of public transportation.

With regards to reducing the use of fossil fuels on the ground, the airport authority has set a goal to reduce its CO2 emissions by electrifying its transport vehicles and ground support equipment.

It states that doing this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower operation and maintenance costs, and result in better air quality.

In terms of reducing waste to landfills, it says that it “will strive to further reduce waste generation; support generation of electricity through waste-to-energy conversion; improve recycling rates through improved education and outreach to concessionaires and airlines; install more recycling bins; reduce use of packaging with concessionaires; and reduce construction waste and potential environmental pollution”.

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