Airports Authority Reaffirms Commitment to the Environment with Comprehensive New Sustainability Plan
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is implementing a new sustainability plan designed to improve the Authority’s facilities environmentally, operationally and financially.
Developed in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Golden, Colo., the plan is the result of a yearlong effort to interview stakeholders and analyze operations at Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and the Dulles Toll Road. The new plan is designed to enhance the focus on the Airports Authority’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 traveling public. A large part of that commitment includes mitigating environmental impacts of our operations. This updated Sustainability Plan, and our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab is a key component our effort to optimize our environmental performance.”
The plan is the result of analyzing operations at Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport (pictured) and the Dulles Toll Road.
Six overarching goals will highlight the Airports Authority’s commitment to sustainability:
- Reduce fossil fuel use through electrification of the transport fleet: The Airports Authority has set a goal to reduce fossil fuel use by electrifying its transport vehicles and ground support equipment. This action is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower operation and maintenance costs, and result in better air quality.
- Increase efficiency of our built environment: The Airports Authority will evaluate the benefits of installing on-site renewable energy generation and battery storage potential for major projects. It will consider future technologies as they become commercially viable, as well as efficient occupancy-based lighting strategies.
- Increase water use efficiency: The Airports Authority will strive to be an even more responsible steward of water use across all of its operations. It plans to reduce water consumption and realize cost savings, and assist our tenants and concessionaires with also reducing water usage and cost.
- Reduce the amount of municipal solid waste generated and sent to landfills: The Airports Authority 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.
- Develop and maintain a stronger culture of sustainable administration: The Airports Authority will codify sustainability practices throughout its administrative processes. It will ensure sustainability is considered for all future procurement, facility planning, and development activities; it will update and maintain its Design Manual so minimum standards for sustainable building are current with best practices; it will create a committee to coordinate sustainability activities across all stakeholders; and it will periodically review and revise the sustainability plan.
- Encourage efficient use of public transportation: The Airports Authority will encourage efficient use of public transportation by promoting Metrorail access to Reagan National and also to Dulles International after the Silver Line’s planned Phase 2 opening. It will aim to improve the customer experience by providing ease of access to our airports, including safe pedestrian and bike paths.
This article was originally published by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.