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“Successful Strategies to Airport Sustainability”

by Stephen D. Culberson and Lisa M. Reznar (Airport Magazine, January 2012)

Airports follow varied paths when embarking on a journey toward sustainability. The journey begins with an idea, an opportunity, or perhaps a regulatory, political or financial need. Initially, sustainability concepts may be incorporated into new development projects, such as a new building, to reduce pollutants released to the air or water in compliance with local or state goals or regulations. From this experience, an airport’s interpretation of sustainability may broaden — sustainability is fundamentally about changing the way we make decisions, from the day-to-day routine decisions to the long-term visionary decisions that promote future airport growth.

Although journeys toward sustainability vary, themes emerging from successes to date emphasize the value of:

  • A clear vision of intended sustainability results;
  • Strong staff commitment to the pursuit of sustainability;
  • Airport leadership championing the effort;
  • Building on successes to promote momentum; and
  • The need to monitor and adjust programs to maintain alignment with evolving goals of the airport and its stakeholders.

Sustainability programs should be rooted in a clear vision of implementing sustainability across the triple bottom line of environmental, economic and social considerations and guided by goals designed to achieve that vision. A sustainable development program may include goals designed to drive planning, design and construction decisions, such as minimizing environmental impacts and maximizing community benefits while doing so in a fiscally responsible manner. Goals also can be centered on financial issues and factor in actions supportive of social responsibility....

Successful Strategies to Achieve Airport Sustainability
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