Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is First in North America to Become Carbon Neutral

Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport has become the first airport in North America to achieve carbon neutral status, one of only 23 airports in the world to achieve the distinction. The Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Program upgraded DFW Airport to Level 3+ Neutrality, which is the highest level of environmental achievement available to airports. It recognizes nearly two decades of sustainability efforts by the airport to reduce its own emissions and carbon footprint.

“This major achievement demonstrates DFW Airport’s commitment to serving our community and our world with a comprehensive, holistic approach to sustainability,” said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport. “Our team has made major strides in reducing DFW’s carbon footprint by how we manage precious resources such as energy and water, and how the airport manages vehicle fuels, emissions, waste, recycling and our land. I want to thank and congratulate our team for this outstanding accomplishment.”

Carbon neutrality occurs when net carbon dioxide emissions over an entire year is zero, meaning the airport absorbs or offsets the same amount of carbon dioxide as it produces. The achievement is recognized and accredited by Airport Carbon Accreditation, an international organization that monitors the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions.

Since 2010, DFW has achieved a 29 percent reduction in carbon emissions on a per passenger basis as well as an overall 38 percent reduction in energy costs, even while total passengers at the airport increased by 15 percent over the same period.

“While this recognition shows that DFW has made considerable progress towards a more sustainable community, we remain committed to future advancement on environmental issues,” Donohue said. “We have a lot of work left to do and a lot of knowledge to gain and share, so our vision for a more sustainable enterprise will require commitment, innovation, and collaboration for many years to come.”

DFW will be highlighted at the ACI-World Annual Conference/World Annual General Assembly in late September in Montreal as the first North American airport to achieve Level 3+ Neutrality. Donohue and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport CEO Jos Nijhuis will become the first signees of the International Sustainable Airport Declaration, which will take place October 31 at the Airports Going Green Annual Conference in Amsterdam.

The DFW Airport Sustainability Program includes:

-Renewable Energy: Electrical consumption from renewable resources includes the purchasing and retiring of enough renewable energy credits to cover total annual usage.

-Vehicle Emissions: The airport’s vehicle fleet has been almost completely converted to clean-burning compressed natural gas, cutting its carbon emissions by 25 percent while saving in fuel costs.

-Recycling: Over 180,000 tons of materials pulled from terminal renovations have been recycled or diverted from landfills.

-Water Usage: Installation of water-conserving plumbing features in restrooms cuts customer water usage across all five terminals by 50 percent, saving more than 5 million gallons of water each month. The airport has also partnered with neighboring cities to create a reclaimed water delivery system to conserve potable water in the region, reducing consumption by over 100 million gallons per year.

-Cooling Systems: Fine-tuning heating and cooling systems has significantly lowered energy consumption across the airport. In the summer, air-conditioning systems are taken offline during peak demand hours. Six million square feet of terminal space are instead cooled with cold water pumped from Energy Plaza thermal storage infrastructure.