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San Francisco airport wins environmental and economic leadership award

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in California has been named a winner of the 2017 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for its efforts to make air travel greener.

The GEELA is the highest environmental honor in the US state, awarded to organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in conserving natural resources, protecting the environment, building partnerships, and strengthening the state economy. SFO was recognized in the category of Sustainable Practices, Communities or Facilities.

Ivar C Satero, airport director, said, “We pride ourselves on being an airport industry leader in environmental efforts, and we continue to set aggressive goals for ourselves, including targets to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions, zero waste and zero net energy usage.

“Receiving the 2017 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award is the ultimate validation of our efforts, and gives us further motivation to continue pushing the envelope of what’s possible when airports go green.”

SFO has set a goal to become the first airport in the world to achieve the triple zero – zero carbon, zero waste to landfill, and zero net energy usage unless from renewable sources. In 2016, SFO was awarded Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation by Airports Council International (ACI), becoming the first airport in California and only the second in North America certified at this level. The culmination of the program is Level 3+ accreditation, recognizing an airport that has achieved carbon neutrality.

Matthew Rodriguez, California’s secretary for environmental protection, added, “This year’s GEELA recipients are demonstrating exceptional leadership in addressing some of our most significant environmental challenges.

“Whether it’s fighting climate change, conserving our water supplies or reducing waste, they inspire us with their creative and collaborative approaches. Their success expands our view of what is possible. Collectively, they are proving that a healthy environment is inextricably linked with a vibrant economy.”

Written by Kirstie Pickering

January 18, 2018





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