November 9 2018  |  Airlines & Airports

San Diego International Airport wins award for sustainability initiatives

By Mary Jane Pittilla


The Sunset Cove dining and shopping area inside San Diego International Airport Terminal 2

San Diego International Airport has won an international award for three innovative programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, offsetting carbon emissions and diverting food waste from landfill.

San Diego was one of only eight airports, airlines and individuals worldwide to win an Airports Going Green Award, presented by the Chicago Department of Aviation.

The three programs that were recognized by the award are:

TNC Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program: This novel program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation network companies (rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft) operating at San Diego Airport. It offers incentives for these companies to reduce emissions by using more fuel-efficient vehicles. Each company that meets the established target for emissions reductions receives a discount on the fee they pay for each airport trip. This has resulted in emissions reductions of up to 30% by some participating companies.

The Good Traveler: Launched by San Diego Airport in 2015, this nonprofit collaboration of airports allows air travelers to purchase carbon offsets that help balance out the environmental impact of their flight. Each US$2 purchase offsets 1,000 miles of air travel, with the proceeds going toward projects that help keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Since inception, The Good Traveler program has offset the impact of 135 million miles of air travel.

Food Recovery Program: This program diverts food waste from landfill and donates food to those in need. This airport-wide composting effort collected more than 365 tons of food waste in 2017. Additionally, more than 54,000 pounds of food were donated to worthy causes, equaling more than 4,000 meals.

“San Diego International Airport is shoulder-to-shoulder with three of San Diego’s oldest residential neighborhoods and also San Diego Bay, so we take our responsibility as an environmental steward and committed regional partner very seriously,” said Dennis Probst, San Diego Airport’s Vice President of Development. “We could not be more pleased and proud that our efforts have been recognized with this prestigious award.”

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