Airports are notorious for having a large impact on the environment but the fact is that they are beginning to be more environmentally friendly. Let’s take a look at 6 airports that are leading the charge.
Zürich Airport, Switzerland
The Zürich Airport cuts down on noise pollution by charging a fee to aircrafts that they deem too loud, based on aircraft type or category. They also take water purification seriously, and have undergone a voluntary reduction of emissions. The toilets are flushed with rainwater, which cuts down on water waste. The Zürich Airport is also Airport Carbon Accredited by the Airports Council International EUROPE.
East Midlands Airport, England
The East Midlands Airport has been recognized for its unique recycling program, which includes wood, metals, cardboard, glass and light filaments. Like the Zürich Airport, East Midlands takes measures to cut down on noise pollution. It is also the first United Kingdom airport to use wind energy, as it installed two wind turbines in 2011. Lagan Plant ensures that the water used is safe and free from contamination.
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport has a zero waste program, meaning that it recycles all possible waste from construction projects, which amounts to 90% of total construction waste. The airport’s food vendors use biodegradable plates and silverware, and organic ingredients. There are cash incentives for those who rent hybrid cars from that airport, and preferential parking is given to hybrid cars as well.
The Seattle-Tacoma Airport recycles at least 10 different materials, on top of the usual ones. This includes coffee grounds and cooking oil. In addition, the recycling program charges retailers for the use of garbage, while recycling is free. One of the most unique aspects of the Seattle-Tacoma Airport is the consolidated rental car facility, constructed with organic compound paint, sealant, adhesive and carpet. 96% of waste from building the rental car facility was recycled as well.
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport has the largest airport solar farm in the United States. It also recycles 20 materials on top of the usual ones, has plenty of alternative-fuel vehicles, and provides plug-in power for aircrafts so that they do not use as much energy while parked at the gates. This airport is tied with Atlanta Hartsfield for best domestic airport in Executive Travel Magazine.
Boston Logan International Airport
Boston Logan is one of the most eco-friendly airports in the United States, and a leader in environmental practices with the first LEED certified terminal in the United States. The airport has wind turbines making up for 3% of the building’s energy, solar panels, and plug-in power at every gate so that aircrafts do not need to run on auxiliary power at the gates.