Austin airport is now one of four in North America to go carbon neutral

An airport on a runway near solar panels at the Austin airport.
ABIA is now generating 1.8 megawatts of solar energy on the airport campus to power both the airport + 160 local homes. | Photo courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

It’s easy being green: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is now carbon neutral. 

ABIA is the fourthand first medium-sized airport in North America to receive a Level 3+ Accreditation from the Airports Council International – North America’s Airport Carbon Accreditation Program. It’s the fourth-highest rating out of six from the program, which culminates at Level 4+.

The name may be long, but the concept is simple: Austin’s airport has reduced its emissions significantly, and taken steps to offset what emissions remain.

So, how did they do it?

Make like Lorde and get that solar power ☀️ 

Through a partnership with Austin Energy, ABIA is now generating 1.8 megawatts of solar energy on the airport campus to power both the airport + 160 local homes.

The airport is also using 100% renewable energy in the Barbara Jordan Terminal through Austin Energy’s GreenChoice Program.

Using sustainable fuel ✈️

The airport accepted its first-ever delivery of Sustainable Aviation Fuel this year. In contrast to petroleum-based fuels, this fuel is produced from waste oils, non-fossil CO2, and other sustainable sources.

ABIA’s “green” buildings are certified gold 🏅

Several of the airport’s buildings — including the recent nine-gate expansion — are certified gold through the LEED rating system, which is based on factors such as water efficiency and materials used. Gold is the second-highest rating available. 

Offsetting emissions 🌳

ABIA also purchases carbon offsets to counteract emissions made on the airport campus. While the airport doesn’t disclose the specific offsets it purchases, these can support anything from planting trees to renewable energy projects.

Air travel accounts for 3% to 4% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. The other airports leading the charge toward reducing that number in North America are:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport — Level 4+
  • San Diego International Airport — Level 3+
  • Vancouver International Airport — Level 3+

From reducing food waste to using reclaimed water, learn more about several other ways ABIA is working toward sustainability.