Airports Council International (ACI) has awarded the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) the highest rating, short of actual carbon neutrality, for the agency’s efforts to cut carbon emissions.
The Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA), awarded to all five of the Port Authority’s airports, rates the quality of plans designed to reduce emissions and the effectiveness of programs developed between airports and their stakeholders, including airlines, ground handlers and catering companies, in this regard.
“The Port Authority has taken aggressive steps to achieve sustainable growth, promote environmental efficiency in its operational activities and reduce the impact of aviation on climate change,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
“We look forward to continuing to work with our stakeholders and partners to achieve additional greenhouse gas reductions.”
Only 14 airports in North America are now accredited at level 3, including the five Port Authority facilities: JFK International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, New York Stewart International and Teterboro airports.
This makes Port Authority airports account for more than one-third of all North American airports with ACI’s Level 3 rating, with Level 4 only achieved once an airport has reached carbon neutrality.
The accreditation comes eight months after the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners became the first public transportation agency in the United States to unanimously embrace the Paris Climate Agreement.
The resolution the adopted board called for a 35 per cent reduction in Port Authority generated greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, whilst also reaffirming their commitment to an 80 per cent reduction by 2050.
“Reducing airport emissions requires extraordinary teamwork and collective attention to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Christine Weydig, director of the Port Authority’s Office of Environmental and Energy Programs.
“The ACA score this year reflects the benefits of sustainability programs the Port Authority has put in place, and the critical nature of internal and external collaboration,
Developed in 2009, the ACA is the only globally recognized environmental standard for airports and is designed as a roadmap for airports to reduce their CO2 emissions.