In response to the City and County of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction programme, San Francisco Airport has taken on the challenge of achieving the ambitious emissions reduction targets, which have been set for all City Departments. San Francisco’s goal is to reduce overall emissions by 80% by 2050(using 1990 levels as the baseline), with two interim targets of 25% reduction by 2017 and 40% by 2025.

To meet these targets SFO have undertaken a wide range of environmental measures aimed at reducing overall emissions and increasing efficiency. To reduce the level of emissions from their operations, SFO have diversified their electricity supply and improved their vehicle fleet fuel efficiency, as well as benefiting from the use of alternative fuels.

SFO have also taken advantage of carbon offset measures by recycling 78.2% of the general solid waste produced by the airport and planting 2,020 trees around the airport, which are used as a means of carbon sequestration.  

Extremely encouraging progress has already been made with SFO having exceeded the first interim target set for 2017 over three year early in 2013, with a 32% emissions reduction.

SFO’s work on environmental improvement not only help achieve the City of San Francisco’s climate targets, but also help achieve the aviation industry’s wider global environmental targets. San Francisco’s actions are a prime example of how airports can act to reduce their climate impact and should be viewed with interest by other airport operators.