The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which owns and operates the San Diego International Airport (SAN), is excited to participate in a celebration of two very important environmental days on October 7th, California Clean Air Day and Energy Efficiency Day.
California Clean Air Day
Designed around individual actions, California Clean Air Day is a non-profit, statewide program built on the idea that shared experiences unite people to improve our community. On October 7th, Californians are encouraged to take a pledge to do something simple that collectively will have a huge environmental impact. Some things you can do include change or clean your home air filter, make all online purchases in one order each week, buy produce locally, plant a tree or home garden, carpool, walk or bike to nearby locations, and take public transit.
Through two of the seven Sustainability Management Program plans – the Carbon Neutrality Plan and Clean Transportation Plan – there are several ways in which the Airport Authority is dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint and improving air quality in our community. A huge accomplishment in this space was achieving Level 3+ Carbon Neutrality in terms of airport-controlled emissions through Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program, a third-party verified program that helps airports identify, manage, and reduce their carbon emissions. SAN reached Level 3+ certification through the ACA program in 2018 and was notified this year that we achieved the same level again for the second year in a row.
Founded by SAN in 2015, The Good Traveler is a carbon offset program that has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the purchase of offsets that fund offsite projects, such as improved forest management, wind farms, and organic waste composting. A total of 17 airports participate in The Good Traveler which has collectively offset 667 miles of travel and removed 229 million pounds of CO2.
SAN’s Rental Car Center and parking lot shuttles run on renewable natural gas, an alternative fuel that creates less emissions than diesel or regular compressed natural gas. However, we are aiming to go from low emissions to a zero-emissions bus fleet. In mid-September, ACE Parking which manages SAN’s fleet of busses, received 18 electric shuttle buses with another 11 due to arrive by the end of 2020. There will also be four transit-style busses added, positioning SAN with one of the largest airport fleets of electric buses by Q1 2021.
To celebrate California’s Clean Air Day, the Airport Authority is asking our more than 400 employees to take the pledge. By doing so, we will reduce the pollution in the air. We encourage you to join us by taking the California Clean Air Day pledge here.
Energy Efficiency Day
Energy Efficiency Day is a collaborative effort by dozens of energy efficiency advocacy groups around the United States, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Advanced Energy Economy, Alliance to Save Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations, and many others.
Through the Airport Authority’s Strategic Energy Plan we’ve taken steps to rethink how we manage our energy resources. One initiative we are close to completing is the installation of an energy storage system. Paired with SAN’s existing on-site photovoltaic (PV) solar system, the new energy storage system will reduce the daily peak electricity demand and significantly lower utility demand costs. The battery storage system will allow SAN to maximize financial and environmental benefits from its solar portfolio.
Another initiative completed earlier this year was the installation of LED lights on the apron. By replacing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs with energy efficient LED lights, the airport will realize a cost-of-ownership savings of nearly $1 million over 10 years. Additionally, the lights ensure ground crews have better visibility and a safer environment, glare doesn’t impact pilots or air traffic controllers, and spill light doesn’t affect the nearby San Diego Bay and area hotels.
Additionally, SAN recently completed two other energy-saving projects, a chilled water plant optimization project and a HVAC retro-commissioning project.
SAN is proud of our energy efficient efforts and is excited to participate in Energy Efficiency Day on October 7th. Are you doing something to become more energy efficient? Share your success stories on and post to social media using the hashtag #EEDay2020.