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2019 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

Reducing Airport-Controlled Emissions & Pursuing Carbon Neutrality

San Diego International Airport’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions inventory is complete! The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority conducts annual greenhouse gas emissions inventories to track, reduce, and mitigate the SAN’s environmental footprint. A greenhouse gas emissions inventory (GHG inventory) is a tool that allows us to measure our emissions, develop strategies and policies to reduce those emissions, and encourage our business partners to do the same. An inventory also allows us to invest in projects that balance out those emissions and become carbon neutral.

The 2019 GHG Inventory

The results of the 2019 GHG inventory show improvement. In 2019, Airport Authority-controlled emissions decreased 34% from 2018 levels. We can attribute this decrease to energy efficiency projects, our enrollment in SDG&E’s Eco-choice program, and ground transportation related initiatives. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we recognize that almost all of airport’s emissions come from sources not directly within the Airport Authority’s control and we continue to work with stakeholders to reduce their emissions as well.

When conducing an emissions inventory it’s important to take into consideration organizational boundaries. The Airport Authority maintains control over what we call Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 includes Authority-owned vehicles, equipment and shuttles, and stationary sources like generators. Scope 2 includes Authority-purchased electricity. Emissions related to staff business travel are also considered Airport-controlled. In 2018 we included Scope 3 emissions in the inventory and continued doing that for in 2019. Scope 3 emissions are ones the Airport Authority doesn’t have direct control over, but are affiliated with Airport operations including non-Authority owned motor vehicles, tenant-purchased electricity, aircraft movements, auxiliary power units, ground support equipment (GSE), waste management, and passenger traffic. As we go forward, we will continue to inventory all three Scopes of emissions and look for ways we can improve airport operations.

Airport Carbon Accreditation

San Diego International Airport is one of only two carbon neutral airports in North America. This year SAN renewed its Level 3+ (Carbon Neutrality) rating with Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program. In order to qualify for this level of certification, we need to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions year-over-year, engage our third party operators, and purchase carbon offsets to balance out our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and staff business travel. The Airport purchases carbon offsets from its carbon offset program, The Good Traveler. Achieving Level 3+ was a goal outlined in the Airport Authority’s 5-Year Strategic Plan—and we’re happy that we reached it ahead of schedule!

For more details, check out our 2019 greenhouse gas emissions inventory here.

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