Austin is one of the most livable cities in the country and we want to keep it that way. From its beginning, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has worked to reduce its impact on the environment by recycling, using alternative fuels, reducing electric and water consumption, and building with recycled materials.
We are proud to call Austin home, and we strive to balance economic, environmental, aviation, and quality of life concerns that affect all of us.
- Environmental Policy Statement
The City of Austin Aviation Department, which operates Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) will incorporate sustainable principles, climate resiliency best practices, and environmental stewardship into all aspects of its culture, planning, development and operations at AUS. This will be achieved by focusing resources in the following areas at AUS:
- Continually strive to reduce resource consumption through innovative design and technology in the planning, development, and construction of airport facilities;
- Engage with tenants, business partners and stakeholders on projects to promote energy efficiency and resource conservation and to facilitate alignment with AUS’s sustainability and climate resiliency goals;
- Incorporate sustainable principles into operations and maintenance practices through training, staff engagement, technology improvements and management support;
- Minimize airport environmental impacts by reducing energy, transportation fuel & water consumption along with waste generation while enhancing water reuse, recycling, on-site renewable energy and waste diversion programs;
- Continue to integrate clean vehicles into the AUS fleet and ensure the best available engine/fuel technology is utilized to reduce ozone precursor chemicals and carbon emissions;
- Purchase renewable energy and carbon off-sets from sustainable sources;
- Identify and take advantage of opportunities to derive business value from improved environmental performance and drive continual improvement in AUS operations;
- and Maintain a systematic program approach to support continued compliance with all applicable environmental regulations.
- Environmental & Carbon Neutral Initiatives
AUS's history of environmental stewardship dates back to the airport's construction. Recycled materials were used in building the facility, including 100% recycled steel in the primary terminal structure. The site had been an Air Force base that operated from for over 50 years, and more than 35,000 tons of concrete from the base were crushed and reused for roadway and taxiway base. Approximately 30% of the Air Force buildings were incorporated into the new airport design, and more than 700 residential buildings on the base were sold and removed. This provided low-cost housing to the community and reduced waste.
Today, the airport has a robust portfolio of environmental and sustainability efforts to help us achieve the goal of carbon neutrality and continue our commitment to minimizing impacts on the environment.
Austin Energy Partnerships & Renewable Energy
AUS has partnered with Austin Energy to bring electric vehicle charging stations to the airport campus and uses Austin Energy GreenChoice to provide 100% renewable energy to the Barbara Jordan Terminal.
AUS supports Austin Energy's Community Solar Program through the solar panel installation on top of the Blue Garage. The panels provide .3 megawatts of renewable energy benefits toward future airport construction projects and the airport’s administration building and enough locally-generated renewable energy to power 160 local homes.
Clean Energy Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Fuel and Carbon Off-Sets
AUS uses renewable natural gas from Clean Energy Fuels to power our shuttle bus fleet. In 2021, AUS partnered with Signature Flight Support to bring Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to the AUS campus for the first time ever. SAF is a clean substitute for fossil jet fuels that is produced from sustainable resources such as waste oils from a biological origin, agricultural residues, or non-fossil CO2 instead of being refined from petroleum.
AUS also purchases renewable energy and carbon off-sets from sustainable sources and promotes The Good Traveler program to AUS passengers.
Reclaimed Water Usage
AUS utilizes reclaimed water, which save millions of gallons of potable water each year by converting irrigation to non-drinking water for the airport cooling system.
LEED Green Building Efforts
The LEED Green Building Rating System is the national benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.
AUS's first Silver LEED building was constructed in 2011, in which a rental car building was renovated into a facility for ground transportation providers, like taxis. The 2019 nine-gate expansion is currently tracking LEED Silver for New Construction with a 99.5% construction waste diversion rate, a 37% water use reduction rate and a 22% energy cost savings rate. You can learn more about the terminal expansion's LEED solutions here.
The Hilton Austin Airport was awarded the national Green Seal “Silver Level Achievement for Environmental Operational Commitment” for its efforts to go green. It’s one of only five hotel properties in Texas to earn this distinction, and it reflects the Hilton’s commitment to making environmentally sensitive conservation and purchasing decisions. The Hilton Austin Airport buys produce and meats from local farmers, which helps the local economy and reduces the hotel’s overall carbon footprint. The hotel also donates food and other nonperishable items to local churches and organizations.
Composting & Food Recycling
Through the AUS Food Rescue Program, AUS concessionaires donate unused packaged food to Keep Austin Fed, a local nonprofit whose mission is to reduce hunger and help the environment by connecting surplus food with our neighbors in need. AUS also has a robust campus-wide composting program, which collects compostable and organic waste, like food scraps, coffee grounds, paper towels, cardboard and utensils from passengers, concessions and employees that is ultimately turned into compost that is sold by Garden-Ville.
AUS's award-winning landscape is the largest native plant project in Austin, and it may be the largest native plant project in Texas. Native plants are better able to withstand the extended periods of heat and drought that we often find in this part of the country, and using native plants reduces irrigation needs.
- Environmental Plans, Assessments & Reviews
- AUS, in coordination with AUS Fuels, the airline fuel consortium and their consultants, conducted an environmental review for proposed fuel farm improvements. The review was submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval and approval was granted by the FAA on April 8, 2020. The FAA approval letter is located by clicking this link.
- Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)
- AUS is currently conducting an environmental review with the FAA to support the Airport Expansion and Development Program. To learn more about this project and for public participation opportunities, visit SpeakUpAustin.org/AUS-EA.