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41 Chapter NINE Conclusions The survey revealed that U.S. and non-U.S. airports are lations were responsible for many of the environmental implementing a number of initiatives that fit within the practices they are implementing. definition of sustainability practices. Economic sustainability practices focused more on com- Survey respondents cited regulations and airport policy munity contributions than on sustainable procurement or as the key drivers for sustainability practices today; they investment in research and development. expect stakeholder concerns and global issues such as cli- mate change to be the key drivers in the future. Respondents Social practices in place at airports include public aware- from large and medium U.S. airports identified energy effi- ness and education, stakeholder relationships, employee ciency, carbon emission reductions, and green building prac- practices and procedures, sustainable transportation initia- tices as key focus areas for the next five years. Respondents tives, alleviating road congestion, ensuring accessibility, from small and non-hub U.S. airports identified other priori- local culture and heritage, indoor environmental quality, and ties for the future related to economic growth and self-suf- employee and passenger well-being. Frequently cited social ficiency. Respondents in Europe cited noise, aesthetics, and practices at U.S. and non-U.S. airports included employee sustainable transportation practices as key focus areas going practices and procedures, sustainable transportation initia- forward; respondents from Asia and Canada mentioned tives, and measures to alleviate road congestion. Measures corporate social responsibility and strategic environmental to enhance local identity, culture, and heritage; indoor management at the governance level. environmental quality; and employee well-being were less prevalent. For both U.S. and non-U.S. airports, funding was the number one barrier to the implementation of sustainability Overall, the airport industry appears to be moving toward practices. Other barriers were lack of staffing and manage- more holistic sustainability approaches to their organiza- ment support, and the absence of an environmental culture tions and operations. Most emphasis is on environmental in their airport organization. initiatives, but increasingly social and economic practices are being viewed as equally important and prioritized as Most respondents said that environmental training is highly as environmental practices. Funding is a challenge offered at their airport; fewer respondents said that economic for sustainability practices, but drivers such as climate and social sustainability training is offered. change are prompting airports to invest in managing these risks to their operations, business, and stakeholders over the Environmental public reporting--either as part of an long term. annual report or in a separate document--is common. Few respondents said that their airport reported environmen- Suggestions for additional research and actions include: tal, social, and economic performance together. Only four respondents (three continental European and one Canadian) Use the survey results to create sustainability guide- said that their airport uses the Global Reporting Initiative lines for airports. guidelines for sustainability performance. Research the three sustainability areas (environmental, economic, and social) separately and in depth. Most respondents from large U.S. airports and non-U.S. Ensure that governance of sustainability practices at airports gave their environmental performance a high rat- airports targets developing a business plan and strat- ing. In the United States, medium and non-hub airports rated egy for implementation. their environmental performance lower, and small airports Partner with the Global Reporting Initiative to develop rated their performance lowest of all. an airport sector supplement of the G3 guidelines. Query the airports further on their practices and create The survey reveals a focus on climate change, land use, a best practice sustainability in airports document with water, waste, energy, and noise issues by airports. Respon- details on where, when, how, and why airports have dents from both U.S. and non-U.S. airports said that regu- implemented various practices.

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42 Define the business case for sustainability practices. Survey the 12 stakeholders/user groups on their per- Link planning and capital budgeting--determine ceptions of sustainability at airports and compare with why funding was identified as the key barrier to the airports' perceptions. implementation. Explore opportunities for airlines and airports to form Research sustainability training in airports--internal joint interactions that promote sustainability. versus external training and opportunities for external Provide incentives for tenants and customers for sus- training for employees. tainability practices at airports. Research incentives for sustainability and the success Determine how airports are implementing life-cycle of certain practices, including analysis of incentive costing for sustainability practices; identify savings/ types and delivery methods. avoided costs and cost-effectiveness (or individual sus- tainability practices).