National Academies Press: OpenBook

Airport Sustainability Practices (2008)

Chapter: CHAPTER ONE Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER ONE Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2008. Airport Sustainability Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13674.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER ONE Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2008. Airport Sustainability Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13674.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER ONE Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2008. Airport Sustainability Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13674.
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3 This synthesis aims to create a better understanding of current sustainability practices in airports in the United States and around the world, to understand the barriers to and drivers behind these practices, and to identify areas for improvement. TrB paneL A panel of experts was formed to oversee this synthesis. The panel included academics, airport industry representatives, and airport environmental/sustainability managers. The panel provided input at various stages of the project, including the following: Suggesting airports and contacts for the survey target • list. Providing feedback on the proposed scope of work • (work plan) submitted by the research team. Providing feedback on the survey content and format.• Providing feedback on the draft versions of the report • (by means of a workshop and teleconferences). Suggesting sources for the literature review.• The panel’s contribution has been invaluable, and its feedback has ensured that this report will benefit various airport industry stakeholders, improve sustainability per- formance, and raise awareness about the importance of this issue. deFiniTions Airport sustainability practice is a broad term that encom- passes a wide variety of practices applicable to the manage- ment of airports. For the purposes of this study, the term refers to practices that ensure: Protection of the environment, including conservation • of natural resources. Social progress that recognizes the needs of all • stakeholders. Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic • growth and employment. CHAPTER ONE inTrodUcTion This report presents the findings of the ACRP Synthesis S02-02: Airport Sustainability Practices project undertaken on behalf of TRB. The research synthesis included a literature review and a web-based survey of U.S. and non-U.S. airports. The report presents analysis and detailed findings from the survey data collected on governance and on environmen- tal, social, and economic practices currently being imple- mented in U.S. and non-U.S. airports. It includes details of the literature review, a discussion of findings in each topic area, and conclusions drawn from the survey data, as well as a section on topics for additional research. aUdience and disseMinaTion This synthesis is specifically targeted to airport operators. Airlines, airport tenants, and other stakeholders associated with the aviation industry also may find the report useful. The synthesis focuses specifically on capturing and docu- menting airport sustainability practices. Although the sur- vey asked respondents to assess the performance of their airports, the synthesis does not provide statistics on trends or performance in airport sustainability practices. Rather, it provides a snapshot of what U.S. and non-U.S. airports of varying sizes are currently doing with regard to triple- bottom-line sustainability issues. The target audience is airport operators and members of the public who are interested in airport sustainability. The report offers suggestions for and examples of sustainability practices that can be adopted by airports. The survey could be repeated in the future for purposes of comparison. BackGroUnd TRB commissioned the synthesis in response to increasing interest in the aviation industry on the concept of sustain- ability and the need to establish management practices that address risks and opportunities associated with more than just environmental performance or economic success. In an effort to help the industry develop a management framework for sustainability, a number of information gaps were identi- fied by TRB.

4 Environmental sustainability performance of airports, • especially water quality – climate change – air quality – land use – biodiversity – materials – waste – noise and aesthetics – energy – green buildings. – Social sustainability performance of airports, • especially public awareness and education – stakeholder relationships – employee practices and procedures – sustainable transportation – alleviating road congestion – accessibility – local culture and heritage – indoor environmental quality – employee well-being – passenger well-being. – These three components of sustainable development are often referred to as the environmental, social, and economic triple bottom line. In this report, organizational governance refers to the management, organization, and operation of sustainability issues at an airport. issUes addressed The focus of this synthesis is the triple bottom line as it applies to airports. Specifically, the survey and literature review focus on the following topics and subtopics devel- oped by the research team (see Table 1): Organizational governance of airports with respect to • implementation of sustainability practices. Existing and future barriers to implementing sustain-• ability practices in airports. Existing and future drivers for implementing sustain-• ability practices at airports. TABLE 1 LIST OF TOPICS ADDRESSED IN THE AIRPORT SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES SURVEY Introduction and Organizational Governance Existing Sustainability Practices Barriers and Future PrioritiesEnvironmental Economic Social Respondent Profile Management of Environmental Practices Management of Economic Practices Management of Social Practices Other Sustainability Practices Expenditure and Employment Measuring and Monitoring Hiring and Purchasing Public Awareness and Education Barriers to Sustainability Practices Responsibility for Sustainability Practices Water Conservation Community Contributions Stakeholder Relationships Future Priorities and Drivers for Sustainability Reporting and Policies Water Quality Quantifying Sustainability Employee Practices And Procedures Existing Drivers of Sustainability Climate Change Contribution to Research and Development Sustainable Transportation Air Quality Incentivizing Sustainable Behavior Alleviating Road Congestion Land Use Accessibility Biodiversity Local Identity Culture and Heritage Materials Indoor Environmental Quality Waste Employee Well-being Noise and Aesthetics Passenger Well-being Energy Green Buildings

5 Economic practices—summarizes the results of the • management and implementation performance assess- ments for the economic issues addressed. Social practices—summarizes the results of the man-• agement and implementation performance assessments for the social issues addressed. Conclusions—conclusions of the research.• Opportunities for further research—discusses possible • future research areas to explore these issues in greater detail. Literature review The results of the literature review are referenced through- out this report, and the sources are listed in the References at the end of the document. Information from the literature review is differentiated from survey responses. Boxes iden- tifying specific airport sustainability practices and related information are included throughout the report. survey The results of the survey are included throughout the report in various formats: Statistical results such as numbers or percentages.• Graphs and diagrams summarizing results.• Boxes describing specific airport sustainability • practices. A general discussion of survey results.• See Appendix A for a copy of the survey. Economic sustainability performance of airports, • especially local hiring – local purchasing – contribution to the community – quantifying sustainability – contribution to research and development – incentives for sustainable behavior. – reporT conTenT The report is organized as follows: Method—outlines the process undertaken for the two • tasks of the synthesis: the literature review and the online survey. Survey response—details the response rate and • the airport sizes and geographic locations of respondents. Drivers, priorities, and barriers to sustainability • practices—summarizes the feedback from respon- dents on drivers and barriers to sustainability prac- tices and priorities for sustainability now and in the future. Organizational governance of sustainability—sum-• marizes the information obtained from survey respon- dents on governance of sustainability practices at their airports. Environmental practices—summarizes the results of • the management and implementation performance assessments for the environmental issues addressed.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 10: Airport Sustainability Practices explores airport sustainability practices across environmental, economic, and social issues.

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