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5Â Â C H A P T E R 1 1.1 Ensure Understanding of Foundational Concepts Beginning the roadmapping process requires an understanding of the building blocks of emissions reductions at airports. is chapter provides an introduction to the core concepts that ensure a baseline level of understanding. Airport sta, who are new to airport emissions, should read this chapter in its entirety. What is a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap? Although denitions may vary by airport, all zero- or low-emissions roadmaps should include several concepts: â¢ Target-oriented. Emissions roadmaps should include a commitment to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a specied quantity by a specied date. â¢ Sequential. Emissions roadmaps should provide the major steps or milestones needed to reach the emissions target. â¢ Stakeholder-informed. Internal and external stakeholders should be involved in both developing and maintaining the emissions roadmap. â¢ Assisted by visuals. Roadmaps typically have a heavy visual component including info- graphics, diagrams, conceptual gures, and qualitative tables. is focus on visual aspects helps ensure that the document is accessible to a wide audience over a long time period. Initiation of the Roadmap Section 1.1: Ensure Understanding of ti Concepts Section 1.2: Review ti ti Section 1.3: Business Cases for Zero- or Low-Emission Section 1.4: Management and Governance Figure 1. Steps to initiate roadmap planning. is guidebook provides steps to assist airports with developing an airport-specic zero- or low-emission roadmap. is chapter provides information and steps needed to initiate the road- mapping process, shown in FigureÂ 1. e steps in this chapter should be performed iteratively and in coordination with the steps outlined in other chapters.
6 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports A zero- or low-emissions roadmap can be a single page or many pages. Similarly, a roadmap can be a stand-alone document or part of a broader environmental or sustainability plan, such as a sustainability management plan. e word âroadmapâ is oen used interchangeably with âblueprint,â âaction plan,â or simply âplan.â Sources of Emissions at Airports In most airport settings, airport operators typically have direct control over 20% or less (usually much less) of an airportâs total GHG emissions, while airlines, caterers, cargo handlers, retailers, freight companies, and passengers are responsible for the large majority. To help stan- dardize boundaries and emissions reporting, most airports use the three âscopesâ (Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3) dened by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (WBCSD and WRI 2015), an internationally recognized standard for quantifying and tracking GHG (see FigureÂ 2). â¢ Scope 1. Airport operator emissions associated with vehicles and ground support equipment belonging to the airport, on-site waste management, on-site wastewater management, and on-site power generation, reghting exercises, boilers, and furnaces. â¢ Scope 2. Indirect emissions from o-site purchased electricity and steam. â¢ Scope 3. Indirect emissions as a consequence of airport activities including aircra landing and take-o (under 3,000Â feet), aircra ground movements, auxiliary power units, third-party vehicles, ground support equipment, passenger travel to and from the airport, sta commute, o-site waste management, o-site water management, and sta business travel. Other related concepts in airport emissions planning are âownershipâ and âinfluence,â which are discussed in detail in ACRP Report 11 (Kim etÂ al. 2009), ACRP Report 56: Hand- book for Considering Practical Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Strategies for Airports (CMD 2011), and ACRP Synthesis 100: Airport Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts (Barrett 2019). Ownership means that an entity has the decision-making power to determine if and how an emissions source should be reduced. Influence means that an entity has a linkage to the emissions source but no direct decision-making power over whether those emissions are released. 83% 4% 13% Scope 2 Indirect emissions from purchased energy Scope 3 Indirect emissions as a consequence of the airportâs activities Scope 1 Direct emissions associated with airport activities Figure 2. Average airport emissions, by scope.
Initiation of the Roadmap 7Â Â There are three entities in the airport context that own or influence emissions: â¢ Airport operators, â¢ Tenants (primarily airlines, concessionaires, and aircraft operators), and â¢ General public. TableÂ 1 gives examples of emissions sources by scope, type, and owner ship versus influence category. Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions at an airport are owned by the airport operator, while Scope 3 emis- sions are owned by tenants and the general public but influenced by the airport operator. Since Scope 3 emissions are not airport controlled, they are generally the most difficult for an airport operator to reduce directly (ACRP Report 11 and ACRP Report 56). This guidebook provides infor- mation about Scope 3 emissions in Section 4.3, but the focus is on Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Terminology Several terms are often used interchangeability when referring to emissions goals. Using terminology that is consistent with the broader environmental community helps avoid confusion and facilitates communication regarding an airportâs emissions reduction goal. TableÂ 2 defines the recommended terms to be used in airport emission roadmaps. GHG Accounting Several complex situations arise when defining the boundaries of emission scopes. These situations include airports leasing vehicles from a private company, airports providing tenants with electricity, and airports providing infrastructure to tenants. These situations are a factor not only for GHG emission inventories, but also for developing emission mitigation strategies. Since emission scopes are not a central focus of this guidebook, these boundary questions are addressed more in AppendixÂ B. Category Emissions Sources Scope 1 Scope 2 Scope 3 Ownership Influence Electricity On-site electricity production x Purchased grid electricity x Elect ricity consumed by tenants, partners ,subcontractors , grid power, and other third parties x Stationary Sources Airport-owned or airport-leased boilers, furnaces, burners, turbines, heaters, incinerators, engines, firefighting exercises, flares, generators, and other x Tenant-owned or tenant-leased boilers, furnaces, burners, turbines, heaters, incinerators, engines, firefighting exercises, flares, generators, and other x Vehicle Travel Airport-owned or operated shuttle buses, maintenance vehicles, security vehicles, and emergency vehicles x Airport staff business travel x Tenant-controlled vehicles, such as ground support equipment, passenger ground transportation, third-party owned vehicles, and other x Airport staff commute x Passenger private vehicles x Waste Management On-site waste management, wastewater management, and other x Off-site waste management by third-party operators x Aircraft Aircraft ground movements, taxiing, auxiliary power units (APUs), pre-conditioned air units (PCAs), and landing and take-off x Other Leaks from fire suppression activities, refrigerants, and construction emissions x Table 1. Greenhouse gas emissions sources by level of airport control.
8 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports Although the terms in TableÂ 2 imply a shared underlying goal of reducing GHG emissions, there are important differences in the level of planning, commitment, and expenditures needed to achieve these levels. For example, zero carbon growth requires stabilizing CO2 emissions, so they do not grow over time, whereas a carbon free status requires full electrification of all end uses and conversion to 100% renewable electricity. 1.2 Review Emission Reduction Programs, Policies, and Regulations This section describes major emission reduction programs, policies, and regulations that may impact development of an emissions roadmap. In addition to the brief description below, guide- book users are encouraged to examine the local and regional regulations in their area. Voluntary Emissions Reporting and Reduction Programs In 2009, the trade association Airport Council International-Europe launched the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program at its annual assembly. ACA is a carbon emissions reporting and management program designed specifically for airports and is supported by an advisory board comprising international climate and aviation experts. Today, ACA is admin- istered by the firm WSP and is a leading voluntary emissions program in the global airport community. FigureÂ 3 highlights the growing number of participating airports in the ACA program through mid-2018. ACA includes six levels of carbon certification, with Levels 4 and 4+ added in 2020 (as shown in the box). The ACA program is considering developing an additional level in the future to recognize airports that achieve zero carbon emissions without the use of offsets (timing of the additional level is uncertain). In the United States, 31 airports are accredited under ACA, with Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) the only airport to achieve the highest accreditation level, Level 4+ (Transition). San Diego International Airport (SAN) has achieved Level 3+ (Neutrality), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has also signaled a strong interest in achieving Level 3+ in the near term (SFO 2018). Additional carbon neutrality programs and pledges for airports have also emerged in recent years. For example, at the Paris Climate Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) Climate Summit, Term Definition Includes use of offsets? Synonyms Zero Carbon Growth A condition in which Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions do not grow larger each year. Yes â¢ Carbon Neutral Growth Carbon Neutral The sum of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and sinks (including offsets) is zero. Yes â¢ Climate Neutral â¢ Net Zero â¢ Zero Carbon Footprint Carbon Negative The sum of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissionsand sinks (including offsets) is negative. Yes â¢ Climate Positive â¢ Net Carbon Negative Carbon Free 100% of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission sources are from renewable sources. This condition can only be met when all end uses are electrified or use zero- or negative- emissions synthetic fuels. No â¢ Zero Emissions â¢ Zero Carbon â¢ 100% Renewable Less Costly or Complex More Costly or Complex Table 2. Terms used to describe emissions goals.
Initiation of the Roadmap 9Â Â 50 European airports pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030. Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) established the Carbon Neutral Airport program and sought to achieve zero emissions at Nantucket Memorial Airport. Similarly, Appleton Inter- national Airportâsupported by the FAA Sustainable Master Plan Pilot Programâhas set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2030 (ATW 2019). The Climate Registry (TCR) is another organization that promotes voluntary emissions reporting and reduction efforts. TCR is a nonprofit organization governed by U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories to encourage organizations in North America to reduce their emissions by helping them measure, report, and confirm their carbon footprints. TCR is 20 26 31 38 32 42 58 78 893 10 19 26 28 49 59 60 73 77 2 5 8 13 20 24 33 37 41 58 4 8 10 14 16 20 22 34 45 50 0 50 100 150 200 VA LU E 250 300 20 09 -2 01 0 20 10 -2 01 1 20 11 -2 01 2 20 12 -2 01 3 20 13 -2 01 4 20 14 -2 01 5 20 15 -2 01 6 20 16 -2 01 7 20 17 -2 01 8 20 18 -2 01 9 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 3+ Figure 3. Growth in airports accredited under ACA (developed using ACA annual reports). Note: Level 4 and 4+ are not shown because they were not in latest ACA annual report. Summary of ACA Levels 1. Level 1 (Mapping): This level includes determining the emissions sources within the operational boundary of the airport, reporting annually, and compiling a carbon footprint report. 2. Level 2 (Reduction): At this level, airports must provide evidence of having achieved reduction targets. 3. Level 3 (Optimization): At this level, airports must include Scope 3 emissions in their carbon reporting and engage third-party operators about emissions reduction. 4. Level 3+ (Neutrality): At this level, airports also offset remaining Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions with âhigh qualityâ carbon credits. 5. Level 4 (Transformation): At this level, airports must meet requirements of Level 3+, plus adoption of a long-term carbon reduction strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement. This level also requires action to drive carbon reductions by third parties. 6. Level 4+ (Transition): This level requires all requirements from the prior levels plus offsetting the residual Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions using âinternationally recognizedâ carbon offsets.
10 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports applicable to organizations regardless of sector, and multiple transportation agencies and air- ports participate. TCR has a voluntary GHG reporting program known as the Carbon Footprint Registry (CFR) which recognizes participants, offers innovative reporting options, promotes and rewards leadership, and helps national and international entities build partnerships. Like ACA, the CFR has five progressive levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Allstar (as shown in the box). State-Level Greenhouse Gas Targets and Regulations At the state-level, 23 states and the District of Columbia have established future GHG targets (C2ES 2020). These targets are most often based on 2050 emissions relative to 1990 levels. Some states also have targets for 2030 and 2040. States are also beginning to regulate certain aspects of GHG emissions at airports or for airlines. For example, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) now requires that airport shuttles at its 13 largest airports be zero emission vehicles by 2035 (CARB 2019a). Air Quality Standards Air quality remains a major driver of emissions reductions at airports. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six air pollutants, which together are known as criteria air pollutants. After establishing the specific standards, EPA works with state and local governments to evaluate whether geographic regions meet the NAAQS based on the most recently available air monitoring data. When an area of the country has outdoor air pollution levels above the NAAQS for one of the pollutants, that region is considered to be in ânonattainmentâ and must develop plans within three years demonstrating how the region will achieve attainment. With respect to aircraft engines, the Clean Air Act requires EPA to consult with FAA and gives FAA the authority to enforce EPAâs aircraft engine emissions standards through its certi- fication regulations. FAA is responsible for ensuring that these regulations do not pose conflicts with safety and other aircraft operational requirements. Summary of CFR Levels 1. Bronze: Joined TCR for purposes of capacity building, but not yet reporting emissions. Complete at least two TCR trainings. 2. Silver: Report GHG emissions within a self-defined boundary, complete at least two trainings. 3. Gold: Report and verify GHG emissions within a self-defined boundary, complete at least two trainings, and at least two of the following: generate or purchase renewable energy and retain the credits, develop and verify a TCR approved performance metric, and/or set a public base year. 4. Platinum: Report GHGs according to TCRâs criteria for complete reporting, set public baseline year, develop GHG reduction goal and at least two of the following: trainings, generate or purchase renewable energy and retain the credits, develop and verify a TCR recognized performance metric. 5. Allstar: All of the requirements for Platinum plus disclosure of a third-party verified public base year inventory.
Initiation of the Roadmap 11Â Â International Regulations and Goals International regulation is very focused on aircraft emissions, rather than on airports. Below are several key organizations and initiatives involved in lowering GHG emissions from aircraft. International Civil Aviation Organization The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)âa specialized agency of the United Nationsâhas adopted two approaches to reduce CO2 emissions from aircraft. These include the Carbon Offsetting & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and the Volume III to Annex 16 of the Chicago Convention (Environmental Protection). CORSIA has several policy elements: â¢ A goal is set of achieving carbon neutral growth from 2020 onward and reducing net CO2 emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050. â¢ Reductions will be achieved by offsetting emissions through the process of an airline purchasing emissions units equivalent to its offsetting requirements or via the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to lower the offset obligations commensurate with the carbon intensity reduction of the SAF. â¢ Airlines with annual emissions greater than 10,000 tons of CO2 are required to report their emissions on an annual basis, with monitoring starting on JanuaryÂ 1, 2019. â¢ Emissions from domestic air travel are not included in CORSIA. The objective of CORSIA is to implement market-based measures that address annual global increases in CO2 emissions from international air travel for each year above the 2020 levels by comparing CO2 emissions in future years to the average baseline CO2 emissions between 2019 and 2020. From 2021 until 2035, if CO2 emissions from international aviation exceed the average baseline emissions of 2019 and 2020, the sectorâs offsetting requirement is the difference between that yearâs emissions and the baseline emissions of 2019 and 2020. After 2035, emissions are intended to be reduced within the sector, for example, with efficiency improvements or low carbon fuels. One benefit of participating in the CORSIA voluntary pro- gram is that when âmore States join the CORSIA, more emissions are covered by the schemeâ and thus will help achieve âhigher environmental integrityâ (ICAO 2019). CORSIA is implemented in phases and comprises states that participate on a voluntary basis during the pilot phase of 2021 through 2023 and the first phase of 2024 through 2026. There are 76 countries, representing 76% of international aviation activity, that have volunteered so far. The second phase of the CORSIA implementation is from 2027 through 2035 and is mandatory for all states that have above a 0.5% individual share of total international aviation activities in revenue ton kilometers (RTKs) in 2018. An RTK is âthe utilized (or sold) capacity for passengers and cargo expressed in metric ton, multiplied by the distance flownâ (ICAO 2019). This second phase of mandatory offsetting does not apply to least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) unless they volunteer to participate. Though there are no offsetting obligations for flights to and from exempt nations, all nations are required to report total CO2 emissions. In 2017, ICAO adopted the Volume III to Annex 16 of the Chicago Convention (Environ- mental Protection), which has two elements: â¢ Aircraft CO2 emissions standards for engines. â¢ A standard that applies to new aircraft type designs from 2020 and to aircraft type designs already in production as of 2023. In-production aircraft that do not meet the standard by 2028 will no longer be able to be produced unless their designs are sufficiently modified.
12 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports EPA and FAA traditionally work within the standard-setting process of the ICAOâs Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) to establish international emissions standards and related requirements that individual nations later adopt into domestic law. In the past, ICAO has established international certification limits for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from jet engines. EPA has adopted ICAOâs certification standards as national regulations. FAA, in turn, enforces these standards through engine certification. Current NOx emissions standards for aircraft engines were established in 2014 and are more stringent than earlier standards. This is the fifth change since the original standards were agreed upon in 1981. New certification standards for aircraft are regularly being considered to further reduce total aircraft NOx, smoke, and noise emissions. ICAO has also established aircraft engine certification standards that limit smoke emissions, as measured by a smoke number. The smoke standards took effect in 1983. Since smoke is an indicator of particulate matter (PM) emissions, these standards have been indirectly influencing aircraft PM emissions for the past 30 years. ICAO has now proposed PM certification standards for engines that, once finalized, will be adopted by EPA. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were established in 2012 to address the global environmental, political, and economical challenges of today. SDG13 is focused on climate action by encouraging âurgent action to combat climate change and its impactsâ (United Nations 2019). There are several specific targets associated with this goal, including to âintegrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planningâ and âimprove education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capac- ity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warningâ (United Nations 2019). To support companies in aligning their strategies with the SDGs, the United Nations Global Compact, GRI, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) devel- oped the SDG Compass. The SDG Compass guides companies through the process of maximizing their contribution to the SDGs while preserving and enhancing business interests. Relevant to zero- or low-emissions planning, the SDG Compass encourages companies to implement solutions that combat climate change including obtaining electricity from renewable sources, increasing the efficiency of lighting systems, investing in technologies to capture and store carbon, and reducing GHG emissions from transportation. Another United Nations initiative that complements SDG13 and zero- or low-emissions planning is Climate Neutral Now, through which companies, organizations, governments, and citizens pledge to measure their GHG emissions, reduce those emissions to the extent pos- sible, and compensate for the rest through United Nations certified emission reductions (CERs). Airports Council International (ACI) supports Climate Neutral Now through its ACA program, which mirrors the objectives of the United Nations initiative. International Air Transport Association The International Air Transport Association (IATA) seeks to address the global challenge of climate change and has adopted a set of targets to mitigate CO2 emissions from air transport: â¢ An average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020, â¢ A cap on net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth), and â¢ A reduction in net aviation CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels (IATA 2019).
Initiation of the Roadmap 13Â Â IATA is determined to be part of the solution but insists that, in order to achieve these targets, a strong commitment is required from all stakeholders to work together through the four pillars of the aviation industry strategy: â¢ Improved technology including the deployment of sustainable low-carbon fuels, â¢ More efficient aircraft operations, â¢ Infrastructure improvements including modernized air traffic management systems, and â¢ A single global market-based measure to fill the remaining emissions gap. Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative The Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) is a coalition of aviation stake- holders who are interested in bringing commercially viable, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to the marketplace. CAAFI is engaged in various activities to enable and facilitate the near-term devel- opment and commercialization of such fuels. Bio-based fuels are commercially viable now and, in the future, synthetic jet fuel derived from carbon in the ambient air is expected to be available. Depending on the feedstock and production pathway used, alternative aviation fuels may offer reductions in GHG emissions when compared to conventional fuels. For example, research suggests that hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) from bio-based oil feedstock can have as little as 20% to 40% the emissions of conventional Jet A, assuming there is no land-use change (Stratton etÂ al. 2011, World Energy 2018). However, land-use change can be critical with any biomass, as con- verting tropical or peatland rainforest to biomass production can increase the life cycle emissions by several orders of magnitude over that of traditional Jet A. CAAFI and the aviation community are committed to carbon neutral growth starting in 2020 and are, therefore, interested in alternative jet fuels that have GHG reductions compared to standard petroleum-based jet fuels. To the extent that airlines have access to environmentally beneficial alternative jet fuels for aircraft, the emissions associated with airline flights may be reduced on a life cycle basis. Aviation groups have agreed that a focus on âwaste-basedâ feedstock, such as used-cooking oil, tallow from rendering livestock, municipal solid waste, and forestry residue is an effective way to avoid land-use change issues. Airports that own and operate ground service equipment can also gain environmental improvements in the operation of their own equipment, as alternatives for such equipment can reduce GHG and local emissions as well. 1.3 Build Business Cases for Zero- or Low-Emissions Planning Programs Airport operators who are considering developing a zero- or low-emissions roadmap will need broad support from a diverse group of airport stakeholders. To attain buy-in from stake- holders, airport operators must demonstrate the benefits of zero- or low-emission planning.2 A strong business case can help airport executives and governance look at zero- or low-emission planning as value additive and as good business, and not just as another cost. This chapter describes how to create a compelling business case for a zero- or low-emission roadmap (FigureÂ 4). First, the chapter describes the basics of constructing a business case, which may serve as a guideline for approaching stakeholders about developing a zero- or low-emission roadmap. Next, the chapter outlines business cases as key examplesâalong with referencesâto help build a business case tailored to a specific airport. Lastly, additional resources and benefits are described as potential avenues for strengthening and enriching these arguments. 2 Note: Noise emissions are not a focus of this guidebook.
14 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports Basics of Constructing a Business Case A strong business case is the key to gaining support for any initiative. A business case for a zero- or low-emissions roadmap should appeal to stakeholders and decision-makers by outlining how the organization can uniquely benefit from the initiative. Business cases are most often associated with added revenues but include consideration of risk and timelines. The following outline provides an example of how an airport could structure a business case for a zero- or low-emissions roadmap. This outline is intended to be quite extensive. Smaller airports or those just starting out on zero-emissions planning may only need to develop a short business case (e.g., one to two paragraphs providing the overall rationale and expected benefits). 1. Summary of key points â Provide a concise summary of problems, potential solutions, recommended solutions, and key benefits of the business case that reflect an understanding of the recommended solution. â Some stakeholders and decision-makers will only read this section, so make certain it functions convincingly as a stand-alone document. 2. Introduction â Briefly introduce the business case topic, a proposal for developing a zero- or low-emissions roadmap. â Introduce any necessary context. 3. Description of the problem at hand â Describe the problems that a zero- or low-emissions roadmap could address. â Relate the problem to the airportâs specific needs and goals. â Highlight the importance of solving the problem. 4. Discussion of potential solutions or actions â Discuss potential solutions for the previously described problems. â Be sure solutions include all options in a zero- or low-emissions roadmap and any alternatives. â Go into detail regarding logistics, benefits, costs, and risks of each potential solution. 5. Recommendation â Make a recommendation for the best course of action. â Discuss details about the recommended course of action. â Weigh the costs and benefits of the recommendation against other, previously discussed options. â Connect the benefits from the recommended course of action to the interests of the airport, stakeholders, and decision-makers. Improved Bond Rating Improved Public Relations Carbon Pricing Risk Mitigation Attracting Airport Partners Improved Employee Relations Energy Resiliency and Efficiency Figure 4. Business cases for zero- or low-emissions roadmaps.
Initiation of the Roadmap 15Â Â 6. Conclusions â Briefly summarize the problem and the recommended solutions. â Reiterate the importance of addressing the problem. â Reiterate the benefits of addressing the problem with the recommended solutions. Improved Bond Rating Four key credit rating agencies are involved with airport bond issuance: Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Kroll Bond Rating Agency (Kroll), Moodyâs Investors Service (Moodyâs), and Standard & Poorâs Global Ratings (S&P). The credit rating agencies issue periodic reports that include opinions related to the outlook for airport credits. These reports provide guid- ance to airports and other participants in the debt issuance process, ultimately impacting the costs of financing capital projects at airports. Aggressive pursuit of zero-and low-emissions targets sends an impor- tant signal to credit rating agencies and has been shown to improve airport bond ratings (as shown in the box). Eliminating dependence on fossil fuels at an airport insulates the airport from the volatility of fossil fuel price fluctuations and reduces the probability of major revenue- interrupting shocks which helps de-risk future airport revenue streams. As a result, credit rating agencies have been publicly warning companies and government entities that unpreparedness for climate change will result in lowered future bond ratings (Flavelle 2019). The potential for bond rating improvements proves especially important for large- and medium-hub airports, which heavily depend on bonds for capital project financing. Improved Public Relations The environmental impacts of air travel are well publicized, and travelers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impacts of their consumption habits (Miles 2017; Hackel and Sparkman 2018; Schlossberg 2017). Polls consistently indicate public support for green ini- tiatives, such as carbon neutrality (Roberts 2018). At least 75% of Americans reported being âparticularly concernedâ about helping the environment as they go about their daily lives, 20% of adults said they make an effort to âlive in ways that protect the environmentâ all the time, and 63% said they make an effort to do so at least some of the time (Anderson 2017). Due to overwhelming public support, a growing majority of consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products (Nielsen 2015). Additionally, citizens living in communities adjacent to airports are exposed to airportsâ on-site emissions and represent a key group of supporters of zero- or low-emissions planning. A transition to zero- or low-emissions presents an opportunity for airports to appeal to an increas- ingly environmentally conscious market. A full 79% of corporate executives whose companies com- mitted to the SBT initiative have reported boosting their brand reputations (Galvin 2018). Especially among younger populations, a reputation for sustainable practices and social responsibility could start to build brand loyalty and growth for an airport. Many airports have used their participa- tion in ACA or their sustainability initiatives to enhance communication with their communi- ties, elected officials, and other stakeholders. For example, San Francisco International Airport has made its annual Climate Action Plan reports, which provide information on the airportâs progress towards its emissions reduction goals and initiatives, publicly available since 2011 on its website. Carbon Pricing Risk Mitigation Carbon pricing has increasing support from governments, investors, and business execu- tives across the world. At least 60 regional, national, or subnational jurisdictions have priced carbon in some capacity (FigureÂ 5). Roughly one-quarter of all electricity consumed in the Emissions Reduction Record Improves Dallas/Fort Worth International Airportâs Bond Rating The CEO of Dallas/Fort Worth Inter- national Airport provided information on their emissions reduction record when having their bond rating evaluated. The airport received an improved bond rating to investors due to their strong efforts to reduce emissions.
16 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports United States is currently carbon priced through state cap-and-trade programs. California and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are responsible for the carbon pricing in the United States, but they do not include aircraft emissions as part of their programs. RGGI is growing with Virginia poised to join in early 2021. Federal and state fuel economy and energy efficiency standards will continue to implicitly price carbon emissions (Topping 2019). Business leaders, responding to the economic risks posed by unabated climate change, are also increasingly calling for governments to price carbon pricing. Long term, a high probability exists that airports will be required to internalize the social cost of carbon emissions. Airports should be prepared for the financial risk this presents. Global corporations have already started anticipating this risk, internally placing prices on their own carbon emissions to manage long-term investments (Topping 2019). TableÂ 3 presents a possible projection of costs from 2020 to 2050, given a scenario where air- ports must internalize the social costs of their Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon (or carbon equivalent) Figure 5. Regional, national, and subnational carbon pricing initiatives (World Bank Group 2019) Â© World Bank. 2020 2035 2050 Portland International Airport $5.8 million $7.9 million $10.0 million Los Angeles International Airport $16.9 million $23.1 million $29.1 million Table 3. Annual social cost of Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 dollars (EPA 2016b; LAWA 2016; Port of Portland 2017).
Initiation of the Roadmap 17Â Â emissions. For simplicity, the projections assume constant yearly carbon emissions equal to those reported by either airport in 2016. The carbonâs social cost derives from EPA estimates published in 2016 (converted to 2019 dollars). These projections use EPAâs âhigh-impact rateâ social cost of carbon estimate, ranging from $105 to $212 per ton, producing estimates close to those developed in economic and environ- mental literature. Committing to a zero-carbon future insulates airports from risks presented by carbon pricing. The variability in methods governments use to calculate the social cost of carbon leads to a wide range of carbon costs over time. Therefore, the financial risk posed by carbon pricing is volatile from month to month (FigureÂ 6). Attracting Airport Partners Businesses and partners that work in airports are key to an airportâs operations. Using sustainability and green initiatives as features, air- ports may attract businesses and partners to their spaces. These busi- nesses are valuable opportunities for airports to attract customers and further enhance their reputations. For an airport considering develop- ment of a zero- or low-emissions roadmap, it may be helpful to identify businesses and potential partnerships that would be attracted to an airportâs sustainable practices. Amazon serves as an example of an important partner, currently in the process of establishing its own fleet of aircraft and network of airport hubs. In 2019, Amazon announced its Ship- ment Zero initiative. Under Shipment Zero, all Amazon shipments are envisioned to become net zero carbon, with a midterm goal of one-half of all shipments becoming net zero carbon by 2030 (Clark 2019). To accomplish this, all parts of Amazonâs supply chain must be included in its carbon accounting, including air shipments and all related operations and equipment at Social Cost of Carbon According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Environmental Change and Society, the âsocial cost of carbon for a given year is an estimate in dollars, of the present discounted value of the future damage caused by a 1 metric ton increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere in that year or, equivalently, the benefits of reducing CO2 emissions by the same amount in that yearâ (Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon 2017). Greater guidance on determining a dollar value to assign to carbon emissions is offered by the EPA (EPA 2016a). Figure 6. Price per metric ton of CO2, 2009â2019 (International Carbon Action Partnership 2019).
18 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports airports. Airports that lower emissions become attractive sites for companies such as Amazon to expand their operations and offer significant business opportunities to airports that meet their standards. Improved Employee Relations The public interest in sustainability extends to airport employees. Research suggests that pursuing zero carbon emissions can act as a centerpiece for the development of a sustainable, value-driven workplace culture (Bonini and Gorner 2011; Gammon 2014; Casey and Sieber 2016) and can reduce the total costs associated with employee severance and turnover. In a poll of working professionals, 71% were willing to take a pay cut to work in companies with missions and values they believed in. Additionally, a company having a positive impact on society served as a main source of pride for 46% of respondents (McQueen 2018). Airports with good reputations attract motivated and loyal employees, which feeds back to improving the airportâs operations. When airports make clear commitments to sustainability, employee motivation and engage- ment increase. Key to realizing these benefits is ensuring that airports engage airport staff, airline employees, and tenant employees in a common vision and a culture of sustainable thinking and practice. Training, management, and social activities that bring employees together from different sectors of the airport can help embed this culture. Energy Resiliency and Efficiency Zero- or low-emissions programs offer co-benefits, such as increased energy resilience and efficiency, which could provide long-term cost savingsâas energy costs escalate and as protection from catastrophic events such as the 11-hour blackout at Atlanta in 2017. As each airport is unique, it will be the responsibility of airport operators to determine which technologies would best meet the airportâs needs while reduc- ing carbon emissions and producing cost savings. However, airports of many types have benefitted from the available range of technologies to increase resilience and efficiency while decreasing carbon emissions. For example, San Diego International Airport leased its unused land in collaboration with Borrego Solar, installing 3.3 megawatt of solar panels connected to the airport via microgrid. NRG, owner of the panels, fronted the construction costs, and San Diego International Airport agreed to a 20-year power purchase agreement. This collabora- tion is expected to save the airport $8 million in energy costs over the agreementâs lifetime, while avoiding over 3,700 metric tons of carbon emissionsâthe equivalent of 770 cars annually (Borrego Solar 2016). In addition to reducing its carbon emissions, the airport has become less vulnerable to price hikes in fossil fuels and to disruptions in grid power by diversifying its energy use and incorporating battery energy storage (DOE 2014; Port of San Diego 2018). In another example, Appleton International Airport set goals to achieve carbon net zero by 2030 and has seen immediate benefits from making progress on its sustainability plans. After evaluating and retro-commissioning their facilities, the airport could demonstrate costs saved from making energy improvements. Using federal grants to fund initial renewable energy projects and reaping financial benefits from predictable, long-term energy costs, the airport could support Importance of Grid Reliability In 2017, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport suffered an 11-hour power outage, which caused major losses for airlines across the airport, including an estimated $50 million loss on Delta Airlines from canceled flights (Matousek 2017). Appleton International Net Zero Terminal Appleton International Airport is a non-hub primary commercial service facility with over 718,000 passengers in 2018. Partnering with FAAâs Sustainable Master Plan Pilot Program allowed the airport to design a general aviation terminal design projected to consume approximately 54,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, less than one-third the energy consumption of a similarly sized, traditionally designed building. The terminal will then produce the majority of its electricity on-site with a 25 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system, supporting Appleton Internationalâs goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2030 (ATW 2018).
Initiation of the Roadmap 19Â Â future investments such as building a LEED Platinum General Aviation Terminal (Barrett et al. 2016). Portland International Jetport in Portland, Maine, also took advantage of federal grants through FAAâs Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) program to implement an energy efficiency project. The airport installed a geothermal heating and cooling system as part of its terminal expansion project. The geothermal system has provided a positive return on invest- ment both in terms of reduced carbon emissions (estimated at 1,000 tons per year) and energy savings, estimated to be approximately $160,000 per year (Dolan, 2011). Certain methods for lowering carbon emissions may offer immediate financial benefits, contributing to long-term resilience for airports. However, such actions are unique for each airport, as all airports have different energy demands and local renewable energy resources. Consequently, operators must evaluate their airportâs facilities and determine the cost- effectiveness of different approaches before incorporating them into their business case. 1.4 Establish Roadmap Management and Governance As with any airport project, an emissions roadmap requires a timetable, milestones, work plan, and management structure. The list below provides management and governance recommendations. 1. Core Decision-Making Team. Develop a Core Decision-Making Team composed of a mix of senior and mid-level staff of no more than 10 people. This team is described in more detail in SectionÂ 2.1. Research suggests that centralizing and formalizing the team organization is essential for addressing broad environmental challenges like emissions reductions, alterna- tive fuels, and renewable energy (Sperling and Nesbitt 2001). 2. Charter Statement. Create an initial objective statement, vision statement, or charter that describes the underlying intent of the emissions roadmap. Ideally, this text is four sentences or less and can be used in email communications and as part of early-stage meetings to help guide discussions. This statement should be simple and easy to understand and should focus on the fundamental drivers of success for the roadmap process, rather than outlining a complex hierarchy of decision points and considerations. 3. Fast-Track Delivery. Commit to a short timeframe for roadmap development to main- tain positive momentum. This guidebook recommends completing a polished draft within 3 months or less, followed by stakeholder engagement and finalization. 4. Task-Oriented with Schedule. Any multiday project requires a set of tasks and milestones that are needed to complete the project. The most common method for describing tasks and establishing a schedule is through a work plan and a Gantt chart that shows the duration and phasing of each task. 5. Integrate Roadmap with Other Airport Plans. Zero- or low-emissions planning at air- ports takes place relative to numerous other planning initiatives. Airports undertake master plans, sustainability management plans, and energy management plans, among other plan- ning practices (FAA 2017a; Florida DOT 2010). These cycles are often not aligned with each other, and zero- or low-emissions planning tactics can be misaligned with their timing as well. To best ensure success of zero- or low-emissions planning programs, airports should be cognizant and considerâto the greatest extent possibleâother planning processes. Often, incorporating zero- or low-emissions plans into master plans, sustainability management plans, or energy management plans is most effective, allowing the clout of those larger plan- ning processes to be taken advantage of. TableÂ 4 presents a summary checklist of the actions involved in getting started on the development of a zero-emissions roadmap.
20 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports How does Airport Ownership Impact the Emissions Roadmap? The ownership and governance structures of airports can take on a range of forms but can generally be divided into a few high-level groupings, as is discussed in further detail in ACRP Legal Research Digest 7: Airport Governance and Ownership (Reimer 2017). Municipal, county, or state-owned airports may find it easier to obtain public funding from their parent agencies to pursue zero- or low-emissions efforts. Airports controlled by port, airport authority, or commission may have an even easier time moving forward with integration of zero- or low-emissions planning into larger planning efforts because of reduced need for communication with the municipality. Lastly, although privately managed airports make up only a small portion of U.S. airports, their structure allows the greatest level of autonomy, meaning they have the greatest leeway to merge zero- or low-emissions planning with larger planning efforts. Generally, the more ownership and autonomy an airport retains over its assets and operations, the greater agency it will have to pursue zero- or low-emissions planning and integrate those initiatives within larger airport planning efforts. Status Action ï Ensure key staff have an awareness and basic understanding of foundational concepts such as the objective of the roadmap, scopes of GHG emissions, ownership and influence of emissions, general categories of emission sources, terminology used, and relevant industry programs such as ACA. ï Review relevant voluntary programs, initiatives, and the regulatory landscape for your state and region. This may include the latest versions of any state, county, city, and airport GHG goals, as well as documentation about whether the county is in an EPA non-attainment area. ï Establish roadmap management and governance. As appropriate for your airport, this may include the following : Form the Core Decision-Making Team; Develop a charter statement; Commit to a development schedule with tasks an d milestones; Consider how to integrate the roadmap with other airport plans. ï Develop the business case for zero- or low-emissions planning, using the guidance in Section 1.3. Share the business case with airport leadership for buy-in and approval. ï Form other stakeholder teams , including the Implementation Team and Advisory Team, as described in Section 2.1. ï Review the airportâs most recent GHG inventory, including data inputs and outputs, if one exists. Determine the need for updates to the inventory or to portions of the inventory (e.g., the need to compile information on additional scopes). ï Gather all relevant historical information about prior emission reduction projects at the airport . This will help celebrate prior efforts and determine what additional emissions reduction strategies may be feasible to include in the roadmap. Table 4. Checklist of actions to develop a zero-emissions roadmap.