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21Â Â Stakeholder Engagement Stakeholder engagement is frequently cited as a critical element for successful GHG mitiga- tion programs at airports. Engaging with stakeholders early and often provides a foundation for zero- or low-emissions planning that is informed, comprehensive, and supported. By drawing on a large pool of participants for the planning and implementation process, airports increase the likelihood that emissions mitigation initiatives become institutionalized and ingrained within existing planning processes. This guidebook uses the same definition of stakeholder as ACRP Synthesis 65: Practices to Develop Effective Stakeholder Relationships at Smaller Airportsââany group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the airportâs objectivesâ (Elliot, Chapman, and Kelly 2015). FigureÂ 7 depicts key internal and external stakeholders at airports. FigureÂ 8 shows the two steps outlined in this stakeholder engagement section. C H A P T E R 2 Figure 7. Internal and external airport stakeholders (Virginia Department of Aviation 2016).
22 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports Section 2.1: Create Stakeholder Teams Section 2.2: Conduct Ongoing Stakeholder Communication Figure 8. Steps for stakeholder engagement. Core Decision- Making Team (Internal Stakeholders) Advisory Team (External Stakeholders) Implementation Team (Internal and External Stakeholders) Figure 9. Recommended stakeholder teams. 2.1 Create Stakeholder Teams A critical first step to an effective engagement strategy is to develop internal and external teams of stakeholders who will guide the roadmap development process. This step must be undertaken early in roadmap development, so that there is ample time for stakeholders to buy into and provide input to the process. This guidebook recommends using three separate but interlinked teams as described below and depicted in FigureÂ 9. However, smaller airports may choose to reduce the size or number of stakeholder teams. For example, they may include only two or three individuals on the core decision-making team, or they may combine the core decision-making and implementation teams. Regardless of the approach, the essential function of each team remains the same as described below. â¢ Core Decision-Making Team. This core group is internal airport staff, who are involved in every aspect of roadmap development from start to finish. This team should include the air- port sustainability coordinator as well as a mix of senior and junior staff, who are responsible for developing the roadmap, building the business case, prioritizing and selecting initiatives for future implementation, organizing stakeholder activities, and communicating with inter- nal and external stakeholders. â¢ Implementation Team. This team is internal and external stakeholders responsible for implementing the roadmap activities following the roadmap development. These stake- holders also assist during roadmap development by guiding the vision, goals, and ini- tiatives so they are implementable and integrated into all aspects of airport operations. Implementation team members are important agents for change and will be actively
Stakeholder Engagement 23Â Â involved in enhancing communication, education, and collabora- tion to achieve the airport mission by participating in the planning process, generating ideas for potential initiatives for emission reduc- tions, assisting in the development of key performance indicators (KPIs) for tracking progress, acting as a bridge between employee ideas and practical implementation, and supporting ongoing imple- mentation of the roadmap. â¢ Advisory Team. This team comprises external stakeholders who support both the core decision-making and implementation teams by reviewing draft versions of the roadmap and identifying oppor- tunities to increase the roadmapâs reach and influence within the region. ACRP Report 158: Deriving Benefits from Alternative Aircraft- Taxi Systems (Fordham etÂ al. 2016) found that âvery few airports engage in dialogue mechanisms with surrounding communities, such as advisory committees that include citizen representatives, and rarely continue them beyond the life of the specific study for which they were convened.â The study concluded that âultimately, changes in attitudes and practices for both airports and their hosting communities will remain unchanged until they develop a new set of processes for shared communication and coopera- tion.â The study recommended that âairports establish standing committees that focus on improving airport-community relationsâ during a specific project, study, or planning effort. Vancouver International Airport is one such airport that has established standing committees to regularly engage on issues of mutual interest to the airport and its community members (as shown in the box). Identify Stakeholders The core decision-making team is the first team needed and will identify and create the implementation and advisory teams. Although every airport is different, the core decision- making team composition will likely initially be formed through conversations between the airport sustainability office and airport senior management. To develop the other two teams, the core decision-making team should cast a wide net, among both airport employees and the surrounding communities so that relevant groups are not excluded. ACRP Synthesis 85: Alternative Fuels in Airport Fleets (Morrison 2017) recommends identifying stakeholders with several traits: â¢ Have influence or decision-making power, â¢ Have information that cannot be gained otherwise, â¢ Are critical for successful implementation, â¢ May challenge emerging strategies, â¢ Interact most frequently with the airport, â¢ Depend financially on airport operations and activities, â¢ Can legitimately claim to represent a constituency, â¢ Belong to a group to whom the airport has legal or financial responsibilities, and â¢ Are the intended audience of airport policies and value statements. Each stakeholder has particular interests that determine how to effectively engage and com- municate with that stakeholder, and how to request their participation in one of the three teams. TableÂ 5 describes the interests of various airport stakeholders (modified from Amaeshi and Crane 2006). In the process of identifying stakeholders, the core decision-making team should actively engage potential candidates for each team to understand their specific interests. To help Advisory Team at Vancouver International Airport Vancouver International Airport has two public committees that represent citizens and key stakeholder organizations: the Environmental Advisory Committee, which provides input and suggestions on the airportâs environmental practices and programs, and the Aeronautical Noise Management Committee, which provides a forum to noise management (Leahu-Aluas et al. 2018).
24 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports guide this process, below are sample questions for candidate stake- holders (Amaeshi and Crane 2005): â¢ Describe your interest in our airport. â¢ What topics or areas are most important to you and why? â¢ What do you expect from your relationship with our airport? â¢ What could the airport do to better support the community (internal or external)? â¢ What are the opportunities for collaboration between the airport and your organization? â¢ What is your current opinion of our airport? â¢ What are general industry challenges or potential future challenges? â¢ Where are opportunities for stakeholder engagement with the airport? â¢ What engagement activities would you like to see? Identify Key Stakeholder Roles While the exact composition of each stakeholder team will be different for every airport, reflecting the different operating environments, political dynamics, emissions reduction strate- gies, and many other factors, it is important to include several types of stakeholders in order to build strong stakeholder buy-in and ongoing support to roadmap planning, implementation, and monitoring. These stakeholders can help communicate the goals of the effort and establish partnerships within the airport: â¢ âC-Suiteâ Champion. Having members of the airportâs executive team on the core decision- making team to advocate in support of zero- or low-emissions planning greatly contributes to the success of emissions reduction efforts. As a member of the core decision-making team, a C-Suite champion would be key in laying out the vision and overall objectives for roadmap planning, helping identify key members of the implementation and advisory teams, provid- ing input and approval of goals and KPIs, and being updated on major milestones along the implementation and monitoring process. Subsequently, this key team member can dedicate Stakeholder Group Potential Interest Categories National/state/regional/local government policy formulation, regional development, funding, safety, social and economic development, environmental regulations, contribution to local economy, safety and health regulations (such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, regarding the types of materials used and disposed of), adherence to policy and law Airport organization growth, development, maintenance, operations, safety, workforce, financial stability Airport employees employment, opportunity, growth, retention, airport initiatives, treatment of employees, benefits, trainings, safety, benefits/coverage, diversity Airport service partners/airport tenants/vendors/airlines commercial development, operations, policies, accessibility, parking, business traffic, security, health and safety code adherence, opportunities for economic development Airport users airport services/route development, accessibility, cost, safety, operations and policies, parking Communities near airport operations potential environmental impacts from airport operations, employment opportunities, access to aviation, opportunities for local business development, noise, air quality, airport development, traffic, parking, safety, accessibility, investment Nongovernment organization (such as environmental groups) global/regional/local environmental impacts, human rights, access to facility for meetings, philanthropy, communication Airport suppliers growth of market, accessibility, ability to maintain airport and airline contracts Providers of other local transport services growth and integration of services, accessibility, costs Table 5. Stakeholders and potential interests. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Best Practices for Stakeholder Engagement on Emissions Mitigation According to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport staff, two approaches to developing strong airport-tenant relationships around emission reduction initiatives are to create award programs that annually celebrate tenants who go the extra mile and to directly assist airlines in applying for grant funding.
Stakeholder Engagement 25Â Â resources to ensure that zero- or low-emissions planning is prioritized, generate buy-in from the board, and publicize airport achievements. â¢ Department Leaders. Senior airport department staff are foundational to the implementation team. This team should include staff from the finance and administration, planning and engineer- ing, operations, and maintenance departments. These staff will help set the roadmap goals, coordi- nate with their staff to execute the actions necessary in pursuit of those goals, and ensure that data are gathered to track progress against the KPIs. Ideally, the selected leaders will be adept at coor- dinating across organizational silos so true partnerships can be created among departments. â¢ Data Managers. Collecting emissions data is critical for establishing benchmarks, setting goals, and tracking progress. Including data managers ensures that the Implementation team has a comprehensive understanding of the available current and historical emissions data. Data managers can also help facilitate conversations to determine whether additional data needs to be collected to inform the planning process, and how that data can be obtained, and can monitor the data collected against the roadmap KPIs. â¢ Tenant Liaisons. Tenants are critical to airport emissions, with an especially large role in Scope 3 emissions. As such, tenants are critical to the implementation team. Airport staff, who frequently liaise with tenants, should also be included in the implementation team. Their participation helps ensure there is coordination on emissions reduction efforts between airport staff and tenants to the extent possible. â¢ Communications and Marketing Staff. Airport staff with a back- ground in communications and/or marketing have been trained on effective techniques to engage stakeholders, frame messaging, and manage public relations. Acting as key members of the implementa- tion team, communications and marketing staff should work hand in hand with technical staff to translate technical information into messaging that resonates with different audiences. They can ensure that stakeholder engagement related to zero- or low-emissions plan- ning is aligned with broader engagement efforts and consistent with the brand and reputation of the airport. â¢ Airport Governing Body. The airportâs board should be involved in the advisory team, contribute to the roadmap vision and overall objectives for zero- or low-emissions planning, and be kept up to date on major milestones in the roadmap planning and implementation process including reviewing goals, activities, and KPIs. Board mem- bers can also provide strategic direction throughout the process and may bring innovative emissions reduction ideas from the organiza- tions they represent. Once the members of each stakeholder team are identified, members must understand and commit to their roles. An effective tool for assigning specific roadmap responsibilities to spe- cific individuals is through a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), a method used to assign and display the responsibilities of individual stakeholders or teams to accomplish the roadmap activities and goals. A RAM clearly articulates all potential activities needed during roadmap development, stake- holder responsibilities for each activity, and the level of responsibility for each stakeholder. The example shown in TableÂ 6 uses the RACI responsibility matrix model, where each cell in the matrix lists the level of responsibility by task and stakeholder. In this model, the roles are labeled: â¢ R = Responsible. The individuals who complete the tasks. â¢ A = Accountable. The individuals who are ultimately responsible for completing the tasks. â¢ C = Consulted. The individuals whose opinions are sought such as for subject matter expertise. â¢ I = Informed. The individuals who are kept up to date regarding major milestones and task completion. Cascading Impacts of San Francisco International Airportâs Top-Level Buy-In San Francisco International Airport has found top-level buy-in to be an instrumental factor in its zero-emissions planning. It has had strong support from the San Francisco Mayorâs Office and C-Suite executives at the airport, with this support trickling down to benchmarking in the strategic plan, a committee focused on carbon neutrality and deep de-carbonization (with a $100 million budget), and another committee focused on a portfolio of emission reduction initiatives under the airportâs $7.4 billion capital program.
26 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports Gathering Input to Inform Emissions Reduction Strategies Airports have used several successful strategies for receiving input from stakeholders, including: â¢ Surveys and interviews (online, mailed postcards, in person, or over the phone), â¢ Regularly scheduled teleconference or in person meetings on defined topic areas, â¢ Town hall meetings and open houses, â¢ Focus groups or workshops, â¢ Online discussion forums and social media platforms, â¢ Comment collection systems throughout the airport, â¢ Participation in local government meetings and on local boards, â¢ Advisory committees with community representatives, â¢ Working groups on specific topics such as energy efficiency, and â¢ Airport tours (for community members, businesses, etc.). Several of the strategies listed above could apply to both inter- nal and external stakeholders, while some may be best suited for specific stakeholder groups within one of those categories. Again, gaining an understanding of stakeholder preferences and relation- ships to the airport will determine which avenues are most appro- priate and what timing or frequency is appropriate. Regardless of the input strategies used, internal stakeholders such as department leaders are best suited to inform emissions reduction strategies for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions while stakeholders such as tenants and external community groups should inform Scope 3 emissions reductions. For the purposes of zero- or low-emissions planning or any type of strategic planning, airports should devise a strategy for prioritiz- ing input. Airports may not be able to act on every piece of input received from stakeholders but should be able to justify how input was responded to. The core planning team is encouraged to come to a consensus on the airportâs priority areas related to zero- or low-emissions planning. Some of the factors that could affect how an idea or action is prioritized are the impact to airport opera- tions, impact to emissions reductions, achievability, time scale, cost, associated potential risks and opportunities, and relevance to stakeholders. Activity Person A Person B Person C Person D Person E Person F Identification of alternative fuel surface vehicles I R A C Lighting upgrades, automation and controls, continuous commissioning I R A C External reporting I A A R Table 6. Responsibility assignment matrix. Focus on Emissions Reduction, Not Glossy, Glamorous, âGreenwashedâ Projects One anonymous airport noted that there can be parties within the airport pushing for high visibility projects, but that those projects may not offer the greatest emissions reduction benefits. When engaging stakeholders and presenting project options to decision-makers, it is important to maintain focus first on the emissions benefit of a potential effort. Although public relations benefits should be a consideration of zero emissions planning, care should be taken to ensure they do not carry an outsized weight.
Stakeholder Engagement 27Â Â 2.2 Conduct Ongoing Stakeholder Communication Stakeholder engagement is not a static, one-way process comprised of messaging from the airport or from the core decision-making team to the advisory team. Effective stakeholder engagement should be a true collaborative and reciprocal process that can help establish strate- gies for achieving mutual benefits and overcoming challenges. It is important for airports to develop and conduct ongoing stakeholder engagement through the use of teams, as well as with the public at large, and not just when conducting planning and large development projects. An ongoing communication effort can enhance overall roadmap planning and implementation collaboration, reduce public confusion and skepticism about project development, and assist in generating stakeholder buy-in for airport decisions. In addition, establishing mechanisms and strategies for communicating and engaging with stakeholders means that airports do not have to kick-start a new effort each time they embark on a large initiative. Continuous engagement also fosters trust and predictability among stakeholders. Ideally, an airport embarking on zero- or low-emissions planning would integrate stakeholder engagement related to the planning process with ongoing engagement efforts. Stakeholder engagement and communication includes marketing and public relation efforts; tenant, employee, and passenger surveys; strategic planning including identifying stakeholder roles and responsibilities; and outlining general effective communication practices. TableÂ 7 provides a number of tools and resource for ongoing communication and engagement. Evaluation is a necessary part of any stakeholder engagement program. Airports should periodically (at least annually) assess stakeholder engagement activities and the types of partici- pants engaged to identify areas for improvement and opportunities to streamline the process, and to determine whether to cast a wider net. Airports should be receptive to feedback on which engagement methods are working, which engagement methods are not working, what could be done differently, and whether the engagement process is helping the airport meet its zero- or low-emissions goals. To inform the evaluation process, airports are encouraged to track and report stakeholder engagement statistics. Tracking logical metrics can help airports evaluate whether their approaches are effective, identify trends over time, and have quantitative evidence to report and communicate to their stakeholders. There are several types of potential metrics: â¢ Number of community events held to inform stakeholders about the airport and its zero- or low-emission efforts, â¢ Number of participants at meetings and events focused on zero- or low-emissions planning, â¢ Number of airport-hosted stakeholder engagement sessions focused on emissions, â¢ Number of downloads per year of the airportâs zero- or low-emissions planning-related materials from its website, â¢ Tracking email and phone call-based complaints and working toward a reduction over time, and â¢ Number of âlikesâ or âfollowsâ for the airportâs posts on social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) relevant to emissions reduction efforts. As a complement to quantitative metrics, airports can also gather qualitative feedback through surveys or one-on-one discussions and can showcase quotes from stakeholders that capture how their involvement enhanced zero- or low-emissions planning at the airport.
28 Guidebook for Developing a Zero- or Low-Emissions Roadmap at Airports Tool and Resource Report/Author Description Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports ACRP Report 28 (2010) This resource guide includes the basics of a marketing plan, such as templates; analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT); and an introduction to marketing and public relations tools. Guidebook for Conducting Airport User Surveys ACRP Report 26 (2009) This resource offers methods and information to conduct effective user surveys. The report covers air passenger surveys, employee surveys, tenant surveys, surveys of area residents, surveys of area businesses, and cargo surveys. Practices to Develop Effective Stakeholder Relationships at Smaller Airports ACRP Synthesis 65 (2015) This report offers tactics for building effective stakeholder relations, including case studies featuring successful examples. Appendix C of the report provides a checklist of practices to build stakeholder relations. The checklist serves to assess organizational readiness, formulate strategies, implement initiatives and programs, and evaluate outcomes. Strategic Planning in the Airport Industry ACRP Report 20 (2017) This report provides practical guidance on the strategic planning process for airports. It includes a discussion on identifying stakeholders to involve in strategic planning and a corresponding worksheet to determine the extent of their involvement. Stakeholder Engagement: A Mechanism for Sustainable Aviation Amaeshi and Crane (2006) This paper discusses stakeholder engagement and includes a checklist on good practices for stakeholder engagement. Community Involvement Manual FAA (2016) This manual provides FAA practitioners with the knowledge and resources to facilitate meaningful community involvement including effectively engaging communities, encouraging exchange of information, and having community viewpoints heard. It provides guidance that supplements applicable public participation provisions in relevant FAA orders. Sustainability Reporting Guidelines & Airport Operators Sector Supplement GRI (2011) GRI helps organizations understand and communicate their impacts on issues such as climate change, human rights, and corruption. This resource tailors GRIâs sustainability reporting guidelines to airport operators. Integrated Reporting: Performance Insight Through Better Business Reporting KPMG (2011) This report discusses integrated reporting, an approach that focuses on interdependencies with an organizationâs strategy, business model, and context; its holistic historic performance; and its ability to keep achieving performance measures. PBN Blueprint Community Outreach Task Group RTCA (2016) This resource provides a detailed list of best practices for community outreach to support Performance Based Navigation implementation and includes activities related to stakeholder engagement, outreach strategies, identification of success metrics, and incorporation of lessons learned. Analysis of Airport Stakeholders Schaar and Sherry (2010) This paper identifies airport stakeholders, their objectives for the airport, and the relationships between the stakeholders. Virginia Airports Sustainability Management Plan Commercial Service Supplement Appendix B: Guidance on Stakeholder Engagement Virginia Department of Aviation (2016) This appendix provides a best practice overview for airports initiating stakeholder engagement as part of a sustainability program. It provides a structure for the stakeholder engagement process and step-by-step guidance within the process. Table 7. Suggested resources for additional guidance.