A look back at AUS’s sustainability efforts in 2023

Our city is famous for live music, shopping on SoCo, bbq, population booms, and an eco-conscious culture that reaches across the city, all the way down past 71 and 183, right to the curbside Departures Level. That’s right, even an airport can reflect a city’s appreciation for and efforts to support a more sustainable Austin.

Although our environmental reach doesn’t extend to things such as airplanes (those are owned and operated by the airlines), we ain’t all hat and no cattle… There are a few things that we can do as an airport, such as adding electrification options and conserving water and energy, to be as sustainable as possible.

Illustration of an airfield in the background and solar panels in the foreground. Text reads: Environmental Achievements AUS 2023 Highlights

And this year was no exception. Thanks to the Environmental Affairs team at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), our airport remained as sustainable as ever. Here are a few noteworthy achievements from 2023:

First AUS Environmental, Social, Governance Report Released

In a groundbreaking move, the airport released its first-ever Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Report for the year of 2021. This comprehensive report looks at the airport's impact on the environment, social responsibility, and corporate governance. From energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to water conservation efforts, the report provides a transparent overview of the airport's commitment to environmental efforts. Notably, the governance section highlights collaborations with key organizations like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Defense (DOD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), outlining our dedication to well-regulated operations. Finally, the social chapter emphasizes health, wellness, and safety initiatives, reinforcing the airport's role as a responsible community player.

Diverting waste with a 35.8% diversion rate

Waste is a part of every day life, and that’s no exception for an airport. With millions of passengers coming and going every month, we see a lot of waste. But we also see a lot of waste diverted, the best type of diversion you can ask for when flying. In fact, from October 2022 to October 2023, the airport maintained a waste diversion rate of 35.8%, closely mirroring the previous year's diversion rate. This achievement reflects the sustained efforts to minimize the environmental impact of airport operations, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable Austin.

For our 3rd year in a row, we were carbon neutral

For the third consecutive year, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport proudly achieved Level 3+ Carbon Neutrality through the Airports Council International – Airport Carbon Accreditation Program for 2022, a recognition for our airport's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

$400,000 grant secured for more carbon-neutral buses

In a significant move towards sustainable transportation, AUS, in partnership with the City of Austin Fleet Mobility Services Department, secured a $400,000 grant from the Government Alternative Fuel Fleet Program (GAFF), administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The funds will be used to purchase 10 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, expanding our alternatively fueled bus fleet that gets passengers to and from the Barbara Jordan Terminal to the ground lots to 24 buses. 

This has a significant impact at AUS, and it’s all thanks to our partnership with our CNG provider Clean Energy, which provides carbon neutral Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) credits for 100% of our usage at the on-site station.

As the Environmental Affairs team at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport continues there work to keep us as sustainable as possible, we want to take a moment to applaud their willingness to embrace innovation and community engagement, and seek ways to maintain an environmentally strong and effective airport. Cheers to greener skies!