09/24/2020 10:30 AM

Sept. 24, 2020

LAX Public Relations
(424) 646-5260
LAWA's New Sustainability Report Details Progress
Toward Goal of Carbon-free Operations by 2045
The Central Utility Plant at LAX helps reduce emissions by using co-generation technology to cool and heat terminals and save about 1.6 million kilowatts of electricity annually.

(Los Angeles, CA) Airports Council International-Europe (ACI) announced this month that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys general aviation airport (VNY) are once again certified at Level 3 under the internationally recognized Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program. The renewed certifications recognize Los Angeles World Airports' (LAWA) ongoing commitment to reduce carbon footprints as LAX and VNY maintain their leadership positions in aviation sustainability.

"Guided by our Sustainability Action Plan, LAWA is committed to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2045, and both LAX and Van Nuys airports are setting examples for the entire industry as we invest in that carbon-neutral future," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. "Airport Carbon Accreditation of both our airports at Level 3 affirms our work to quantify and reduce carbon emissions to improve regional air quality and meet the challenges of climate change head on."

The ACA program is designed to help airports lower carbon emissions to the point of carbon neutrality by providing independent verification of carbon emission levels and the measures used to limit them. The four levels of certification – mapping (Level 1), reduction (Level 2), optimization (Level 3) and neutrality (Level 3+) – indicate how far along an airport is toward carbon neutrality. Both LAX and VNY have achieved the optimization level (Level 3), meaning that carbon emissions are mapped and measured not only from LAWA's operations, but emissions from businesses working at each airport as well. Optimization is the highest level before achieving carbon neutrality.

LAWA's Sustainability Action Plan, which was released in 2019, creates a roadmap for both LAX and VNY to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The plan sets forth bold, achievable and actionable sustainability goals and targets for energy, water and waste. As one of the nation's leading airports on sustainability, LAX has set a goal of reducing the airport's greenhouse gas emissions to below 55 percent of 1990 levels by 2025, 65 percent by 2035, and 100 percent by 2045. LAWA's Sustainability Action Plan closely aligns with the city of Los Angeles' updated 2019 Sustainable City pLAn, also known as L.A.'s 2019 Green New Deal.

This is LAX's fourth consecutive year of accreditation, having first being recognized at the reduction level in 2016. VNY, which was first certified in 2017 at Level 2, remains one of only a few general aviation airports in the world to be certified.

Some of the actions LAWA has taken to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions include:

  • LAX operates an award-winning co-generation Central Utility Plant, which provides a savings of 1.6 million kilowatts annually and was certified "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Gold" by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2015. The faciltiy won second place in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Sustainability Awards earlier this month.
  • The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has approved a variety of air quality and emissions reduction policies, such as the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Policy and Ground Service Equipment Emissions Reduction Policy.
  • Since 2015, changes in ground service equipment have resulted in significant emissions reductions, equivalent to removing approximately 235,000 passenger vehicles per day. In 2019, LAWA adopted the GSE Emissions Reduction Incentive Program to distribute $500,000 in funding to support operators in purchasing zero emission or near-zero emission vehicles. Currently, there are almost 2,700 GSEs at LAX that are registered to over 30 operators, including eight airlines, a number of ground service providers, cargo transporters, and parcel handlers. Currently, 34% of ground support equipment operating at LAX is powered by electricity.
  • LAWA operates a Clean Fleet Program, which is the nation's largest airport alternative-fuel fleet, and a Clean Construction Programthat requires contractors use the cleanest equipment available on LAWA construction projects.
  • 737 LAWA employees – one fifth of its workforce – participated in a rideshare program in 2019.
  • There are 199 electric vehicle chargers installed at LAX. Forty-one of these chargers were added between March 2019 and March 2020.
  • Ten electric vehicle chargers were added in 2019 to accommodate 20 new electric buses, which replaced the old diesel airfield buses. This resulted in avoided emissions equivalent to removing 1,098 passenger cars from the road or 2.09 tons of NOx per year.
  • The LAX FlyAway nonstop bus served more than 1.98 million passengers last year, resulting in reduction of 5,271 metric tons of carbon emissions.
  • Alternative fuel vehicles make up over 60% of LAX's fleet; 18% of the fleet is now all electric.
  • Through the LAX Food Harvest Food Donation Program and organic waste recycling pilot program, LAWA diverted about 139 tons of food waste from the landfill in 2019, a 71% increase over tons recycled from last year. Approximately 36.3 tons of food was donated, which is twice the amount donated in 2018. 
  • VNY has replaced many fleet vehicles with cleaner, low- or zero-emission vehicles in the past few years. Currently, about 20% of VNY's fleet is electric and about 48% of VNY's fleet is comprised of alternative fuel vehicles.
  • In 2018, Aeroplex/Aerolease completed a 1.5-megawatt solar project on its facility. Six other tenant solar projects are underway. Once completed, VNY will have one of the largest solar energy systems of any general aviation airport with an estimated annual production of 44.6 million kilowatts of clean energy.

These and other sustainability initiatives are detailed in LAWA's 2019 Sustainability Report, which was recently released and available on the LAWA Sustainability website. The report includes progress reports on LAWA's initiatives that help meet the standards of the ACA accreditation and LAWA's own ambitious goals, including energy and water conservation, recycling program expansions and habitat restoration of the LAX Dunes ecosystem.

Some highlights from the report include:

  • Since 2011, energy consumption has trended downward as measured on a per-passenger basis by 42%.
  • Also since 2011, potable water consumption at LAX has trended downward as measured on a per-passenger basis by 39%.
  • Tenants at Van Nuys Airport generated over 1.9 million kilowatt hours of renewable solar electricity on site.
  • A pilot filtration project at LAX reduced aluminum, copper and zinc deposits in LAX stormwater by 58%, 54%, and 50%, respectively.
  • More than 36 tons of pre-wrapped, unsold food was donated to local charities through the LAX Harvest Food Donation Program - double the amount of the previous year.
  • In 2019, 774 volunteers removed 8,939 pounds of non-native and invasive plants from the LAX Dunes ecosystem.

About Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is the City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys (VNY) general aviation airports, as well as aviation-related property in Palmdale. Both play an integral role in helping to meet the Southern California regional demand for passenger, cargo and general aviation service. Both airports make a distinct contribution to the strength of the system as it provides a high level of safety, security and service for its customers, communities and stakeholders. More information can be found at

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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