The City of Dallas’ sustainability plan includes proactive steps to reduce the carbon footprint of municipal operations. The Department of Aviation identified the independent, third-party verified Airport Carbon Accreditation Program as a stepwise approach to inventory and then strategically decrease greenhouse gas emissions associated with operations at Dallas Love Field Airport.
Since 2017, Gresham Smith has worked with the airport to audit carbon emissions and achieve certification. DAL successfully achieved Level 1 certification in 2017, identifying the comprehensive carbon footprint, Level 2 in 2018, developing effective carbon management procedures. In 2023, DAL achieved Level 3, accounting for the carbon emissions of all third-party stakeholders. We’re currently helping the airport pursue Level 4 certification, committing to absolute emissions reduction.
reduction in carbon emissions since 2015
levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation
To achieve carbon neutrality, we identified recommendations in the areas of energy, vehicles, and equipment and materials management.
Energy use is DAL’s largest source of carbon emissions. While the City of Dallas procures renewable energy certificates to account for electricity consumption, this is an ongoing cost that is subject to change. We recommended that DAL evaluate the feasibility of producing renewable energy on-site.
Additionally, we recommended investigating ways to reduce overall energy demand. In tandem with this project, we conducted an energy audit of DAL facilities to evaluate the efficiency of existing systems and provide recommendations for energy conservation measures. Implementable solutions include converting lighting to LEDs, adding sensors/controls for de-energizing equipment when not in use, and optimizing the Central Utility Plant.
Vehicles and Equipment
The second largest source of DAL’s carbon emissions comes from vehicles and equipment. DAL conducted an alternative-fueled vehicle study that included recommendations for right-sizing the fleet and procuring electric or hybrid vehicles in the future. Additionally, we recommended that the airport investigate low-carbon and alternative fuels, as well as decreasing vehicle and equipment run time, which can reduce emissions and improve air quality.
It’s easy to forget that the trash and other materials sent to the landfill not only generate methane as they break down, but also require transportation services to get there—adding to their carbon emissions output. We suggested that DAL examine alternative materials management practices that reduce waste generation at the source, as well as reuse and recycle waste.