As the largest airport site in North America, Denver International Airport (DEN) encompasses 53 square miles (34,000 acres, or 137.8 square kilometers) of land. The four busiest airports in the United States- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles International, and Dallas Fort Worth could collectively fit into DEN’s property. We recognize the importance of minimizing our negative impacts on the environment in which we operate.
Greenhouse Gas Management
Denver International Airport (DEN) will use its position as one of the largest airports in the United States to be a leader in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the negative impacts of climate change. DEN recognizes that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is critical to airport sustainability and will set ambitious goals and implement cost effective initiatives that provide the broadest benefits, including reducing long-term electricity, natural gas, and vehicle fuel costs and improving regional air quality.
DEN has focused primarily on greenhouse gas sources under the direct control of the airport and continues to build partnerships that allow us to engage our business partners and community to increase our future impact. DEN GHG emissions have been reduced year over year from the 2013 baseline through a combination of energy efficiency projects, such as lighting and equipment upgrades and the continued decarbonization of the Utility grid by our power provider.
Water conservation is an important issue both locally and globally and the airport is actively taking steps to reduce the water consumption of our facilities. We have remodeled several restrooms in the main terminal to include low-flow fixtures, and we are constantly evaluating the feasibility of implementing additional water conservation measures throughout our facilities. We have completely retrofitted the Airport Office Building with waterless urinals and have upgraded the rest of the airport to 1.0 gallon per flush urinals. The toilets that were installed when the airport was built were 3-5 gallons per flush and those have all been upgraded to 1.6 gallons per flush fixtures. We also have low-flow aerators on the hand washing sinks in the restrooms and those are on sensors so that they are on for no longer than 30 seconds at a time. We recognize that technology continues to improve, and we will continue to evaluate new fixtures that will allow us to conserve even more water at our facility in the future.
DEN is an industry leader in de-icing fluid collection and recycling. Of all the de-icing fluid that is applied to aircrafts each winter season, DEN maintains an average collection rate of 70 percent. That means de-icing fluid is not released into the environment, and DEN avoids paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in wastewater treatment fees. Further, the collected de-icing fluid is recycled and processed into propylene glycol, which is sold off for industrial use.
Waste reduction, recycling and composting are high priorities for Denver International Airport (DEN). The airport has implemented a wide variety of programs, including recycling more than 20 different types of materials, to maximize the diversion of trash from the landfill.
Environmental Protection (link to Management page)
Denver International Airport was the first international airport in the United States to have an ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System (EMS) to proactively identify and mitigate all potential impacts to the environment from airport operations. The EMS outlines a series of guidelines, policies, reports, procedures, and processes that address environmental impacts in day-to-day business activities. Learn more from our Annual Report by clicking here.
DEN Fleet Management is responsible for maintaining over 1,800 vehicle and equipment assets in support of DEN’s 24/7/365 operation. In addition to owning and maintaining one of the largest and most technically advanced airport snow removal fleets in North America, we are also an environmental leader in the acquisition and maintenance of a wide variety of alternative fuel vehicles such as electrical hybrid and compressed natural gas. DEN’s commitment to sustainable management has been recognized across the industry, and for the past 7 years our fleet has received the national Government Green Fleet Award.