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Denver International Airport Celebrates Earth Day with Big Sustainability Wins


Historic EPC Project progress report shows DEN’s energy and water reductions tracking with Vision 100 Strategic Plan; $1M in Utility Cost Savings

DENVER – April 22, 2024 – Today, Earth Day, Denver International Airport (DEN) is sharing impactful statistics and sustainability wins regarding its historic Energy Performance Contract (EPC) project. After a year and a half of construction, the EPC with McKinstry boasts big strides toward DEN’s Vision 100 goals. Vision 100, an airport-wide strategic plan to maintain and develop capacity and infrastructure to accommodate 100 million annual passengers as soon as 2027, outlines guiding principles focused on Sustainability and Resiliency, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility, Operational Excellence, and Enhancing the Customer Experience.

The EPC project is guided not only by DEN’s Vision 100 but also by DEN’s comprehensive Energy Plan developed in 2018. The Energy Plan aims to ensure that DEN’s growth is powered by energy that is low-carbon, cost-effective, reliable and resilient, while solidifying DEN as an international sustainability leader.

“This initiative, embedded within our Vision 100 plan, is proof of DEN’s dedication to environmental stewardship,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “The strides we have made under this EPC attest to our continued pursuit to lead the aviation industry toward a greener future. With these energy and cost savings and enhanced operational performance, we are moving closer to fulfilling our promise to become one of the most sustainable airports in the world.”

DEN partnered with values-aligned McKinstry, a national construction and energy services firm, with a regional office in Colorado, to implement the project through the Colorado Energy Office. The project scope includes replacing florescent lights with LED on over 38,000 fixtures, water savings flush valve and fixture retrofits on over 1000 toilets, urinals, faucets, and shower heads, an upgrade to the energy management control systems in Concourses A and C, Airport Office Building and North Terminal, as well as the airport’s Central Utility Plant cooling tower metering upgrade. Once construction is complete, a three-year period of measurement and verification will follow to validate the ongoing energy and water savings.

Since construction began, DEN has seen major sustainability and conservation impacts, including:

  • An equivalent utility cost savings of over $1M per year from a reduction in water use, as well as electricity, gas, and sewer use. This reduction includes 100 percent of the existing water fixtures and 30 percent of the lighting that have been completely retrofitted to date.
  • Water and sewer savings to achieve over 143 million gallons saved per year, the equivalent of 200 Olympic-sized pools
  • Over 17,000 pounds of recycled metals

The project aims to achieve an 18 percent utilization of Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE), which is in line with DEN’s goals. Currently, McKinstry and DEN’s Division of Small Business Opportunity (DSBO) have collaborated to achieve over 17 percent utilization so far. This is a significant accomplishment that demonstrates the dedication of everyone involved in realizing DEN’s objectives.

DEN is proud to serve passengers and the community as we continue to move forward through this historic project in a way that’s conscientious, sustainable, and strategic.


Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News


About McKinstry

McKinstry is a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings. From new construction and ongoing operations to adaptive reuse and energy retrofits, the company provides a single point of accountability across the entire building lifecycle. McKinstry focuses on people and outcomes to ensure the built environment serves owners, operators and occupants alike. McKinstry is your trusted partner for the life of your building. Learn more at



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About DEN

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!