As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) recently purchased 999 metric tons of carbon offsets through the Good Traveler program.
This offset purchase equates to about one third of the airport’s total carbon footprint for the year. According to the program, that’s roughly the equivalent CO2 emissions of 6.4 million passenger miles or the annual electricity use of 150 homes. These particular credits will help fund the use of waste gas and the capturing of methane at the Rio Grande Valley Landfill Gas Project.
Originally founded by San Diego International Airport and under the operation of the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Good Traveler program provides travelers, airports and their partners with a simple-to-use method of purchasing carbon offsets to not only make air travel more sustainable, but also to benefit their local communities.
In addition to purchasing carbon offsets, AUS has used a variety of tactics to reduce its carbon footprint. Electrical power for all airport buildings is generated by wind turbines, supplied by Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program. Use of this power source has been extended from the terminal to the airfield to power aircraft support vehicles.
Since 2012 the airport has utilized 100 percent renewable electricity, preventing over 93,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Travelers interested in reducing their own carbon footprint when flying can also participate in the Good Traveler program by visiting their website at www.thegoodtraveler.org. There they are able to calculate the carbon impact of their trip and purchase their own offset.