San Francisco International Airport has become the first large airport in North America to achieve the ACI’s Level 4 airport carbon accreditation.

The accreditation recognises San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for greenhouse gas reduction from its own operations as well as collaboration with third parties, such as airlines and service providers, in reduction strategies. As part of this accreditation, SFO is committing to reaching zero net emissions by the year 2030.

“We are honoured to be the first large airport in North America to achieve Level 4 carbon accreditation,” said airport director Ivar C Satero. “This is a major milestone in our goal to be the first zero carbon airport in the world. My thanks go out to the entire SFO airport community for this accomplishment.”

At Level 4 ‘Transformation’ of airport carbon accreditation, airports are required to align their carbon management ambition with global climate goals and transform their operations with absolute emissions reductions in mind, while also strengthening their stakeholder engagement.

SFO has achieved significant success in reducing its carbon footprint. Since 1990, the airport has cut greenhouse gas emissions from airport-controlled operations by 35%. Reduction strategies include achieving a LEED Platinum Community designation from the US Green Building Council; leading the industry in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) pipeline deliveries by Neste direct to aircraft; reducing electricity use by 17% despite a 27% increase in passenger growth pre-pandemic between 2013 to 2021; and generating enough solar power onsite to charge 30,000 electric scooters (4MW).

SFO achieved Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation in 2016. Administered by the Airports Council International (ACI – Europe), the ACA programme is based on the World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol and confirms rigorous third-party validation of SFO's carbon footprint over the past four years.

Image: San Francisco International Airport