It appears that addressing the airline industry's approach to green
causes a lot of blowback. For example, I was asked to stop "getting
high by sucking the tailpipe of your Prius" for having the temerity to
be underwhelmed by Southwest Airlines' new green initiatives. I did
say that any start is good, but SA needs to go further to really make
an impact. In a nod to impartiality, here is an green airline story
that is truly making an impact.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized DFW
International Airport in their Top 20 Local Government List of largest
green power purchasers in the country, ranking it 11th. DFW is
purchasing close to 53 million kilowatt-hours annually from
"environmentally preferable renewable resources" such as wind, solar,
and geothermal, amounting to 18 percent of its entire purchased
energy. That's one fifth of its power supply coming from sources that
don't contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. This amount of wattage
is equivalent to the carbon emissions of about 7,000 passenger
vehicles per year, or the amount of electricity needed to power more
than 5,000 American homes annually.
The airline industry uses a lot of fuel and this is necessary to keep
this country moving. An airport that actively cuts down on its own
carbon emissions is a terrific counterbalance as the airlines are
looking for more energy-efficient and socially responsible methods.
Considering that DFW is in the middle of a state where oil production
is a major portion of the economy is proof positive that the needs of
the planet are being met head-on by constituencies that heretofore may
not have given them any consideration.
And for the record, I don't have a Prius.
Jonathan A. Schein is publisher of MetroGreenBusiness.com and GreenBusinessCareers.com