As an industry leader in environmental stewardship, the Jackson Hole Airport was recently honored with the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Airport Award for its achievements in sustainability. The award, which is co-sponsored by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC), recognizes airports that employ innovative measures to enhance relationships between airports and their surrounding environments.
This honor comes as no surprise, as the Airport is steadfast in its commitment to go above and beyond to protect the natural environment, support passengers, staff and the local community, and employ resiliency in every aspect of its work. Mead & Hunt is proud to have helped develop and implement many of the sustainability initiatives for which the Airport was recognized. Highlights of Mead & Hunt’s contribution to sustainability projects at Jackson Hole Airport include:
Waste Diversion and Recycling.
Mead & Hunt conducted a waste study to provide recommendations for reducing waste sent to landfill. As part of this process, and in alignment with Teton County and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), the Airport established an aggressive goal of diverting 60% of its waste from the landfill by 2030. To work toward this goal, the Airport implemented new programs including composting for back of house concessions, installation of liquid dump stations at the security checkpoint, design and placement of custom waste collection, and coordination with a local non-profit to establish a food donation program. In just over two years, the Airport has more than doubled its waste diversion rate, from 18% to 38%.
Air Quality and Emissions Reduction.
Mead & Hunt completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory to investigate opportunities to reduce the Airport’s emissions. To meet emission reduction goals, the Airport implemented multiple initiatives including replacement of older snow removal equipment with cleaner burning units, and joining the Good Traveler Program to provide carbon offset opportunities to both passengers and staff (for work-related travel). To date, the Airport has offset 1,183 metric tons of carbon.
Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial service airport located within a national park. Therefore, the Airport has a long-standing partnership with the National Park Service to help protect wildlife and natural resources in area. To demonstrate this commitment, Mead & Hunt helped coordinate with GTNP to develop a Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Restoration Plan that identifies strategies to protect both birds and aircraft. As part of this plan, the Airport helped to restore two historic lek sites and develop a satellite lek off-airport to restore brood-rearing habitat and to safely draw hens outside of the Airport boundary.
Mead & Hunt worked with the Airport in applying for and achieving its Business Emerald Sustainability Tier (BEST) Program certification. This certification recognizes exceptional practices in environmental and sustainability programs and performance. As part of the application, a comprehensive Sustainability Report was developed to showcase many sustainable initiatives at the Airport.
Sustainability and resilience services have become increasingly important in recent years. Mead & Hunt echoes Jackson Hole Airport’s strong commitment to environmental, social, and economic responsibility. From our work in Jackson, to our vast experience in airport planning and engineering at hundreds of airports, we are proud to provide sustainability and resilience services to airports across the country.