Five things you didn’t know about SFO’s sustainability goals

From reducing food waste with their food donation programme, to expanding use of sustainable jet fuel, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) continues to demonstrate leadership in the field of sustainability.

San Francisco Airport

How SFO are leading industry efforts to make air travel greener and sustainable.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) continues to demonstrate leadership in the field of sustainability. Here are the top five things SFO are doing to make air travel greener and cleaner: 

1. SFO aims to achieve ‘triple zero’ sustainability

SFO’s goal is to be the first airport in the world to attain zero carbon emissions, zero waste going into landfill, and zero net energy (unless it comes from renewable sources). This bold goal is driving a wide variety of initiatives and has established SFO as an industry leader in airport sustainability.

2. SFO will expand SAF usage

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is jet fuel made from renewable materials, such as waste biomass or food scraps, with emissions 80% lower than conventional jet fuel. Since 2018, SFO has been working with airlines and fuel suppliers to advance the use of SAF, and now leads the world in SAF deliveries with six million gallons delivered in the past fiscal year, a figure expected to double this year.

3. SFO set to becoming the world’s first plastic-free airport

SFO was the first airport in the world to prohibit the sale of beverages in plastic packaging and is moving towards reusable dishware and fibre-based disposable food ware to simplify sorting for composting and recycling and to reduce waste going to landfill.

4. SFO’s facilities continue to achieve ‘firsts’ for sustainability

SFO’s facilities have been the first in the nation, or the world, to be certified for their sustainable design and operation. In 2022, SFO became the first in the world to earn airport-wide certification at the Platinum level under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programme. Harvey Milk Terminal 1 is also the first in the world to receive FitWel and WELL certification for the health of passengers and employees who use the facility.

5. SFO’s food donation programme reduces waste from airport restaurants

To prevent food waste going into landfill, the airport launched the “SFO Unites Against Hunger” food donation program in 2017. It’s goal’s were for participating restaurants, who have excess food that is near or past the sell by date, but is still consumable, to deliver food to one of the airport’s food donation hubs. In 2022, SFO donated over 10,000 pounds of food, which is equivalent to 8,000 meals.

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