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Green Initiatives Unveiled in 2010

Eco-friendly measures include recycling, hybrids and community outreach

Houston Airport System
December 16, 2010

© Houston Airport System
New shuttle buses at the Parking Cents operation will use clean natural gas.

The Houston Airport System makes significant strides in eco-friendly initiatives.

“In addition to providing best-value services to our customers, we have renewed our commitment to performing our work in an environmentally responsible manner,” says Houston aviation director Mario C. Diaz.


The new measures put into place over the past year include the launching of a recycling program for passengers at both George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airports, as well as a continued focus on the purchase and use of hybrid vehicles within the HAS fleet. “We have almost fifty-million passengers passing through our two commercial airports on an annual basis,” says Tim Joniec, Director of International and Intergovernmental Development. “If we can convince just half of those people to participate in the recycling program then we will have made a huge impact.” The recycling bins, placed in airport terminals, offer passengers separate places for plastic and paper materials.

Green Fleet

The Houston Airport System team is looking to make a positive impact outside the terminal facilities through the use of hybrid vehicles. Houston Airports now maintain 38 hybrid vehicles, each of them helping to minimize the negative impacts of carbon emissions by burning less fuel than their standard counterparts.

Green Shuttles

This “green approach” is being employed at Parking Cents, the official on-airport value lot at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. New eco-friendly shuttle buses will arrive at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in January 2011, each of them capable of running on clean natural gas rather than the commonly used diesel fuel.

These shuttle buses transport passengers from parking on John F. Kennedy Boulevard to five terminals.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates vehicles using natural gas can reduce carbon-monoxide emissions by more than 90 percent.

“This is part of a national trend that we’re starting to see develop,” says Chanda Felder, parking commercial development manager for the Houston Airport System. “Natural gas is an inexpensive, cleaner fuel source, that’s readily available here in the United States, and I’m just thrilled to see the City of Houston play such a leading role in this type of green initiative.”

Energy Management

The Houston Airport System employs numerous techniques in order to maximize energy efficiency. These measures include the use of light-emitting diodes (LED's) for lower energy consumption, motion sensors that are capable of automatically shutting off lights when rooms are not in use and maximizing the use of natural lighting.

Team members with the Houston Airport System are also partnering with key members of the Houston community in an effort to operate as eco-friendly as possible. The Hay Production program calls for the planting, harvesting and selling of hay at George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Ellington Airport in an effort to create a beneficial use for the land buffer surrounding those airport facilities.

This green approach can also be found in the purchase of environmentally preferable products, materials and services. For example, the Technical Services Department for the Houston Airport System follows green procurement guidelines when managing contracts and purchase orders.

This includes the purchase of recycled content products (e.g., paper), request energy efficient productss (lighting computers and appliances), encourage environmentally friendly cleaning and janitorial products, and require recycling of construction debris and materials.

Copyright © 2010 - Houston Airport System

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