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Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport achieves rare sustainability accreditation

(Phoenix Sky Harbor Photo)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has joined an exclusive list of airports to achieve a high-level sustainability accreditation.

Sky Harbor earned Level 3 status with the Airport Carbon Accreditation Program for the 2019 calendar year, the facility announced Thursday.

Only seven U.S. airports have attained the mark and a total of 17 have across North America.

“Our commitment to sustainability is strong with numerous initiatives underway, all while we continue to deliver world-class service to our customers each day,” James E. Bennett, the airport’s director of aviation services, said in a press release.

The Level 3 accreditation means the airport had a year-to-year decrease in airport-owned and operational emissions within its terminals and fleet vehicles.

Sky Harbor had been at Level 2 for the previous four years.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation Program serves as a voluntary initiative for airports that want to reduce global warming and climate change.

Sky Harbor said it has taken on sustainability efforts for the past six years to reduce its carbon footprint.

Among the changes are a switch to LED lighting in most areas and additional solar panels.

The airport also transitioned to 100% xeriscape, which resulted in the savings of more than 5 million gallons of water each year.

Those and other conservation measures have resulted in a 17% reduction in energy used.

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