Among Airports in North America

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport took first place for the Best “Green” Concessions Practice award among airports in North America. The honor was announced during the 2009 Airports Council International - North America Concessions Conference in Indianapolis, at which roughly 200 representatives of North American airport concessions industry are in attendance. Sea-Tac was also awarded second place for Best Convenience Retail Program.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by our airport peers for our integrated recycling, composting and food bank program” said Mark Reis, Managing Director, Sea-Tac Airport. “The airport concessionaires and staff have worked tirelessly to divert recyclable and compostable materials from landfills and thereby reducing waste, feeding the needy and helping lead our region and the airport industry to a sustainable future.”

During 2008 alone, concessionaires recycled more than 1,200 tons of material; an amount equivalent to the weight of six Boeing 747 aircraft. During the same period, they avoided disposal costs and generated revenue through rebates on recyclables which totaled $160,000. Sea-Tac concessionaires made waste reduction and recycling a priority by recycling cardboard, used cooking oil, food waste and coffee grounds. Since 2001, Sea-Tac concessionaires diverted thousands of tons of recyclable material from landfills through recycling, composting, and food bank donation programs. Concessionaires donated food that served 8,000 meals to needy families in 2008.

Sea-Tac’s recycling programs are even estimated to have prevented the release of Greenhouse Gas emissions equivalent to removing 819 passenger cars from the road annually; conserved an amount of energy equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 83 households (USEPA Waste Reduction Model), and saved 3,700 cubic yards of landfill space (1 ton waste = 3 yd3 landfill space, American Paper Institute, Inc. report: “Paper Recycling and Its Role In Solid Waste Management”).

The purpose of the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest is to inspire creativity in the industry and to recognize innovative and outstanding airport concessions. These awards help to demonstrate the growing importance of concessions to the total airport experience. This year’s contest received more than 160 nominations from airports of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Here are the results of the categories involving Sea-Tac Airport:

Best “Green” Concession Practice or Concept

  • 1st Place: Seattle - Tacoma International Airport
  • 2nd Place: C-Pier Expansion, Vancouver International Airport
  • 3rd Place: Concourse D, Portland International Airport
  • Honorable Mention: Enroute Spa, Indianapolis International Airport

Best Convenience Retail Program - Large Airport

  • 1st Place: Atrium, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • 2nd Place: Seattle Tacoma International Airport

Entries for this year’s contest were judged by an independent panel comprised of high-level professionals with no vested interest in concession operations, or the outcome of any one airport. In addition to the independent panel, one representative from the previous year’s overall winner was also involved in the judging process.