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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

LMM airport completes first phase of green accreditation

Aerostar Puerto Rico, the private operator of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, has successfully completed an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions at the airport and will use it to create a strategic plan for reducing those emissions efficiently and sustainably.

By The Star Staff

As part of Aerostar Puerto Rico’s plan to turn Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in Carolina into a green space, the Airports Council International (ACI) has granted the facility environmental accreditation for initiatives that will reduce carbon emissions.

The carbon footprint is an environmental indicator that reflects the totality of greenhouse gases emitted by an activity, in this case, airport operations. The greenhouse effect is one of the leading causes of global warming.

Aerostar Puerto Rico President Jorge Hernández expressed satisfaction with the distinction that recognizes the company’s efforts in completing an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and, on that basis, creating a plan with the strategies that would reduce those emissions efficiently and sustainably.

“We are taking the steps to become a green airport,” Hernández said. “In this sense, our affiliation with ACI and its Carbon Footprint Accreditation Program (ACA) has been of great help. We are pleased to have completed the inventory of gas emissions and the accreditation of the first stage. With this knowledge as a base, we can implement a strategy to reduce emissions.”

The measures are part of the regional organization’s ACA. The ACI brings together more than 270 airports in the region that covers Latin America and Caribbean countries and territories. Only 40 airports out of 394 in the United States are part of this accreditation program.

The ACA is the industry standard for airport carbon emissions management certification and consists of four levels. The first is the measurement of the carbon footprint. SJU fully complied with Level I and therefore received the first accreditation granted under the program.

“Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is committed to advancing in the program and reaching the next levels in the coming years,” Hernández said, while noting the importance of membership in the ACI.

ACI member airports manage 95% of commercial air traffic in Latin America and the Caribbean, receiving more than 570 million passengers.

“We are pleased to welcome a new airport in the Latin American and Caribbean region into the ACA program,” said Rafael Echevarne, the general director of ACI-LAC. “Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport joins the group of 71 airports in Latin America and the Caribbean that have certified their environmental efforts.”

“The ACA program supports airports to measure and manage their carbon emissions and is one of the main initiatives that we promote in the area of sustainability,” he added. “We appreciate Aerostar’s effort to reduce the impact of its operations and thus be part of the world community of airports with the greatest environmental awareness.”

With its four levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (measurement, reduction, optimization and neutrality), the ACA program is independently administered and institutionally endorsed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Environment Program, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United States Federal Aviation Administration and the European Commission.

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