Cities, Airports & Partners Align for Sustainable Communities

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Four years ago, Denver International Airport (DEN) sought a certification program to guide its partners and concessionaires in measurable corporate sustainability practices. And Certifiably Green Denver (CGD), administered by the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, offered a robust sustainability program applicable to airports.

CGD provides free one-on-one advising, helping local businesses save money and conserve resources in five areas: water, waste, energy, transportation and business management. To date, this voluntary and non-regulatory program has helped nearly 2,000 local businesses engage in more sustainable practices. Of those, over 300 have been recognized as Certified Green Businesses. Cumulatively, these companies are saving 28 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy each year, equivalent to the total annual usage of about 3,481 homes and saving an estimated $2.73 million in energy costs.

The CGD program offered checklists to help Denver’s airport business partners meet the authority and the municipality’s sustainability goals within the challenging airport environment. Moreover, the municipal program had brand recognition within the City of Denver and a dedicated team with resources ready to assist.

Clear Channel Airport’s Operations Manager David Lawrence led the charge for this program. “As Clear Channel Airports first redeveloped the Denver International Airport (DEN) advertising program in 2013, we worked under our own sustainability tenets to improve our carbon footprint as we built out DEN’s media program,” he explained. “Additionally, we upgraded all of the airport’s media inventory to static backlit assets from CFL light bulbs to energy-saving LED lighting and dynamic video wall displays to energy-efficient video walls. And since 2015, we’ve managed the ad concession at DEN in accordance with Certifiably Green criteria. This included common-sense recycling practices and upgrading advertising waste through local non-profits, such as Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) and The Mission Wear.”

We’re proud our practices at DEN aligned with Certifiably Green Denver, including being recognized with the “Denver Certificate of Environmental Excellence” for outstanding achievement in pollution prevention and environmental sustainability. Additionally, this marked the first time an Out-of-Home (OOH) company received this designation. However, our industry has already been implementing new environmentally friendly capabilities to help communities. This includes introducing the world’s first air cleaning billboard, switching to LED lights, reducing kWh usage and recycling our printed vinyl materials.

And when cities and the private sector work together for citizens, magic happens in our communities. We look forward to working with DEN and the City of Denver and other municipalities and airports across the globe to make our planet even better for the next generation.

NOTE: CGD is housed within the Climate Action section of the Denver Department’s Environmental Quality Division. If you’d like to learn more about the program’s broader work to protect the environment and mitigate climate change, visit its website here.

Photo Credit: David Lawrence

Wendy Weatherford March 2017.jpg About the Author: Wendy Weatherford is the vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.