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Sustany Foundation recognizes TPA for its efforts to be more sustainable, less wasteful

Tampa International Airport was one of 45 nominees for the award, which honors a business’s commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship in the Tampa Bay area.

While new nonstop routes and expansion projects tend to get all the glory, Tampa International Airport’s sustainability efforts have quietly made a big impact in protecting our natural resources for generations to come.

Those efforts came into the spotlight last month at the 11th Annual Sustainable Business Awards Gala held at the historic Tampa Theater in downtown Tampa. TPA was honored in the Sustany Foundation’s Public Private Partnership category for the Airport’s various accomplishments and practices such as the use of environmentally-friendly products, waste reduction, managing consumption of energy and non-renewables, recycling and toxic substances mitigation. It was also recognized for its employee wellness programs and contributions to the overall economic and financial health of the Tampa Bay region through its hiring of local firms and service innovation to meet customer needs.

“Tampa International Airport and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority have made huge strides toward enhancing and advancing the interests of people, planet and prosperity, so it’s wonderful to get this kind of recognition from the Sustany Foundation for these efforts,” said Melissa Solberg, TPA Senior Manager for Sustainability and Wellness. “We plan to continue growing our existing sustainability programs while looking for new and innovative ways to ensure our Airport and our surrounding environment are enjoyed for many years into the future.”

This year’s Sustainable Business Awards were judged and selected with the assistance of graduate students and faculty from the USF Muma College of Business. Other large companies and organizations which received awards included Raymond James, Publix Super Markets and the Florida Aquarium.

Among a few of TPA’s accomplishments that contributed to the award recognition:

  • TPA has reduced its electricity consumption by 10 percent per passenger since 2011 thanks to initiatives such as chiller replacement, short and long term parking lighting retrofit, switching airfield and taxiway lighting to LED fixtures and cooling tower replacement


  • In 2018, TPA demonstrated a three-year rolling average greenhouse gas emissions reduction of more than 14 percent per passenger due to reduction in energy consumption and an increase in alternative fuel vehicles in its vehicle fleet


  • TPA’s new variable speed escalators are up to 30 percent more efficient as they slow down when not in use to conserve energy


  • Since TPA began using reclaimed water in 2009 for landscape irrigation and cooling towers, it now saves an average 66 million gallons of water per year


  • The Airport’s Main Terminal expansion was designed to be 34 percent more efficient than code requirements and the new Rental Car Center is designed to be 25 percent more efficient by using LED lighting, daylight harvesting, and high-performance and energy efficient systems in both facilities


  • TPA began its recycling program in 2009 with 19 percent recycling rate of comingled paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and aluminum; that rate was increased to 27 percent in 2017


To learn more about sustainability at TPA, visit https://www.tampaairport.com/sustainability.