Making Dollars & Sense of Green Projects

Paul Bowers

Change driven by politics rarely has a public mandate. Consensus is difficult to achieve; no one seems completely happy with the outcome; and it rarely accomplishes the intended results.

Conversely, change driven by greater rewards, cost savings or better user returns/customer service is easy to implement and accept.

Which brings me to the subject of being green, sustainable or earth-friendly.  

In our risk-averse airport industry, green projects were once viewed as politically motivated ideas championed by hippy, left-leaning activists. Now they’re being recognized as smart.  

I’m happy to observe that we’ve turned the corner. Check out the natural landscaping at Phoenix Sky Harbor profiled on Page 62 and Portland International’s Green Plate Program on Page 52 for two great examples of win-win environmental projects. 

Sustainability can provide better service, healthier alternatives and reduce costs. Sure, it’s not always easy; and there are costs associated with making things right environmentally. Coverage in our July/August edition about the PFAS problem related to firefighting foam is a sober reminder of that. But with a dedicated effort and advancing technology, we have the will and capabilities to make things greener and better.

Our to-do list is fairly extensive. Carol Lurie, this issue’s Industry Insider on Page 66, gives us a few ideas about where to start.  

If you’re looking for additional inspiration about how airports are bringing great ideas to fruition, check out the Airports Going Green conference Nov. 3 to 6 in Chicago, We’ll be there with this issue.


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