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Green Tuesday: Headquarters Gets a Green Star

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We all know environmental decisions also make good business sense.  Southwest Airlines is committed to keeping our costs low and finding ways to improve our operation.  Our energy usage is no exception.  With the commitment to assess energy performance and implement steps to increase energy efficiency, we are seeing not only financial returns, but recognition for it. 

This past year, Southwest Airlines proudly participated in the EPA’s Energy Performance Program.  We are excited to announce that the Southwest Corporate Headquarters Building earned the EPA’s Energy Star rating.  The rating is scored from 1-100 and is measured for a 12-month period based on total source energy usage.  Our Headquarters Building exceeded the minimum rating with a score of 78. 

So, what have we done to earn this?  For years we have worked to update our building automation system to a state of the art efficient Trane Summit system.  This allows the chillers, pumps, air handlers, and VAV air boxes in the office space to work together as one.  When the demand for cooling goes down, the equipment slows down, using less energy.

Without a doubt, this is a great accomplishment, but we’re not stopping there.  Some other energy initiatives we are working toward are:

• Adding more lighting schedules to save energy
• Replacing building lighting with more efficient fluorescent lighting
• Replacing parking lot lighting with more efficient fluorescent lighting
• Upgrading our boiler system to a more efficient heating system

With these ongoing and upcoming initiatives, we hope to improve our Energy Star rating for next year and further our commitment to the best energy performance possible.  This is truly an honor, and I’m proud to work with my Facilities Team and the Green Team, as well as Purchasing, who works hard to negotiate the lowest price for energy, including alternative energy credits.