The following post is from Southwest Sr. Environmental Specialist Jesse Nikkel.
Southwest Warriors from across the system are working hard to reduce our energy consumption, energy costs, and environmental footprint. Here are a few more examples of how we are working to reduce our impact on the environment.
When our newest building on our corporate campus in Dallas, TOPS, was opened in 2014, it was awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification. To be LEED certified, a building must not only be more energy efficient than standard building codes require, it must utilize environmentally friendly practices during the construction phase as well. Our Facilities Teamwent above and beyond to meet these requirements! TOPS uses 13.9 percent less energy than buildings built to standard codes, and during the construction phase, we sourced 39 percent of the materials used in the building from manufacturers within 500 miles of Dallas. It takes a lot of energy to transport goods, so this really made an impact!
Our Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Team has been working diligently to replace diesel and gasoline powered equipment with electric powered equipment where feasible. At the end of 2015, almost 20 percent of our powered GSE fleet was fueled by electricity, saving us an estimated 930,000 gallons of fuel last year. Read the 2015 One Report story about Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to learn more about how we partner with Airports to offset the cost of transitioning to electric GSE.
Plant Maintenance, the Technical Operations Departmentthat keeps our hangar facilities in top shape, has rolled out LED lighting in several locations. LED’s not only consume less electricity than standard bulbs, but they also require less upkeep which is another benefit to our bottom line. One of the upcoming LED lighting projects they are exploring is estimated to save Southwest almost 1,000,000 kWh of electricity per year. That’s enough electricity saved to power nearly 100 homes for the entire year. Speaking of electricity, did you know that we purchase enough renewable energy to cover 40 percent of our Dallas and Houston electricity usage annually?