San Diego International Airport (SAN) is now the second carbon neutral airport in North America.

According to a press release, SAN joins Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in reaching carbon neutral accreditation from the global agency that establishes carbon standards for airports worldwide. SAN is certified “Level 3+,” which is the highest level of certification through the Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program, a third-party verified program that helps airports “identify, manage and reduce their carbon emissions”.

Level 3+ certification means the airport is successfully completing annual carbon emission inventories; continuing to reduce carbon emissions under the Airport Authority’s direct control year-over-year; offsetting any residual emissions under the Airport Authority’s direct control; and effectively engaging with airlines, ground transportation operators and other business partners to help them reduce their onsite carbon emissions, per the release.

“This year marks an important milestone in our efforts to promote sustainability and strengthen our commitment to the environment,” said Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO of Airports Council International-North America, via a statement. “Airports like San Diego International Airport are leading efforts in our industry to lower our carbon footprint through the Airport Carbon Accreditation program. ACI-NA applauds the airport for their leadership on sustainability and commitment to remaining good environmental partners in their communities.”

SAN reached Level 3 certification through the ACA program in 2018, according to the press release.

To reach Level 3+ carbon neutrality, SAN implemented systems and processes such as a greenhouse gas reduction program for rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber, launching “The Good Traveler” carbon offset program, and partnering with San Diego Gas & Electric to expand airport charging infrastructure for airport employees and electric-powered airside ground service equipment.

Travel & hospitality reporter Mariel Concepcion can be reached at or 858-634-4625.