The Department of Aviation held its 11th annual Earth Day celebration on April 20 in the B/C terminal event space. The event, Philadelphia International Airport's (PHL) first in-person Earth Day celebration since 2019, included a sustainability info fair and Earth Day Award ceremony and was kicked off by Deputy Direction of Aviation for Capital Development Api Appulingam.
The Sustainability Team provided fun and games, including a seed starting table, a sustainability trivia wheel, and a magnetic “recycle toss” waste sorting game. Attendees were also able to take home giveaways such as recycling bins and reusable cloth bags. The Philadelphia Zoo provided a demonstration with their animal ambassadors and AeroAggregates, American Airlines, City of Philadelphia SWEEP Officers, the Clean Air Council, JP Mascaro, poet Marshall James Kavanaugh, PECO, Pepsi, Philadelphia Water Department, PHL Volunteer Navigators, and SEPTA were on hand, sharing information on their sustainability efforts and partnerships with PHL.
Sustainability Manager Jessica Noon presented on the airports' accomplishments, including the purchase of electric vehicles and charging stations, tracking of greenhouse gas emissions and analysis to determine capacity for solar power generation at PHL. In recent years, the Department of Aviation has made great strides in energy efficiency, installing 5,900 LED light bulbs and 77 new HVAC units, which will help save over four million kilowatt hours of energy annually. Additionally, the PHL's recycling diversion rate for 2022 was 25 percent, a historic high since tracking began in 2009.
Department of Aviation CEO Atif Saeed hosted the Earth Day awards ceremony, which recognized airport staff who have made significant contributions to sustainability goals at the airport. "Our sustainability and environmental goals can only be achieved through department-wide buy-in and cooperation. In that spirit of collaboration, many hands have contributed to help PHL emerge as a leader in airport sustainability."
The 2023 Earth Day Award recipients were Chief Operating Officer Keith Brune, retired Airport Recycling Coordinator Tamika Davis, and MarketPlace PHL Operations Manager William Gardiner.