Sustainability Leaders Recognized in Annual Sustainable Century and Fly Quiet Awards –

The Port of Seattle announced the 2024 annual Sustainable Century and Fly Quiet award winners at today’s Commission meeting. Commercial and nonprofit partners are selected annually for supporting the Port’s environmental goals and exhibiting outstanding leadership and sustainability efforts. This year, programs saw significant growth in energy efficiency, waste and emission reduction, salmon and Southern Resident killer whale health, and the modernization of operations and tools.
“The Port of Seattle is known for setting ambitious environmental goals for all Port operations and collaborating closely with nearby communities on aviation noise. We know that, while we are a national leader in many of these respects, we still have work to do to reduce our impacts and be the best neighbor possible,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed. “The Commission prioritizes working with our Port partners to innovate and take on programs that move the Port and our region forward on climate action and noise abatement strategies. We’re excited to recognize the work our partners are doing to amplify our Century Agenda goals and Fly Quiet program.”
The Sustainable Century Awards celebrate the dedication of local Port business partners to engage in healthier communities for cleaner land, air, and water and to invest in enhanced energy efficiency and environmental improvements in both the maritime and aviation sectors. 
The annual Fly Quiet Awards were developed by Port staff and a citizen advisory committee in 2005 to increase airline and pilot awareness of aircraft noise impacts on local communities. Fly Quiet was included as a continuing noise program measure in the most recent Part 150 Noise Study update completed in 2014. The Part 150 noise study is used by airports and the FAA to determine the scope of noise mitigation needed for airport communities. 
“It’s important to recognize these early adopters of environmental stewardship measures that also advance competitive economic advantages for our region,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “Innovative leaders like those being recognized today set an example for how businesses can create collaborations that result in lessoning impacts on the environment and near-port communities, to advance a sustainable economy.”
DecorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – Alaska Marine Lines reduced diesel fuel use and air emissions by 75% and increased use of local clean electricity through high efficiency transport refrigeration units and timeshare electric panels. Energy reductions in 2023 amounted to over 1 million gallons of diesel, which equals nearly 11,000 (10,701) metric tons of carbon dioxide–equivalent emissions. This level of greenhouse gas reductions is equivalent to taking 2,547 gas-powered cars off the road or the energy use of 1,396 homes annually.
“Our entire team continually focuses on opportunities for innovation and efficiency,” said Jason Jansen, President of Alaska Marine Lines. “This award is only possible because of the dedication of our people, and I am extremely proud of their achievement.”
DecorativeEnvironmental Innovation and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Awards – The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s Fish Commission improved sockeye salmon survival in the Lake Washington migration corridor through the Ballard Locks Adult Sockeye Transport (BLAST) program. Since 2021, salmon pre-spawn mortality has dropped from 80% for salmon in natural transit to 1% for those transported to a hatchery in Issaquah via BLAST. BLAST is an innovative program that allows transported fish to avoid the heat, disease, and other hazards of the Lake Washington watershed.
“Salmon are part of our culture and a way of life for many Native communities. This award symbolizes a successful example of regional collaboration,” said LeeRoy Courville, Jr., Tribal Council member and Chair, Fisheries Commission, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. “Because of increased urbanization, predation, and rising water temperatures, the Lake Washington sockeye are in danger of extinction. It is essential to commit the necessary resources in hatchery production and operations to ensure survival of the Lake Washington sockeye now and for future generations.”
DecorativeEnvironmental Education and Outreach Award – Quiet Sound’s collaborative effort reduced underwater noise by 45% with voluntary commercial vessel slowdowns through the Admiralty Inlet corridor in Puget Sound between Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula. Underwater noise is a key concern for Southern Resident killer whales, in addition to reduced Chinook salmon populations and poor water quality. By working across private and public sectors, 70% of vessels decreased their speed during an 80-day slowdown with minimal maritime trade and no safety impacts.
“Quiet Sound’s voluntary initiatives are making significant and measurable strides in reducing underwater noise in the critical habitat of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales,” said Rachel Aronson, Quiet Sound Director at Washington Maritime Blue. “We’re so thankful to the many hands that have helped shape and implement this program since 2021, including the Port of Seattle. Quiet Sound is honored to receive this recognition on behalf of our coalition of members and continue ensuring that the Southern Resident killer whales and our region’s blue economy thrive together in Washington waters.”
DecorativeEnvironmental Innovation Award – Small Business – Stormwater Controls invented and manufactures the Retain Drain in the Pacific Northwest. This system uses coconut coir filters (a renewable resource) in a high-quality metal frame to remove litter and other contaminants from stormwater before it enters the Salish Sea. Stormwater Controls data show as much as 95% reduction of organic matter, solids, and trash in stormwater after it passes through Retain Drain.
“Winning the Environmental Innovation Award is a significant achievement for Stormwater Controls,” said Ken Perry, Managing Director of Stormwater Controls. “It signifies that we’ve surpassed regulatory requirements and demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improving our local waterways. By continuing to think outside the box, we will inspire businesses to elevate their practices while saving money and ultimately creating a healthier environment. At Stormwater Controls, EVERYTHING WINS!”
decorativeEnvironmental Performance and Innovation Award – Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. airline to eliminate single-use plastic cups from in-flight service and implemented an innovative carbon offset program for passengers in partnership with climate technology company CHOOSE.
“Caring for the communities where we live, work, and operate is a key focus for Alaska Airlines’ environmental sustainability program,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability. “We are honored to be recognized by our hometown airport for our efforts to eliminate single-use plastic cups from onboard our aircraft, as well for our efforts to engage sustainability-minded travelers in the journey to accelerate the use of SAF by offering an alternative to the end-of-year ‘mileage run.’  We know that to reach our ambitious goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040 we must collaborate with innovative partners like the Port of Seattle.”
decorativeEnvironmental Performance and Innovation Award – Constructed in 2023, Salty’s at the SEA and Brewtop Social became the first SEA restaurants to achieve the USGBC LEED certification. Owned by the minority- and woman-owned family business Concessions International, the restaurants reduced lighting power by 47%, used 72% Energy Star–rated equipment, and diverted 57% of construction waste.
“Seattle Food Partners and Concessions International have achieved the prestigious LEED certification with our Salty’s at the SEA and Brewtop Social projects. This certification marks a milestone in our company’s journey towards sustainability,” said Charles Bluemle, Executive Vice President. “We are honored to receive this award from the Port of Seattle, recognizing our commitment to green building practices and our contribution to a sustainable future. This accolade is a reflection of our dedication to environmental excellence and our promise to continue leading the way in eco-friendly initiatives.”
decorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – Condor is leading the industry in the transition to fuel-efficient aircraft that reduces emissions and noise pollution at SEA and throughout their network. In just one year, they went from 0% to 81% of their flights through SEA using modern aircraft to address those emission and noise goals.
“It’s an honor to receive this award for our successful long-haul fleet rollover and ongoing work to renew our entire fleet by 2029,” said Sina Rathgeber, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Airport Relations and Sustainability. “Operating all our long-haul flights with new aircraft technology is a key milestone on our journey to more sustainable and efficient flight operations. This award is a credit to our dedicated team at Condor working together to make this project an industry-leading example of an accelerated fleet transition to new aircraft technology.”
decorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – McDonald’s voluntarily transitioned their SEA location to a fully electric-powered restaurant in 2023. By replacing all natural-gas cooking and heating equipment with electric alternatives, McDonald’s eliminated all natural gas emissions and inspired a similar requirement for all food and beverage tenants in the upcoming C Concourse Expansion.
“We are committed to environmental excellence, meeting or exceeding all regulatory requirements, from purchasing products that have greater recycled content as well as products that are compostable, therefore leaving a smaller carbon footprint for the overall betterment of our environment,” said Bob Comiskey, Owner of SEA Airport McDonald’s.
decorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – Uber’s strong 2023 performance in advancing electric vehicle use led to an increase of 180% in zero-emission vehicle trips at SEA. Uber also noted growth of zero-emission and hybrid vehicle trips at cruise facilities, and provided products that help educate passengers and improve trip efficiency.
“Uber is very proud to be recognized by the Port of Seattle for a second year in a row for our sustainability efforts,” said Daniel Hammer, Sr. Airport Partner Manager. “We’re dedicated to making the switch to EVs as seamless as possible for drivers and riders as we push toward our goal of being a zero-emission mobility platform in the U.S. by 2030.”  
decorativeGreatest use of Pre-Conditioned Air Ground Systems – Southwest Airlines earned recognition for the highest use of airport ground power and pre-conditioned air systems which helps reduce emissions and conserve power.
“Operational efficiency plays an important role in our path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and we have set specific fuel savings goals as part of our Nonstop to Net Zero plan,” said Helen Giles, Managing Director of Environmental Sustainability at Southwest Airlines. “The use of ground power systems at airports including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport helps us make progress toward these goals. We’re grateful for our Employees who helped achieved this recognition and are honored to collaborate with SEA on working towards a more sustainable future.”
decorativeHighest Percentage of Fuel-Efficient Aircraft – Delta Air Lines operated a 40% fuel-efficient fleet (up from 25% last year) compared to the next-highest performer, who achieved 28%.
“Delta’s commitment to sustainability is a commitment to our future of connecting the world while making a positive impact in the communities we serve,” said Joan Wang, Managing Director – Pacific Northwest for Delta Air Lines. “Continuing to invest in a fuel-efficient fleet is vital for the future of more sustainable travel in Washington and across the globe. We are honored to serve as a recipient of the Port of Seattle’s Sustainable Century Award and are grateful for their partnership as we work toward net-zero emissions by 2050.”
The Fly Quiet awards, recognizing those airlines doing the best job minimizing noise impacts on local communities for operations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in the last calendar year.
Airlines are judged using four award criteria: the sound levels of their operations (utilizing four of the Port’s noise monitors); success at flying within the noise abatement flight procedures; low levels of noise exceedances during late nights; and adhering to the airport’s ground maintenance engine run-up regulations.
The two highest scoring airlines – Air Canada and Frontier Airlines – are both receiving this award for the second year in a row. They continue to excel due to their new and modern fleets and their commitment to flying quiet procedures.
decorativeAir Canada exclusively operates modern Airbus A220s and Boeing 737MAXs.
decorativeFrontier Airlines operates the Airbus A320Neo, the most modern and quiet version of this aircraft.
The airline receiving an award for most significant improvement is Delta Air Lines. Delta continues to introduce new and modern aircraft to their fleet, increasing the number of Airbus A220s, A321Neos, and A330Neos operating at SEA to 40% of their total flights.
decorativeDelta Air Lines is also an active member of the SEA Stakeholder Advisory Roundtable (StART) and has provided valuable input and guidance to a number of ongoing noise reduction initiatives.
Chris Guizlo | SEA Airport
(206) 787-3433 |
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