The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFKIAT) announced that Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport was awarded Platinum certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Terminal 4, operated by JFKIAT, is the first airline terminal in the United States to receive the LEED Platinum recognition for pre-existing airline terminals.
LEED, developed by USGBC, is the world’s most widely used green-building rating system and an international symbol of excellence. Through design, construction, and operations practices that improve environmental and human health, LEED-certified buildings help to make the world more sustainable. Terminal 4 received this certification with the help of CodeGreen, which provided energy and sustainability consulting throughout the certification process.
As part of the transformation of JFK International Airport, Terminal 4 is undergoing a $1.5 billion modernization and expansion by its principal carrier, Delta Air Lines, and JFKIAT.
“Congratulations to Terminal 4 operator JFKIAT for successfully earning LEED Platinum certification, in keeping with the Port Authority’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “As we redevelop each of our region’s airports into world-class facilities, we should be no less ambitious in our drive to build sustainable facilities than we are to building those that deliver a truly inspiring customer experience. Once again, we are setting an important precedent for other airports around the country to follow.”
“Achieving LEED Platinum status at Terminal 4 at JFK Airport underscores our commitment to live up to ever higher sustainability goals as we move forward to completely transform the airport into a world-class facility fit for the 21st century,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “In 2021, the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners adopted the goal of achieving net-zero emissions agency-wide by 2050. Terminal 4’s achievement of LEED Platinum is an important step toward reaching that goal.”
“As operators of the largest air terminal at JFK Airport, sustainability has always been a core component of JFKIAT’s mission, and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint across operations,” said Roel Huinink, president and CEO of JFKIAT. “Receiving LEED Platinum certification for Terminal 4 is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates how JFKIAT is truly a pioneer in sustainability. We are proud of our team’s incredible work to innovate our operations to achieve this important milestone, and we look forward to expanding our initiatives to prioritize sustainability and provide the healthiest environment for our customers, employees, and business partners.”
In October 2021, the Port Authority became the first transportation agency in the U.S. to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a detailed and ambitious strategy that includes facility-wide initiatives in the areas of electrification, renewable energy, and sustainable buildings/energy efficiency. To achieve these goals, the Port Authority is partnering with stakeholders, including airlines, terminal operators, concessionaires, ground transportation companies, construction companies, and electricity suppliers, among others, as well as companies and government agencies involved in making their electric grids less energy intensive. Terminal 4’s LEED Platinum certification follows last year’s LEED Gold certification for LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B.
JFKIAT, through its comprehensive sustainability program, continues investing in innovative initiatives focused on energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reduction, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality, biodiversity, and sustainable transportation. JFKIAT’s strategy is centered on operational efficiency, environmental stewardship, economic stability, and a commitment to providing an exceptional experience for customers and employees.
This achievement is JFKIAT’s latest milestone in its ongoing commitment to sustainability. In 2017, Terminal 4 became the first existing airport terminal in the U.S. to receive LEED Gold certification by USGBC for operations and maintenance. JFKIAT has an ongoing program to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste by implementing recycling and composting programs. In addition to environmental actions, JFKIAT is committed to community engagement and creating opportunities for social equity. In particular, JFKIAT has founded the 4Good Committee to promote educational, social, and professional success for the local community.
“CodeGreen is honored to partner with the JFKIAT team in their achievement of a LEED O+M Platinum Certification,” said Michael Vucinovich, senior project manager, Existing Buildings Team Lead at CodeGreen. “This certification is another example of the organization’s long-standing commitment to the principles of sustainability. We celebrate this accomplishment with them and look forward to continuing to work with JFKIAT towards their future net-zero energy and carbon goals.”
LEED certification was launched by USGBC in 2000, with four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Qualifications for Platinum certification require 80 or more points out of a possible 100. The program evaluates projects in six different environmental categories. It is considered one of the most holistic and influential evaluation standards of environmental buildings and green buildings and is highly coveted, particularly for an airport terminal.
“JFKIAT’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Peter Templeton, interim president and CEO of USGBC. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize our buildings and communities by providing everyone with access to healthy, green, and high-performing buildings. JFKIAT is a prime example of how the innovative work of project teams can create local solutions that contribute to making a global difference.”
“Delta is committed to a sustainable future for our customers and employees,” said Ryan Marzullo, managing director of New York construction at Delta Air Lines. “We celebrate this LEED certification milestone at JFK Terminal 4 as we continue with our expansion progress and deliver an industry-leading customer experience in New York.”
JFK Airport’s Terminal 4 was the first air terminal in North America operated by a private management company. JFKIAT’s managing member is Schiphol USA Inc., a U.S. affiliate of the Royal Schiphol Group.