JFK Terminal Awarded LEED Gold Certification

The mall at JFK International Airport, Terminal 4


Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport has become the first airport terminal in the US to be awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance gold certification.

Terminal 4 received the certification with help of CodeGreen, which provided energy and sustainability consulting through the certification process.

“This certification is the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work and recognizes our efforts to lead the way in environmental protection and energy savings, and our dedication to improving environmental quality for our employees, airlines, partners, and more than 21 million annual passengers,” said Gert-Jan de Graaff, president and CEO of JFK International Air Terminal (JFKIAT).

The LEED gold certification recognizes T4 as one of the top performers in the world in energy management, water efficiency, air quality, waste management and green cleaning. Through improvements in operations and maintenance, T4 now has a 30% increase in performance compared to other airport terminals in energy management and uses 34% less water than comparable buildings. Additionally, in 2017, the terminal recycled 45% of total waste through its waste management program initiatives, including composting restaurant food waste, and collection procedures for cardboard, grease and building materials.

“JFK Terminal 4’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the USGBC. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize the built environment by providing everyone with a healthy, green and high performing buildings. JFK Terminal 4 serves as a prime example of how the work of innovative building projects can use local solutions to make a global impact on the environment.”

Terminal 4 opened in 2001 as a first-of-its-kind joint venture between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and JFKIAT (then a U.S. subsidiary of Schiphol Group), operators of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Since then, the terminal has grown exponentially from serving six million passengers per year to its current state of operation with annual passenger volume of more than 21 million travelers.

Airports and Efficiency

Airports across the nation have become increasingly concerned with energy efficiency. In December 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) recognized King County International Airport, which committed to reducing energy use by at least 20% in 10 years.

In August, Finland’s Helsinki airport announced that, through extensive efficiency improvements, it has become carbon neutral. The airport began its path towards carbon neutrality by using renewable diesel fuel in vehicles operating at the airport. The buses traveling between the terminal and aircraft are fueled by biodiesel produced entirely from waste and residue.

And in June, Alabama’s Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) earned the LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. BHM leaders approved a new terminal and the installation of an all-electric, high-efficiency HVAC system, sophisticated building automation systems, increased insulation and energy-efficient light fixtures, escalators, elevators and windows.




The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.


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