O'Hare Sustainability

Sustainable Airport Manual
Cover of the Chicago Department of Aviation Sustainable Airport Manual
SAM
The Sustainable Airport Manual (SAM) established guidelines for airport sustainability, including standards and specifications, checklists, a Green Airplane Rating System, and award recognition.  ​​​​​​​​
O’Hare's Grazing Herd
a picture of sustainable path cover
The O'Hare Herd
Since 2013, the CDA has used a herd of rescued goats, sheep, llamas and burros to clear vegetation at O'Hare along creeks or streams that are difficult to maintain with traditional equipment.
Wetlands Restoration
Wetlands Restoration
Restoring Illinois' Wetlands
The wetland mitigation program for the O'Hare Modernization Program replaces small, isolated wetlands with hundreds of acres of beautifully restored wetlandsthat provide publicly accessible recreation space. 
Airports Going Green
image of rahm emanuel
AGG
Since 2007, the CDA has hosted the annual Airports Going Green (AGG) Conference, the leading aviation industry forum on sustainability.

 

Soil Reuse
Earthwork movement during the O’Hare Modernization Program
Soil Reuse
The O'Hare Modernization Program has managed more than 22 million cubic yards of soil on-site, reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and traffic congestion, and saving more than $150 million.
Sustainability Report & Plan
Sustainability Report & Plan
A Plan for Sustainability
CDA's 2012 Sustainability Report & Plan, supports the CDA’s vision to maintain a competitive position as a global aviation hub for the 21st century.

 

Green Concessions Policy
Green Concessions Policy
Our Green Concessions Policy
​The CDA's Green Concessions Policy is among the first of its kind in the airport industry and is another example of how the CDA’s airports continue to serve as a benchmark for environmental stewardsh​​​ip.
Green Fleet Vehicles
Green Fleet Vehicles
The CDA Uses Green Vehicles
The CDA operates alternatively-fueled and hybrid fleet vehicles at Midway to reduce emissions and minimize its carbon footprint.
Apiary (Beehives)
Apiary (Beehives)
The Largest Airport Apiary in the World
​With over 1 million bees, the apiary at O'Hare is the largest apiary at any airport in the world and the first major on-airport apiary in the U.S.​
Aeroponic Garden
Aeroponic Garden
An Airport Oasis
Aeroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil. Aeroponics is becoming increasingly popular ​​as agricultural land uses must compete with developers for limited open space​.
CNG Taxi Cabs
CNG Taxi Cabs
Take a Green Taxi
The CDA launched a Green Taxi Pilot Program that provided compressed natural gas (CNG) taxi cabs with preferential access to terminals.
Electric Vehicle Charging
Electric Vehicle Charging
Charge Your Electric Vehicle
The installations of the electric vehicle charging stations and anticipated increase of electric vehicle use at O'Hare and Midway supports the City of Chicago's goal to reduce Chicago's greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
Construction
Construction
Recycled Construction
Approximately 98 percent of all OMP construction and demolition debris has been recycled and prevented from entering landfills. 
Vegetated Roofs
Vegetated Roofs
Have You Seen Our Green Roofs?
The Sustainable Airport Manual encourages the installation of vegetated roofs on airport facilities wherever possible to reduce the urban heat island effect, conserve energy, and reduce storm water runoff.​
Water, Waste, and Energy
Water, Waste, and Energy
Reducing Water Use
By implementing some of the airport industry’s strictest sustainability standards the CDA leads by example in reducing water use, diverting waste materials from landfills, and conserving energy.