Skip to content

Service Spotlight: APTIM’s Work with the Chicago Department of Aviation

APTIM has served as sustainability consultant to the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) since 2014.  In this role, APTIM acts as the energy manager for O’Hare and Midway International Airports, as well as leading water and waste benchmarking and reduction efforts and planning for beneficial electrification of equipment.

One of our first acts was mapping every electric, natural gas, and water meter to allow for benchmarking, ensure tenants are billed for their usage, and identify where reduction efforts could have the most impact and payback.  As a result of these benchmarking efforts, APTIM was able to help the CDA identify an array of reduction opportunities and secure more than $2 million in utility incentives for energy efficiency and demand response projects. In total, these projects should allow the CDA to save more than $1 million per year on its energy and water bills.

One new challenge for the CDA is determining a carbon reduction goal for the airports that balances a consideration of existing technological options with requirements of more lofty targets aligned with the Paris Climate Accord goals, which may require reaching beyond where current technology and policies allow. In the CDA’s case, for instance, reaching net neutral carbon will require the airports to reimagine space heating without reliance on natural gas and provide fossil-free back-up generation, which may be incompatible with government requirements.

None of these complexities and challenges are unique to the CDA. They are part of every plan focused on meeting the Paris Climate Accord goals and timelines, while also attempting to bolster social equity.  Having a partner who can explain where the edges lie and how to navigate through these uncertainties is critical.

Given APTIM’s breadth of services and expertise, we can help explain the options, and, perhaps as importantly, explain where there may be no options or only incremental improvements available at the moment.

To learn more about APTIM’s energy management services, contact Joel Freehling.

APTIM. In Pursuit of Better.