JFK Airport’s Terminal 4 awarded highest-level LEED certification

JFK Airport’s Terminal 4 as it will look following its $1.5 billion expansion and modernization which will be completed next year. (Courtesy of Port Authority)

With construction underway on the massive $9.5 billion new Terminal One at JFK Airport, the Port Authority and JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFKIAT) announced on Sept. 22 that Terminal 4 has become the first pre-existing airline terminal in the nation to be certified as LEED Platinum.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is the most widely used green-building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence, PA officials said.

“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,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “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.”

The Port Authority was the first transportation agency in the nation to adopt President Biden’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a detailed strategy that includes facility-wide initiatives in the areas of electrification, renewable energy, and sustainable buildings and energy efficiency.

“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 in building those that deliver a truly inspiring customer experience,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said. “Once again, we are setting an important precedent for other airports around the country to follow.”

As part of the larger $18 billion redevelopment plan at JFK, Terminal 4 is undergoing a $1.5 billion modernization and expansion by its principal carrier, Delta Air Lines and JFKIAT.

“As the operator of the largest 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,” JFKIAT President and CEO Roel Huinink said. “Receiving LEED Platinum certification for Terminal 4 is a tremendous achievement and demonstrates how JFKIAT is truly a pioneer in sustainability.”

As part of its sustainability program, JFKIAT continues investing in innovative initiatives focused on energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reduction, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality, biodiversity and sustainable transportation.

Huinink explained that JFKIAT’s strategy is centered on operational efficiency, environmental stewardship, economic stability and a commitment to providing an exceptional experience for both customers and employees.

“We are proud of our team’s incredible work to innovate our operations to achieve this important milestone,” he said. “And we look forward to expanding our initiatives to prioritize sustainability and provide the healthiest environment for our customers, employees and business partners.”