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The Port of Seattle aims to be the greenest, most energy efficient port in N. America

With that goal in mind, the Port Commission authorized more than $45 million in environmental initiatives and projects for 2017:

  • encouraging more people to use light-rail to get to and from the airport,
  • increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations at Sea-Tac,
  • offering more sound insulation to neighbors around the airport,
  • protecting water quality through expanded storm water management,
  • creating a $1 million fund to implement the Energy and Sustainability Committee policy directives, and
  • designating another $1 million for community ecological projects in SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

The $1 million fund listed in the last bullet point above is intended for the communities of Burien, Des Moines and SeaTac to invest in environmental and ecological projects and programs.

In early 2017, the Port of Seattle will plant about 1,500 native, lower-growing trees, shrubs, and flowers to replace about 600 tall trees that must be removed to avoid interference with aircraft. The new plants will include those indicated in the image to the left.

(Click image to enlarge)


Port to test solar power on net shed roof at Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal

Solar panel locations at Fishermen's TerminalSolar power is sparking interest among project managers working to modernize Port facilities. One such project, to replace the roofs on the net sheds at Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal, will demonstrate the ability of solar, known as photovoltaic power production, to save electricity and offset carbon emissions.

Planners estimate that the solar panels on one of the net sheds could produce 11,000 kilowatts of electricity per year, reducing carbon emissions by 279 pounds. The project could be in place by the end of 2017.

At the same time, engineers are looking at the feasibility of installing solar panels at Pier 69, the Port of Seattle headquarters on the Seattle waterfront, as well as other Port properties. The potential exists to offset carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of pounds per year, reducing greenhouse gases that lead to climate change.

The Green Gateway connecting you to the world via Sea-Tac Airport and through global trade

We are the Green Gateway. We offer the lowest carbon footprint for cargo shipped from Asia by sea and transported by rail through the Port of Seattle to the rest of the country.

Just as importantly, the Green Gateway stands for our environmental leadership and award-winning environmental efforts at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Every year we recognize airline, tenant, and business partner environmental stewardship efforts at Sea-Tac Airport and the critical role their accomplishments play in becoming the "Green Gateway." Click here to read about this year's award winners.

We also award cruise and container customers whose environmental programs and initiatives exceed regulatory requirements.​ Read more here.

< View this short video for an overview of our environmental programs at both the Port of Seattle maritime operations and Sea-Tac Airport.

Sea-Tac Airport Progress Reports

We share outcomes with the communities we serve through annual progress reports. The 2014 Progress Report includes five-year results based on the 2009 Environmental Strategy Plan (see right column for all reports and the strategy).

In 2014 we achieved a number of our 2009 goals. For example, we:


  • Reduced water consumption 5 percent below 2008 levels
  • Achieved Best Management Prectices for water quality and treatment over 100 percent of airport industrial services
  • Introduced best management practices to reduce construction waste
  • Partnered with business operators to promote clean taxis and build infrastructure to reduce aircraft-related emissions.
Sea-Tac Airport also made progress in the following areas during 2014 when we:
  • Reduced our green house gases by more than 1,500 tons
  • Fueled our bus fleet with renewable natural gas
  • Increased our recycling rate from 23 percent to 31 percent
  • Increased the numnber of projects seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Increased meal donations from 8,000 pounds to over 26,000 pounds or 500 meals per week

25-year Environmental Goals

Adopted in 2011 by the Port of Seattle Commission, the following policies are aimed at being a leader among U.S. ports for environmental stewardship and energy efficiency:
  • Reduce air pollutant emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels.
  • Lead our industry's greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies by reducing carbon emissions from all port operations by 50 percent from 2005 levels and reducing aircraft-related GHG emissions at Sea-Tac by 25 percent.
  • Meet future growth in energy usage through conservation and renewable sources.
  • Restore, create, and enhance 40 additional acres of habitat in the Green/Duwamish watershed and Elliott Bay.
  • Prevent sprawl in less developed areas of Puget Sound by anchoring our region's urban industrial land use.
  • Ensure all stormwater leaving port operated facilities meets or exceeds agency requirements and create partnerships that lead our industry in stormwater quality improvements.

Both maritime and aviation programs are guided by our commitment to the 25-year goals. We also seek to model sustainable growth, achieve the greatest environmental benefit from our efforts, partner with other organizations in order to leverage financial and professional resources, to see our sustainable practices as a competitive advantage, and to share our environmental outcomes with the community we serve.

What is the Green Gateway?
Learn more about Sea Cargo and the Green Gateway.