Menu Home

Sustainable Century Awards Recipient Showcase

Sustainable Century Awards

Previously known as Environmental Excellence Awards

The Port of Seattle annually recognizes outstanding environmental accomplishments of customers, tenants, non-profits, and business partners of all sizes with the annual Sustainable Century Awards. Award winners serve as role models and demonstrate exceptional environmental accomplishments and leadership in their operations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Port of Seattle maritime facilities. These businesses also recognize and partner with the Port to help it achieve its environmental stewardship and sustainability goals set forth in the Century Agenda.

2023 Sustainable Century Awards

The Port recognizes outstanding environmental accomplishments of customers, tenants, nonprofits, and partners with the Sustainable Century Awards, formerly known as the Environmental Excellence Awards. Award recipients demonstrate environmental leadership and are crucial partners in helping the Port achieve its environmental stewardship, sustainability, and equity goals.

Maritime Sustainable Century Awards

DecorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – Alaska Marine Lines reduced diesel fuel use and air emissions by 75% and increased use of local clean electricity through high efficiency transport refrigeration units and timeshare electric panels. Energy reductions in 2023 amounted to over 1 million gallons of diesel, which equals nearly 11,000 (10,701) metric tons of carbon dioxide–equivalent emissions. This level of greenhouse gas reductions is equivalent to taking 2,547 gas-powered cars off the road or the energy use of 1,396 homes annually.

“Our entire team continually focuses on opportunities for innovation and efficiency,” said Jason Jansen, President of Alaska Marine Lines. “This award is only possible because of the dedication of our people, and I am extremely proud of their achievement.”

DecorativeEnvironmental Innovation and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Awards – The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s Fish Commission improved sockeye salmon survival in the Lake Washington migration corridor through the Ballard Locks Adult Sockeye Transport (BLAST) program. Since 2021, salmon pre-spawn mortality has dropped from 80% for salmon in natural transit to 1% for those transported to a hatchery in Issaquah via BLAST. BLAST is an innovative program that allows transported fish to avoid the heat, disease, and other hazards of the Lake Washington watershed.

“Salmon are part of our culture and a way of life for many Native communities. This award symbolizes a successful example of regional collaboration,” said LeeRoy Courville, Jr., Tribal Council member and Chair, Fisheries Commission, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. “Because of increased urbanization, predation, and rising water temperatures, the Lake Washington sockeye are in danger of extinction. It is essential to commit the necessary resources in hatchery production and operations to ensure survival of the Lake Washington sockeye now and for future generations.”

DecorativeEnvironmental Education and Outreach Award – Quiet Sound’s collaborative effort reduced underwater noise by 45% with voluntary commercial vessel slowdowns through the Admiralty Inlet corridor in Puget Sound between Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula. Underwater noise is a key concern for Southern Resident killer whales, in addition to reduced Chinook salmon populations and poor water quality. By working across private and public sectors, 70% of vessels decreased their speed during an 80-day slowdown with minimal maritime trade and no safety impacts.

“Quiet Sound’s voluntary initiatives are making significant and measurable strides in reducing underwater noise in the critical habitat of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales,” said Rachel Aronson, Quiet Sound Director at Washington Maritime Blue. “We’re so thankful to the many hands that have helped shape and implement this program since 2021, including the Port of Seattle. Quiet Sound is honored to receive this recognition on behalf of our coalition of members and continue ensuring that the Southern Resident killer whales and our region’s blue economy thrive together in Washington waters.”

DecorativeEnvironmental Innovation Award – Small Business – Stormwater Controls invented and manufactures the Retain Drain in the Pacific Northwest. This system uses coconut coir filters (a renewable resource) in a high-quality metal frame to remove litter and other contaminants from stormwater before it enters the Salish Sea. Stormwater Controls data show as much as 95% reduction of organic matter, solids, and trash in stormwater after it passes through Retain Drain.

“Winning the Environmental Innovation Award is a significant achievement for Stormwater Controls,” said Ken Perry, Managing Director of Stormwater Controls. “It signifies that we've surpassed regulatory requirements and demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improving our local waterways. By continuing to think outside the box, we will inspire businesses to elevate their practices while saving money and ultimately creating a healthier environment. At Stormwater Controls, EVERYTHING WINS!”

Aviation Sustainable Century Awards

decorativeEnvironmental Performance and Innovation Award – Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. airline to eliminate single-use plastic cups from in-flight service and implemented an innovative carbon offset program for passengers in partnership with climate technology company CHOOSE.

"Caring for the communities where we live, work, and operate is a key focus for Alaska Airlines’ environmental sustainability program,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability. “We are honored to be recognized by our hometown airport for our efforts to eliminate single-use plastic cups from onboard our aircraft, as well for our efforts to engage sustainability-minded travelers in the journey to accelerate the use of SAF by offering an alternative to the end-of-year ‘mileage run.’  We know that to reach our ambitious goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040 we must collaborate with innovative partners like the Port of Seattle.”

decorativeEnvironmental Performance and Innovation Award – Constructed in 2023, Salty’s at the SEA and Brewtop Social became the first SEA restaurants to achieve the USGBC LEED certification. Owned by the minority- and woman-owned family business Concessions International, the restaurants reduced lighting power by 47%, used 72% Energy Star–rated equipment, and diverted 57% of construction waste.

“Seattle Food Partners and Concessions International have achieved the prestigious LEED certification with our Salty's at the SEA and Brewtop Social projects. This certification marks a milestone in our company's journey towards sustainability,” said Charles Bluemle, Executive Vice President. “We are honored to receive this award from the Port of Seattle, recognizing our commitment to green building practices and our contribution to a sustainable future. This accolade is a reflection of our dedication to environmental excellence and our promise to continue leading the way in eco-friendly initiatives.”

decorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – Condor is leading the industry in the transition to fuel-efficient aircraft that reduces emissions and noise pollution at SEA and throughout their network. In just one year, they went from 0% to 81% of their flights through SEA using modern aircraft to address those emission and noise goals.

“It’s an honor to receive this award for our successful long-haul fleet rollover and ongoing work to renew our entire fleet by 2029,” said Sina Rathgeber, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Airport Relations and Sustainability. “Operating all our long-haul flights with new aircraft technology is a key milestone on our journey to more sustainable and efficient flight operations. This award is a credit to our dedicated team at Condor working together to make this project an industry-leading example of an accelerated fleet transition to new aircraft technology.”

decorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – McDonald’s voluntarily transitioned their SEA location to a fully electric-powered restaurant in 2023. By replacing all natural-gas cooking and heating equipment with electric alternatives, McDonald’s eliminated all natural gas emissions and inspired a similar requirement for all food and beverage tenants in the upcoming C Concourse Expansion.

“We are committed to environmental excellence, meeting or exceeding all regulatory requirements, from purchasing products that have greater recycled content as well as products that are compostable, therefore leaving a smaller carbon footprint for the overall betterment of our environment,” said Bob Comiskey, Owner of SEA Airport McDonald’s.

Honorable Mention

decorativeEnvironmental Performance Award – Uber’s strong 2023 performance in advancing electric vehicle use led to an increase of 180% in zero-emission vehicle trips at SEA. Uber also noted growth of zero-emission and hybrid vehicle trips at cruise facilities, and provided products that help educate passengers and improve trip efficiency.

"Uber is very proud to be recognized by the Port of Seattle for a second year in a row for our sustainability efforts,” said Daniel Hammer, Sr. Airport Partner Manager. “We're dedicated to making the switch to EVs as seamless as possible for drivers and riders as we push toward our goal of being a zero-emission mobility platform in the U.S. by 2030."  


Aviation Measurement-Based Awards

decorativeGreatest use of Pre-Conditioned Air Ground Systems – Southwest Airlines earned recognition for the highest use of airport ground power and pre-conditioned air systems which helps reduce emissions and conserve power.

“Operational efficiency plays an important role in our path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and we have set specific fuel savings goals as part of our Nonstop to Net Zero plan,” said Helen Giles, Managing Director of Environmental Sustainability at Southwest Airlines. “The use of ground power systems at airports including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport helps us make progress toward these goals. We’re grateful for our Employees who helped achieved this recognition and are honored to collaborate with SEA on working towards a more sustainable future.”

decorativeHighest Percentage of Fuel-Efficient Aircraft – Delta Air Lines operated a 40% fuel-efficient fleet (up from 25% last year) compared to the next-highest performer, who achieved 28%.

"Delta’s commitment to sustainability is a commitment to our future of connecting the world while making a positive impact in the communities we serve,” said Joan Wang, Managing Director – Pacific Northwest for Delta Air Lines. “Continuing to invest in a fuel-efficient fleet is vital for the future of more sustainable travel in Washington and across the globe. We are honored to serve as a recipient of the Port of Seattle’s Sustainable Century Award and are grateful for their partnership as we work toward net-zero emissions by 2050.”

2022 Sustainable Century Awards

The Port recognizes outstanding environmental accomplishments of customers, tenants, nonprofits, and partners with the Sustainable Century Awards, formerly known as the Environmental Excellence Awards. Award recipients demonstrate environmental leadership and are crucial partners in helping the Port achieve its environmental stewardship, sustainability, and equity goals.

Decorative2022 Maritime Sustainable Century Award for Environmental Performance — Lineage Logistics for investments in energy savings for the fishing industry. Lineage invested in updates to its cold storage facilities to save 1.2 million kilowatt hours per year by adding LED lighting with automatic sensors and installing new rail doors and high-speed doors on cold storage areas to reduce energy loss from freezers that maintain a -15F temperature. This included the installation of new variable frequency compressors and evaporators that adjust for demand instead of running 24/7.

“As the world’s leading temperature-controlled industrial real estate investment trust (REIT) and logistics solutions provider, we take seriously our great responsibility to help lead the world into a more sustainable, equitable future,” said Chris Thurston, Director of Energy and Sustainability at Lineage Logistics. “We work to strategically integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives into the way we do business and live out our values by stewarding the environment, participating in responsible corporate citizenship, and driving innovation in our industry. We couldn’t be more proud of our team or appreciative that these incredible efforts have been recognized by the Port of Seattle. We thank them for their long-standing and important partnership, and we look forward to collaborating in the years to come as we work to create a more sustainable future.”

Decorative2022 Maritime Sustainable Century Award for Environmental Education & Outreach and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion — ECOSS for the initiation and facilitation of two notable outdoor education and sustainable natural resources programs among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant, and refugee communities in King County. This included a transit-to-parks outing to Little Mount Si in collaboration with the Washington Trails Association, The Wilderness Association, and King County Metro and Parks teams that introduced over 66 community members aged 4 to 50+ to hiking in regional natural areas. The second was the adoption of a habitat restoration site in Seward Park in collaboration with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Green Seattle Partnership, and Seward Park Audubon Center, and working with over 40 participants for habitat restoration events.

“ECOSS is proud to be part of a movement that furthers environmental justice for marginalized communities in the greater Seattle area,” said ECOSS Communications Manager Meagan Dwyer. “Receiving this award highlights the importance of our work in culturally relevant education and engagement with frontline communities to tackle environmental sustainability.”

Decorative2022 Maritime Sustainable Century Award for Environmental Innovation — The Seattle Aquarium for three innovations in support of the Urban Kelp Research Project to understand bull kelp populations in Puget Sound. This included the use of remotely operated vehicle survey methods to expand the area and amount of data gathered, artificial intelligence analysis to process and generate orders of magnitudes of the video received across Puget Sound, and open access research to ensure current and future conservation and restoration programs are effective and efficient. The program also received an honorable mention for equity, diversity, and inclusion for its partnership with Sea Potential LLC., which exposes BIPOC communities to maritime careers.

“Kelp forests maintain healthy coastlines by providing food and shelter to numerous marine species,” said Dr. Zachary Randell, Research Scientist at the Seattle Aquarium. “We’re proud to partner with the Port of Seattle to use innovative technologies — including artificial intelligence and our remotely operated vehicle — to analyze images of bull kelp in our local waters. By studying why bull kelp is thriving here, we can inform kelp forest restoration efforts everywhere. We’re honored to receive this recognition and look forward to advancing this important work.”

Decorative2022 Aviation Sustainable Century Award for Environmental Innovation/Performance — HMSHost for their participation with the Port on a pilot project to evaluate alternatives to single-use plastic bottled beverages sold at SEA. The pilot continues today, gathering real-world feedback about the availability of aluminum, glass or paper drink packaging alternatives and customer demand from side-by-side sales. HMSHost also began offering aluminum water bottles in quick-serve and sit-down restaurants and partnered with a restaurant oil maintenance and recycling vendor that reduced HMSHost’s oil use at SEA by 11,500 lbs. and recycled 28,200 lbs. of used oil into biodiesel.

“We are honored by this recognition and would like to thank the Port of Seattle and our partners at SEA for selecting HMSHost and helping us achieve this meaningful award,” said Chris Keaton, HMSHost. “HMSHost is proud to support our local community and participate in programs that have beneficial impact on the environment.”

Decorative2022 Aviation Sustainable Century Award for Environmental Performance — UBER is recognized for advancing electric vehicle (EV) use and driver access to EVs at SEA. The number of EV rideshare trips in 2022 tripled between Q1 and Q4 2022. UBER also lowered its eKPI score by 17% to reduce emissions by 2.5 million lbs. of CO2 in 2022 from Q2 to Q4. Additionally, UBER has partnered with Hertz to offer discounted Tesla EV rentals with higher earnings potential for drivers that utilize the program. In total, more than 24 million trips have been completed for more than 260 million road miles to date. Finally, UBER offers driver incentives for EV trips, in-app resources, and expanded customer offerings while supporting efforts to provide equitable charging access for drivers.

“We are honored to be selected for a Sustainable Century Award and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Port of Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to drive environmental progress and innovation,” said Daniel Hammer, Sr. Airport Partner Manager (Northwest & Mountain), UBER. “Our recently launched Comfort Electric offering allows Seattle riders to tap a button and request a ride in a premium Electric Vehicle and is just one of the ways we're continuing to invest in making Uber the most sustainable rideshare choice for Seattle riders.”

Decorative2022 Aviation Sustainable Century Award for the greatest use of airport ground power and pre-conditioned air systems — Southwest Airlines. The airline utilized ground power for 92% of operations and stayed connected for 81% of the turn time. Additionally, 65% of operations connected to pre-conditioned air and stayed connected for 75% of turn times. Southwest’s efficient ground crew teams consistently use these systems, which allow aircraft to reduce idling and emissions while at gates.

“Southwest Airlines is working to address our environmental footprint, and the use of ground power systems at airports including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport plays an important part in reducing emissions in our operations,” said Helen Giles, Director of Environmental Sustainability at Southwest Airlines. “We’ve provided service to SEA Airport for nearly 30 years and are proud to continue our partnership by supporting the Port’s sustainability initiatives.”

Decorative2022 Aviation Sustainable Century Award for highest percentage use of fuel-efficient aircraft — Delta Air Lines. Of the aircraft Delta operated at SEA in 2022, 25% were highly fuel-efficient, including Airbus A220s, A321neos, A330neos, and A350 aircraft. Using modern fuel-efficient aircraft reduces fuel consumption and emissions.


2020–2021 Sustainable Century Awards

2020–21 Sustainable Century Awards

The Port recognizes outstanding environmental accomplishments of customers, tenants, non-profits and partners with the Sustainable Century Awards, formerly known as the Environmental Excellence Awards. Award recipients demonstrate environmental leadership and are crucial partners in helping the Port achieve its environmental stewardship, sustainability, and equity goals.

Decorative2022 Maritime Award goes to Fishermen’s Finest. In 2021, Fishermen’s Finest (FFI) became the first commercial fishing fleet to both join Green Marine and achieve certification in the Green Marine environmental certification program for the maritime industry. FFI’s goal is to become a net-zero carbon fleet, building a new fishing vessel, the America’s Finest (262-foot), that reduces fuel consumption by 66 percent. FFI also invested in the first sale of King County urban forest carbon credits and represents the lowest carbon footprint of the Bering Sea Trawl Fleet.

“Global warming is a reality for our ship captains and crews who have been fishing for more than 30 years, witness firsthand the recent warming ocean, receding Bering Sea ice and corresponding changes in fish behavior,” says Helena Park, Fishermen’s Finest CEO. “We are the stewards of the resource, so it is incumbent upon all of us in commercial fishing to reduce commercial fishing’s carbon footprint as much as possible.  It helps us make progress to have local leaders like the Port of Seattle support Fishermen’s Finest fleet’s transformation to a producer of fish with the smallest carbon footprint possible.”

Decorative2022 Aviation Award goes to Bellair Charters / Airporter Shuttle. Notable achievements include long-term, innovative partnership supporting SEA’s Raptor Strike Avoidance Program that helps protect local wildlife, increase SEA operational safety by reducing bird-strike risk, avoided 70 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 10 years, and generated labor and financial savings for the Port. Since 2011, Bellair voluntarily transported nearly 800 birds of prey (i.e., raptors) captured at SEA under the Raptor Strike Avoidance Program using their own vehicle fleet on return routes to Burlington, Wash. Sixteen species of raptors, including red-tailed hawks, were transported from SEA to farmland habitat near the community of Bow for tagging and release to the wild. More than 90 percent of relocated birds stay and never return to the airport.

“Safety is everything to our company,” said Richard Johnson, Bellair Airporter Shuttle president. “It is a point of pride for our employees to partner with the airport on reducing the risk of bird strikes, helping birds move to a safer habitat, and avoiding carbon emissions. This program lets us play an even bigger role in our community. We appreciate the partnership and the recognition.”

Decorative2022 Aviation Award goes to Southwest for greatest airline use of ground power systems to reduce emissions while docked at SEA airport gates. Southwest demonstrated a high use of emission-reducing ground power systems (80-90% of all operations connect to the systems), and longest connectivity to ground power systems while at gate (over 80% of the time between gate arrival and pushback).

"At Southwest, we’ve set a goal to reduce, replace, offset, and partner as our holistic strategy to improve our environmental sustainability,” said Stacy Malphurs, Vice President Supply Chain Management & Environmental Sustainability at Southwest Airlines. “We’re thrilled to be recognized by the Port of Seattle with the 2022 Aviation Award and are proud to partner with them to help achieve their sustainability objectives.”

Decorative2022 Aviation Award goes to Delta Air Lines for operating at SEA the highest percentage use of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft that reduce emissions. Of the aircraft Delta operated at SEA in 2021, 16% were highly fuel-efficient, such as Airbus A220s, A330neos, and A350s, compared to other high-operation carriers who achieved closer to 7%.

“Delta Air Lines’ increasingly fuel-efficient fleet is a critical component on our Flight to Net Zero™,” said Mahendra Nair, Delta’s S.V.P. – Fleet and TechOps Supply Chain. “We appreciate this recognition and will continue innovating toward a more sustainable future in aviation, in Seattle and our 275+ destinations around the world.”

Decorative2022 Equitable Recovery Award goes to SSA Marine/Carrix. In addition to being proactive and collaborating with government and health care to keep trade and cruise operations functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, they supported equitable recovery for the broader community by contributing space, equipment, and volunteers to Food Lifeline to increase capacity and meet increased community needs, as well as volunteer staff from Carrix, ran a two-week vaccine clinic in Seattle.

DecorativeHonorable Mention for environmental innovation goes to Whooshh Innovations. This company invented a promising technology for salmon runs where fish passage is impeded, which contributes to supporting a critical food source for Southern Resident Killer Whale. Following a landslide on the Fraser River, in British Columbia, that threatened to block passage for all salmon runs in Canada’s largest salmon watershed, Whooshh deployed its “Passage Portal”™ in record time before the returning adult salmon arrived so they could migrate over and around the blockage. The Passage Portal removed the need for human handling, trap, and helicopter transport of tens of thousands of salmon during the summer and fall of 2020, which would not otherwise have been feasible or affordable. A significant improvement for fish passage, the Portal incorporates electronic tracking. During the first season of use, more than 125,000 salmon were counted upstream of the Big Bar rockslide.

“This massive project on the Fraser River, one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world, was a thrill for the entire team. We were able to deploy our modular and flexible Whooshh Passage Portal™ in one of the most difficult environments imaginable,” said Vincent Bryan III, Whooshh Innovations CEO. “We are honored to have our work recognized by the Port of Seattle, where our office and shop have been located in Terminal 91 for nearly a decade.”

Sustainable Century Awards Luncheon

View excerpts from the Sustainable Century Awards Ceremony to honor and celebrate the recipients of the 2020-21 awards.

2019 Environmental Excellence Award Winners

2019 Environmental Excellence Awards

View a series of videos profiling multiple 2019 award recipients.

Sailboat icon

Maritime Environmental Excellence Awards

The Maritime Division received eight nominations and selected three award winners. The Maritime Division also recognized two nominations with an Honorable Mention to highlight notable accomplishments that demonstrate meaningful support for Port sustainability objectives. Award winners and key accomplishments are described by award category below.

Environmental Performance Award

SSA Terminals logoSSA Marine

This award recognizes SSA Marine for voluntary LED lighting upgrades at Terminal 18, making use of Seattle City Light incentives. SSA Marine:

  • >Replaced 1,004-1,000-watt high-pressure sodium lamps with 663-47-watt LED fixtures. 
  • Gained significant energy savings with additional benefits for worker safety, and off-site light impact reductions that improved conditions for residential communities and natural habitats.
  • Chose to invest in state-of-the-art system to gain longer-term benefits and more efficient maintenance and operation. 
  • Achieved: 65% reduction in energy use, 3.8M-kilowatt-hours in annual energy savings, 1.1-year payback (including $795K investment by City Light).

Environmental Education and Outreach Award

Dirt Corps logoDirt Corps LLC

This award recognizes Dirt Corps for supporting Port environmental, equity, and environmental justice goals through education and outreach programs for adults, youth, and minorities. Dirt Corps:

  • Implemented a pilot program to teach shoreline restoration skills along the Duwamish River and Elliot Bay to both youth and adult learners.
  • Trained 75 youth and 7 adults in leadership, aquatic horticulture, shoreline restoration, local history, ecosystem services and impacts, public speaking, salmon habitat and restoration, and environmental justice principles.
  • Conducted classroom and field training programs that include green jobs skills; ecological infrastructure restoration, maintenance and design; and hands-on restoration in the Duwamish watershed. Field work included over 20,000 square feet of area and 800 trees/shrubs planted.
  • A critical component of the educational model is creating training opportunities that allow people to learn while being paid for their time.
  • All of these projects are done with local community partners, paid Dirt Corps trainees, and frequent partnership with the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps.

Environmental Education and Outreach – Small Business Recognition

Orcasound logoOrcasound Hydrophone Network

This award recognizes Orcasound, a small non-profit organization, for convening 13 member organizations in the Puget Sound region to deploy hydrophones and document orca sounds. Orcasound:

  • Compiles and shares hydrophone data that supports understanding of communication between Southern Resident Killer Whales and the stresses of underwater noise. 
  • Hydrophone sounds are shared with the public so that we may all learn about orca populations and noise impacts.
  • Orcasound’s role has helped to consolidate the impacts of other small organizations that track Orca sounds and noise impacts upon them.

Environmental Performance – Honorable Mention

Norwegian Cruise Lines Holding

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH)

This award recognizes NCLH for instituting a wide-ranging environmental program that includes eliminating single-use plastics, adapting vessels for shore-power, and reducing potable water consumption. NCLH:


  • Voluntarily conducted underwater sound surveys with DVN GL, which was a notable element significant to the Puget Sound. 
  • NCLH met SILENT-E parameters, which ensure vessels don’t exceed average-to-moderate noise levels, for four cruise vessels, three of which come to Elliott Bay.
  • Vessel noise reduction is a priority for the Southern Resident Killer Whale task force.

Environmental Education and Outreach – Honorable Mention

Just Health Logo

Just Action Health

This award recognizes Just Health Action for conducting a community-based participatory action program that combines environmental and human health principles and directly engages Duwamish Valley community members. Just Health Action:

Just Health Action Award Recipient

  • Supports the Port’s equity and environmental justice principles.
  • Engaged in collaboration with Duwamish Valley community members that led to the Port of Seattle’s Duwamish Valley Community Benefits Commitment.
  • This commitment helped to establish the Port-Duwamish Valley Community Equity Program and the Port Community Action Team. Shared goals include community-Port capacity building, healthy environment and communities, and economic prosperity in place.
  • Conducts trainings across the country, serving youth and community groups, grade school to college students, health professionals, and county health departments.

Airplane icon

Aviation Environmental Excellence Awards

The Aviation Division received six nominations and selected four winners, including two small businesses.  Award winners and key accomplishments are described by award category below.  

Environmental Performance

Alaska Airlines logo

Alaska Airlines

This award recognizes Alaska Airlines for an energy efficiency lighting upgrade project at SEA facilities and efforts to reduce waste. Alaska Airlines:

Alaska Airlines, Energy Efficiency recognition

  • Completed a voluntary lighting efficiency upgrade at two airport Maintenance Hangars, replacing 366 fluorescent lights with 193 high-efficiency LED lights, which:
    • Reduced energy consumption by nearly 1,000,000 kWh (70% decrease);
    • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 11 metric tons;
    • Lowered annual energy utility costs by $60,000;
    • Partnered with Port to obtain a Bonneville Power Administration energy efficiency incentive rebate of $175,000, offsetting project costs by 33%;
    • Delivered higher lighting levels, improved worker safety, and reduced need to manage hazardous waste from fluorescent lights;
  • Reduced inflight waste by eliminating 22 million plastic waste items (straws and stir-sticks), and recycled other inflight waste;
  • Promoted reusable bottles through their “Fill Before You Fly” campaign, reducing passenger use of single-use plastic cups. Alaska partnered with Bonneville Environmental Foundation to plant a tree for every passenger who brings a prefilled reusable water bottle on their flight and posts to social media with the hashtag #FILLBEFOREYOUFLY.

HMS Host logoHMSHost

This award recognizes HMSHost, an airport Concession operator, for extensive food donations, donating and recycling surplus restaurant equipment, and continuous improvement using environmentally preferable service ware and reducing waste. HMSHost:

  • Donated 7,594 meals (or 9,493 lbs.) of surplus restaurant food and supplies to the local food bank including 2,276 meals during closure of their Anthony’s restaurant;
  • Donated large volumes of surplus tiles, tables, chairs, and refrigerators from restaurant build-outs and closures to Habitat for Humanity and small local businesses, including a small Native American owned business that accepted Anthony’s table tops with plans to refinish and repurpose for their own business;
  • Donated and installed surplus storage racks to Highline Schools Foundation benefitting local programs in the surrounding school district;
  • Recycled an estimated 10,000 lbs. of metal equipment from restaurant closures;
  • Installed nitrogen generators at five airport Starbucks stores eliminating nitrogen tank deliveries;
  • Reduced waste by converting to reusable plates and compostable liners at Stonehouse Café, eliminated all stir straws in casual dining units, and converted all on-request straws to compostable at Re’lish and Dungeness Bay restaurants;
  • Continued efforts to eliminate single-use plastic straws at airport Starbucks locations by voluntarily Partnering with Starbucks to pilot a strawless lid for cold-cups, removing straws from condiment bars, and switching straw offering to on-request only.

Environmental Performance – Small Business Awards

Seattle Chocolate logoSeattle Chocolate

This award recognizes Seattle Chocolate, a small and woman-owned business and airport Concessionaire, for reducing waste and using socially responsible business practices to alleviate hunger in local communities.

Seattle Chocolate employees receive the award at the SEA Airport shop

Seattle Chocolate:

  • Switched to reusable delivery boxes, which reduced airport shipment waste by 80% or 3,192 cardboard boxes;
  • Donated 54,822 fresh food servings to food banks based on JCOCO chocolate sales at SEA.  Their Pink Umbrella fund uses a portion of sales to fund food donations through partnerships with local food banks;
  • Improved recoverability of product waste by using certified compostable film wraps for 150,000 lbs. or 7.2 million truffle chocolates.

Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle logo

Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle

This award recognizes Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle, a small and veteran-owned business and airport shuttle service, for completing alternative fuel conversions in their bus fleet, reducing waste, and incorporating employee sustainability suggestions into operations. Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle:

  • Converted the remaining three (3) passenger buses in their fleet from gasoline to propane fuel reducing total annual carbon emissions by 164 metric tons, equivalent to removing 35 cars from the road annually;
  • Switched to using silica-based tires that improve fuel economy and extend tire lifespan;
  • Recycled ~50 lbs. weekly from passenger and employee recycling programs;
  • Encouraged employee feedback on sustainability measures including landscaping that improves stormwater quality, providing free electric charging for employee vehicles, and providing driver training to reduce idling emissions and fuel consumption.
2018-2016 Environmental Excellence Award Winners

Winners for 2016-2018 Represent the Best of our Region's Green Values

2018 Environmental Excellence

Seattle-area maritime and aviation businesses and community partners earn recognition for outstanding environmental leadership and practices in their operations and programming at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Port of Seattle maritime facilities. The Environmental Excellence Awards celebrate the dedication of local partners to engage in healthier communities for cleaner air and cleaner water and to invest in enhanced energy efficiency.

Aviation Award Winners

Ground transportation is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions behind aircraft at the airport, and a priority sector targeted by Port emission reduction goals. This year’s award winners reduced or offset ground transportation sector emissions and enhanced availability of environmentally preferable forms of ground access mode choice among passengers.

Award recipients Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter and Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle, both small and veteran-owned businesses, implemented voluntary alternative fuel conversions. Additionally, Lyft achieved reductions in deadheading through an innovative “rematch” program and significant voluntary carbon offsets.

Small Business Award – Environmental Performance

Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter

A small and veteran-owned business, this award recognizes Bremerton-Kitsap Airporter (BKA) for alternative fuel conversations on fleet shuttles at Sea-Tac Airport that reduced GHG emissions. By converting 14 passenger buses from gasoline to propane fuel, BKA reduced carbon emissions by 161 metric tons in 2018. BKA’s propane-powered buses used 51,660 gallons to travel 400,000 miles in 2018 (of 1.5 million total mileage) shuttling passengers to and from the airport.

Small Business Award – Environmental Performance

Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle

Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle (WSS), also a small and veteran-owned business, implemented converting nine passenger buses from gasoline to propane fuel. WSS’ propane-powered buses used 52,969 gallons to travel 350,000 miles, a total mileage of 700,000, shuttling passengers to and from the airport. This ultimately reduced carbon emissions by 164 metric tons in 2018.

Passengers at Sea-Tac Airport await pick up by a ride-share, June 2018

Environmental Excellence Award – Performance and Innovation


This award recognizes Lyft, an app-based rideshare service, in both the Environmental Performance and Innovation categories for its creative use of technology to reduce current and future environmental impacts, including:

  • Innovative rematch technology enabling drivers to immediately pick up a passenger(s) shortly after completing a drop-off, which reduced deadheading and GHG emissions by an estimated 250 metric tons of carbon in 2018 at Sea-Tac Airport.
  • In 2018, Lyft became one of the largest voluntary carbon offset purchasers in the world and the first and only transportation network company (TNC) to become carbon-neutral for both company and ride related emissions. Lyft estimates 9,100 metric tons of carbon from Sea-Tac operations were offset during this investment.

Though not considered in 2018 actions or contributing to this award, Lyft’s future plans to reduce environmental impacts are innovative and in-line with award program goals to encourage ongoing support for Port sustainability initiatives. For example, Lyft is launching two new electric vehicle (EV) initiatives in Seattle in 2019 with an Express Drive rental-car program that will add thousands of EV rentals onto their platform for drivers; and piloting a “Green Mode” option where a rider can request an environmentally preferable hybrid or EV car. Moreover, Lyft Plans to begin purchasing renewable energy to cover all their electricity consumption, including EV charging by drivers.

Maritime Award Winners

Community outreach and public education efforts best-represented achievements among the Port’s maritime partners. This year’s award winners provided resources and environmental education to minority and historically under-served communities as well as teaching environmental stewardship to students and developing sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

ECOSS and Sound Experience provide invaluable education programs to local communities and students while Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and Electric earned an honorable mention for Environmental Performance.

Environmental Excellence Award – Education and Outreach


This award distinguishes ECOSS for outstanding work educating and serving diverse communities to empowered over 10,000 businesses and community members in 2018, including:

  • Providing multilingual educational materials and other resources to minority communities and non-native English speakers.
  • Providing spill training and spill kits and collaborating with King County’s RainWise program to enable businesses and homeowners in improving stormwater management.
  • Hosting food waste prevention, compost, and recycling trainings to restaurant owners and community members.
  • Educating business owners and individuals about toxic household products and hazardous chemicals as well as non-toxic and environmentally-friendly alternatives.
  • Organizing volunteer programs, habitat restoration events, and other outdoor environmental stewardship outings.

Children and Adults learn about sealife and their natural environment on a Puget Sound Beach

Environmental Excellence Award – Education and Outreach

Sound Experience

The Port celebrates Sound Experience for its experiential youth education program that reached 878 students in 2018 by focusing on:

  • Enhancing environmental understanding of the Puget Sound region by developing hands-on curricula on watersheds, ocean/estuarine features, marine food webs, human impact on the environment, biodiversity, marine animal ecology, natural history, climate, and habitat.
  • Developing leadership qualities and fostering teamwork qualities through individual and group assignment and activities.
  • Encouraging stewardship for the marine environment, Puget Sound and the local maritime industry.

Honorable Mention – Environmental Performance

Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and Electric receives an honorable mention for its consistent efforts to reduce the environmental impact of operations. Last year Pacific Fishermen implemented sustainability practices that reduce wastes and increase the use of non-toxic paints, thinners and cleaning solvents and installed a 7.9 kW Solar photovoltaic array to offset 316 pounds of CO2 annually.

2017 Environmental Excellence

Seattle-area maritime and aviation businesses and one nonprofit were recognized in 2018 for outstanding environmental leadership and practices that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water, and greater energy efficiency. The “Environmental Excellence” awards by the Port of Seattle celebrate the significant role of local partners in making our Port the greenest in North America.

Maritime Award Winners

Environmental Performance: Vigor

Vigor employee breaks down boxes to go in the recycle bin


  • Installed energy-efficient LED fixtures at Harbor Island facility, reducing the facility’s energy consumption by 823,000 kWh annually
  • Conducted in-depth analysis of waste stream and eliminated garbage waste, resulting in a 91% recycling rate
  • Hosted an Earth Day clean up event in cooperation with the City of Seattle with over 200 employees, and adopted a monthly “Extreme Clean” campaign

Environmental Performance – Small Business: Castan Inc. Trucking Company

Castan empployees pose in front of big rig semi-trucks on a sunny day in south Seattle

  • Converted their entire truck fleet of 1996 diesel engines to 2014 liquefied natural gas engines
  • Reduced harmful nitrogen oxide by 85%, particulate matter by 99.8%, and 72 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually

Environmental Performance - Honorable Mention

  • Maxum Petroleum – reduced environmental risk and improving habitat
  • Seaview Boatyard – improved air and water quality

Education and Outreach: Maxum Petroleum

Maxim Petroleum employee smiles at the camera as he flips switches in a control room

  • Hosted a two-day Advanced Incident Command System Training and Emergency Drill with spill response contractors, neighboring facilities, state and federal agencies
  • Organized two advance stormwater management workshops with the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle

Education and Outreach – Small Business: Seaview Boatyard

Seaview Boatyard, 2018 Environmental Excellence Award winner

  • Led Washington boatyards as the first boatyard to install advanced stormwater reclamation using the StormwateRx Aquip System, which helped to accelerate the adoption of similar stormwater treatment systems industry-wide
  • Improved water quality via the advanced stormwater reclamation system

Aviation Award Winners

Environmental Performance: United Airlines

United Airlines, 2018 Environmental Excellence Award winner

Recognized for outstanding environmental accomplishments at Sea-Tac International Airport (STIA) and company-wide:

  • Added 22 electric Ground Support Equipment at STIA, saving 20,000 gallons in fuel and cutting GHG emissions by 217 metric tons annually
  • Converted air cargo facility lighting to energy-efficient LEDs, saving 124,000 kWh (71%) and $14,000 annually
  • Implemented other sustainability initiatives including:
    • Changed in-flight operations and materials, saving 1.6 million gallons in fuel and cutting GHG emissions by 20,500 metric tons annually
    • Supported alternative aviation jet fuel development, including being the first U.S. carrier to fly with commercial-scale volumes of sustainable alternative jet fuel (2016) and continuing to fly using sustainable aviation fuel today out of LAX
    • Invested $30 million in a U.S.-based alternative aviation fuels developer
    • Donated unused products and recycled in-flight waste through United’s Eco-Skies program.

Environmental Performance – Honor Roll: HMSHost

HMSHost, 2018 Environmental Excellence Award winner

  • Recognized for a diverse range of sustainability initiatives related to their STIA restaurant operations. Honor Roll distinction is based on the significance, diversity and scale of HMSHost’s accomplishments combined with past awards in 2016, 2015, and 2014, including:
  • Participated in Seattle’s Strawless September campaign to reduce plastic pollution and permanently switched to on-request only environmentally preferable straws
  • Donated 16,574 meals (20,718 lbs.) to the Des Moines Area Food Bank
  • Reduced STIA restaurant waste and conserved resources including:
    • Recycled 68 tons of glass and cardboard, and 7,000 pallets from Airport warehouse
    • Used environmentally-preferable durable (washable) food service ware
    • Donated or recycled nearly all used restaurant equipment and furniture during four restaurant closures in 2017
    • Converted to energy-efficient LED lighting Energy-Star rated appliances
    • Conserved water by offering it on-request only to sit-down restaurant customers

Innovation – Small Business: The Common Acre

Recognized for innovative, ecologically-focused land conservation project called “Flight Path”, which highlights effective public-private partnership and community outreach, including:

  • Partnered with Port staff to convert three acres of neglected scrub land at the former Tyee Golf Course into managed pollinator habitat
  • Breed disease-resistant honeybees including 70 queen bees to enhance site and surrounding area pollination and improve ecosystem health
  • Developed a custom native plant seed mix using select plant species that support healthy pollinator populations and improve aviation safety by discouraging bird flocking
  • Commissioned and installed a pollinator and transportation-themed art exhibit in the Airport terminal between 2014 and 2015 that featured 26 regional artists and reached over two million viewers
  • Harvested and sells honey from the Sea-Tac Airport beehives to help cover operational costs

2016 Environmental Excellence

The winners of the 2016 annual Green Gateway Environmental Excellence Awards represent the Port’s customers who demonstrate leadership in protecting our natural environment. The awards recognize airport and seaport tenants, airlines, cruise lines, and business partners for the critical role they play in assisting the Port in meeting its environmental goals.

Food donation program serves airport communities while benefiting the environment

Dining and retail operators at Sea-Tac Airport reduce waste by donating leftover food at the end of each day, making significant contributions to the Des Moines Area Food Bank. Sea-Tac’s food donation program is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and the benefits to our airport communities are significant. Watch the video.

Ten leaders in sustainability across the Port of Seattle were recognized for their commitment to energy efficiency.

Aviation Award Winners

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

Beecher's Cheese, winner of the 2016 Environmental Awards

  • Donated 6,670 meals – more than four tons of food - through Sea-Tac Airport’s Food Donation Program
  • Implemented composting and recycling practices for employees, green cleaning practices, and water conservation using low-flow pitcher rinsers and refrigerated thawing of frozen items

Delta Air Lines 

  • Installed approximately 8,000 square feet of auto-tinting and energy-efficient window glass in their new SkyClub Lounge, expected to reduce annual energy costs by 7.2 percent, saving 17,000 kilowatt hours

Des Moines Area Food Bank

  • Received and distributed nearly 25 tons of airport food donations within the community (about 800 meals per week over the entire year)
  • Helped reduce airport solid waste handling costs - $3,400 in landfill disposal fees
  • Since 2006, the food bank has helped airport businesses donate more than 229,000 pounds of food - 183,000 nutritious, ready-to-eat meals to families in airport communities

HMSHost (Prime Airport Dining and Retail Operator)

  • Donated 31,038 meals (38,798 pounds of food) through the Airport Food Donation Program
  • Donated $12,000 and 40 backpacks to support the Des Moines Area Food Bank’s Weekend
  • Recycled 45 tons of glass and 23 tons of cardboard, and kept 7,000 used wooden pallets out of the landfill through a re-use program
  • Replaced incandescent lights with energy-efficient LED light bulbs and replaced appliances with more efficient equipment
  • Replaced disposable service ware with compostable and/or recyclable alternatives and disposal towels with linen towels that can be laundered and reused


  • Generated 238,307 fewer paper “to-go” bags and an equal number of tray liners by choosing reusable liner-less trays over disposable bags for food service delivery
  • Recycled 30,000 plastic chowder bags by taking time to clean each bag so it could be recycled
  • Routinely used compost (food waste) and recycling bins to cut restaurant waste in half
  • Conserved water by thawing frozen products in walk-in coolers rather than running under cool water

Maritime Award Winners

Carnival Cruise Line

  • Developed recycling incentive program for all vessels in the fleet
  • Participated in initiatives such as Coastal Cleanup Day & World Oceans Day
  • Hosted first-ever shoreside Environmental/Sustainability Fair, demonstrating a commitment to environmental education and outreach

Celebrity Cruises

  • Installed solar panels, integrated into the ship's energy grid
  • Developed an Environmental Ship Index certification

Holland America Line

Holland America Eurodam at Terminal 91 with a beautiful orange and yellow sunrise in the background, Seattle, 2016

  • Assessed new chemicals to be used on board for impact to emissions, waste disposal and water pollution
  • Plugged into shore power while at dock to reduce carbon emissions
  • Used electronic data logging for environmental data on the ship, improving data quality and efficiency

Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Established a "Doing What's Right" hotline to report environmental violations
  • Developed a Fuel Team internal website to share energy-saving ideas
  • Implemented an innovative key card activation system for lights and air conditioning in guest rooms, resulting in significant energy savings

Princess Cruises

  • Plugged into shore power to reduce carbon emissions while at dock
  • Installed LED lighting to save energy
  • Introduced a unique shredder that significantly reduces the volume of waste produced
Back to Top