While watching the NCAA basketball tournament this weekend, I saw a promotion for Denver International Airport (DIA). According to the spokesperson, DIA is one of the most environmentally sustainable airports in the world. It is the first international airport in the United States to have its Environmental Management System (EMS) certified to the ISO 14001 international standard. Looking up what this means, it turns out that this certification helps ensure that the airport’s EMS contains the most recent internationally accepted practices and procedures for identifying and managing environmental impacts.
This got me thinking about sustainable infrastructure. As a very long-lived asset — often more than 50 years — being sustainable should be a given. Sustainable means being able to last for a long time, and you can’t get much more long-lived or long lasting than infrastructure (unless you’re a tortoise I suppose). Not only are sustainable pract