Across United, we’re working to identify new ways to conserve energy, generate less waste and introduce sustainable products and practices where feasible. To do this, we’re investing in cutting-edge, energy-efficient facilities – and we’re being recognized for our progress.
Here’s a closer look at some of the progress we’re making in developing green facilities.
United Cargo green roof at Chicago O’Hare
In February 2012, we relocated our United Cargo operations at Chicago O’Hare International Airport to a new cargo facility that incorporates a number of energy-efficient features, including lighting and heating systems, fixtures and the use of storm water.
The "clean sheet" design of our cargo facility features 53 dock doors and nearly 220,000 square feet of warehouse space, which supports our current product line while accommodating future growth. Temperature-controlled storage areas (a freezer, a cooler and an ambient room) set new standards for convenience and efficiency.
One of the most captivating features of the cargo building is the 108,816-square foot vegetated roof – the second largest installed by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the sixth largest environmental green roof in the U.S. There are many benefits to adding a green roof to an airport facility. For example, airports may see as much as a $0.20 reduction in energy costs per square foot per year because vegetated roofs counteract the “heat island” effect caused by cities overheating during the summer.
Overall, green roofs facilitate water management by retaining 70 to 90 percent of the precipitation that falls during the summer and 25 to 40 percent in the winter. Also, a green roof provides a protective “shield” against precipitation, UV ray exposure and temperature extremes. Finally, foliage on the roof acts as a natural filter that removes airborne particles such as dust and greenhouse gases.
Chelsea Kitchen lighting
In 2012, we replaced outdated lighting with energy-efficient lighting and motion sensors, increasing illumination to create a better working environment and reducing our energy consumption by 53 percent.
Terminal B South concourse, Houston
New United Club locations
We’re currently investing more than $50 million in newly redesigned lounges across many of our 51 United Club locations worldwide. The first of many of these redesigned clubs opened at Chicago O’Hare in 2012. Our new locations, including those at the San Diego and Seattle airports, incorporate many sustainable design elements including LED lights, low-flow toilets and lavatories, limestone tiling and sustainable fabrics and fixtures.
United Data Center
Our new Data Center building is designed to achieve energy savings of approximately 50 percent above the required efficiency standards. The new facility’s energy-efficient design includes state-of-the-art economizer systems for cooling critical electrical rooms and air-handling units, an energy recovery make-up air handling unit for ventilation, high efficiency condensing boilers for heating and high efficiency lamps for lighting.
Our commitment to the environment touches every aspect of our company, including designing green facilities, using low-emission ground vehicles, supporting the development of biofuels and acquiring fuel-efficient aircraft. View our video about EcoSkies to learn more about the work we’re doing toward a sustainable future.