As a partner with the community, Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) is committed to the principles of sustainable development. Our objective is to minimize impacts on the environment from daily operations and development through continuous improvement of environmental performance in a manner consistent with WAA’s overall missions and goals.

For more information, please contact reception@waa.ca

Winnipeg Richardson International Airport - LEED Silver 

The Winnipeg Richardson International Airport Terminal Building achieved LEED Silver in early 2015. The building was designed as a series of transparent luminous pavilions to take advantage of Manitoba’s prairie landscape and sky.

Air Terminal Buildings are unique facilities due to the nature of air travel, security restrictions and the special circumstances under which travelers use an airport. As such, planning and sustainable design considerations were complex.

Many sustainable strategies were incorporated into the design to reduce the terminal’s environmental impact, including a high-performance building envelope, displacement ventilation, radiant floor system, heat recovery systems, high-efficiency lighting and mechanical systems.

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Community Commitment

Corporate Environmental Policy
WAA recognizes environmental management as among its highest corporate priorities and a key determinate of sustainable development. WAA is committed to maintaining appropriate corporate mechanisms to ensure sound environmental management of Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

  • Integrated Management: WAA will integrate environmental stewardship into its business practices, establishing the necessary policies, programs, and practices to conduct operations in an environmentally sound manner.
  • Compliance: WAA will commit to compliance with applicable Federal and relevant Provincial and Municipal laws, regulations, and agreements.
  • Continuous Improvement: WAA will continue to improve its environmental management system and performance through regular reviews and updates.
  • Conservation and Pollution Prevention: WAA will strive to develop and promote its services in ways that conserve energy and natural resources, and promote initiatives to avoid, reduce and control pollution.
  • Openness: WAA will foster openness and dialogue with employees and the public, anticipating and responding to their concerns about environmental issues.

To achieve this policy, WAA adopts the following practices:

  • Environmental Management System: WAA will maintain an environmental management system that is consistent with its Environmental Policy.
  • Education and Promotion: WAA will promote awareness and encourage the use of environmentally responsible practices among WAA employees and WIA operators, tenants, suppliers and contractors and their employees.
  • Prior Assessment: WAA will assess environmental impacts before starting any substantive new project or activity, and before decommissioning a facility.
  • Emergency Preparedness: WAA will maintain plans and procedures to deal with environmental emergencies to ensure timely and effective corrective actions in the event of an accident.
  • Audits: WAA will conduct periodic environmental audits of WIA facilities and operations, including tenant activities where practicable.
  • Reporting: WAA Board of Directors will receive reports from WAA’s management on environmental compliance and performance, and will be apprised of significant environmental issues affecting WAA.

Community Commitment to Sustainable Development 
As a partner with the community, WAA is committed to the principles of sustainable development. Our objective is to minimize impacts on the environment from daily operations and development through continuous improvement of environmental performance in a manner consistent with WAA’s overall missions and goals.

We strive to achieve environmentally responsible airport operations and development, going beyond the requirements of applicable laws and regulations. The intent is to integrate environmental protection into all stages of airport operations and extend environmental awareness and responsibility to employees, tenants and service providers. This entails avoiding environmental impacts by taking a proactive approach and integrating environmental considerations into the decision-making framework.

To achieve this mandate, we have established a dedicated department to monitor our environmental performance and pursue sustainable practices throughout the organization and the airport community at large.

Sustainable Management Practices
In many ways an airport is like a city, with a diverse range of activities and operators to service public and private air transportation needs. The diversity and scope of activities have the potential to impact the environment if not managed properly.

WAA has initiated sustainable management practices through its Environmental Management System - a series of integrated programs designed to incorporate environmental management into day to day activities and long-term planning.


Environmental Assessment
WAA is committed to sustainable development and participates in the process of Environmental Assessments. This process aims to predict the environmental effects of proposed initiatives before they are carried out. The environmental assessment identifies possible environmental effects, proposes measures to mitigate adverse effects, and predicts whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects.

While some projects undertaken by WAA are subject to Federal and Provincial environmental assessment processes, the majority are not. Regardless of this, WAA participates in the process to ensure the appropriate environmental processes are followed. WAA Environmental Assessment process is consistent with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Airports Council Environmental Assessment Standard. 

Sustainable Development
WAA strives to be an environmental leader in its field by implementing environmentally friendly programs and encouraging a sustainable environment.

WAA lays claim to being the first airport in North America to register with Canada’s Green Building Council for its new terminal, a construction project which began in 2006. The terminal is being built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, which rates the building in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Over their lifecycles, green buildings use less energy and water, produce fewer emissions, produce less waste and contribute to maintaining a sustainable community. 

Materials and Resource Management
WAA has implemented a Materials and Resource Management Program in order to salvage construction waste materials during construction of the new air terminal. A significant contribution to the program was associated with the demolition of a runway in 2006. During this project, a runway and a number of taxiways were demolished in order to create room for the new terminal, which resulted in large volumes of concrete, gravel, limestone, and soil fill to be collected. During this project, over 150,000m3 of materials was salvaged and reutilized in the construction of new aprons, taxiways and other projects throughout the Airport. Salvaging of materials is scheduled to continue until construction is terminated and will help reduce WAA’s contribution to Greenhouse Gases, noise and the amount of waste sent to landfills. 

Environmental Requirements for Construction Projects
WAA has incorporated stringent environmental requirements and procedures into the Airport standard Construction Project Specifications. The specifications require contractors to prepare project specific Environmental Protection Plans which include provisions for the protection of surface and ground water, soil, air quality, wildlife, vegetation and other environmental components.

Recycle, Reduce and Reuse

A recycling program was introduced in 1999 and consists of multiple recycling stations throughout the Airport Terminal and Administration Buildings, offering receptacles to collect plastic, cardboard, paper products, aluminum and tin cans, glass and garbage. 

Due to the increased construction waste associated with the Airport Site Redevelopment Program, WAA initiated the Materials and Resource Management Program (ADD link to section). This program has enabled WAA to collect large volumes of materials which have been allocated for re-use rather than the landfill. 

In 2011, WAA partnered with the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) on the Recycle Everywhere Program. The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) is a not-for-profit organization working in conjunction with Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) to meet the government established beverage container recycling target. Manitoba’s goal is to reach a 75% rate of recovery on all beverage containers purchased by Manitobans. The goal of our partnership is to increase the amount of beverage containers recycled from a variety of places within the airport including lobbies, cafeterias, common areas, departures and arrivals areas, and all other public spaces. 

In 2012, WAA began to participate in the Call 2 Recycle program, aimed at recycling batteries and cell phones. The Call2Recycle program is operated by the non-profit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation and is funded by product manufacturers committed to environmentally–sound recycling of their products batteries. After collection, the metals comprising the batteries are reused and cell phones are recycled, refurbished or resold.

WAA's Environmental Management System

WAA has moved beyond the static environmental plan approach implemented in the mid-1990s towards a fully integrated management system. The system approach integrates environmental thinking throughout the organization so that environmental considerations are factored not only into how daily activities are conducted, but also into long-term plans.

WAA has developed environmental management programs, procedures and policies pertinent to airport operations and planning. These include:

  • Environmental Assessment Protocol 
  • Environmental Specifications for Airport Construction Projects
  • Emissions Reduction Implementation Plan 
  • Water Quality Management Program (includes surface and groundwater)
  • Aeronautical Noise Management Program
  • Aircraft Deicing/Anti-icing Policies 
  • Hazardous Materials Management Program 
  • Sediment and Erosion Management
  • Invasive Species Management Program
  • Recycling and E-waste Program
  • Wildlife Management Plan 
  • Impacted Sites Management 
  • Spill Prevention and Emergency Response Plan 
  • Environmental Awareness and Communications 
  • Environmental Auditing

WAA’s EMS is consistent with ISO 14001 standards.