Advancing on nature net positive ambitions for DFW International Airport

A global aviation leader, the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) became North America’s first carbon-neutral airport in 2016. Now the airport is advancing toward being nature positive by 2040 by implementing a sustainability strategy including monitoring and enhancing biodiversity.
Dallas Fort Worth
Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport is North America's first carbon neutral airport.
Since 2019, Ramboll has helped Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) implement a sustainability strategy to advance on ambitious goals around climate action, energy performance, waste reduction, and water and biodiversity protection. The strategy involved:
• Developing roadmaps outlining specific pathways to achieve goals
• Making design and operational changes
• Adopting technologies
• Procuring considerations
• Creating partnership, education, and engagement opportunities
The strategy increases focus on complex challenges including conserving, regenerating, and restoring ecosystems to ultimately result in a net-positive environmental impact. The key to achieving net positive biodiversity here was strategically developing the site to include habitat uplift and habitat creation.
Setting a biodiversity baseline
For DFW, nature positive means moving beyond “doing less harm,” to striving for making a positive impact on surrounding natural environments and communities.
To support the DFW’s nature-positive goal, Ramboll developed a biodiversity baseline and tree conservation plan. The plan guides low-impact new development on the site to better protect natural ecosystems. The plan helped quantitatively demonstrate progress on biodiversity and measure change over time. Ramboll completed the biodiversity baseline assessment, as well as provided planning and monitoring methods for biodiversity improvements.
Identify, monitor, and enhance diverse habitats
To monitor and enhance biodiversity, it was essential to determine the variety of habitats across the airport’s 17,000-acre property. This included identifying ecological areas, their sizes, and their connectivity within the property.
Ramboll’s innovative remote sensing technology Galago was used to map, monitor, and analyse the diverse habitats. Our unique biodiversity quantification tool, the Americas Biodiversity Metric 1.0, was also deployed to measure biodiversity values and track site changes over time.
A final habitat baseline map identified seven habitat types across DFW’s site. The habitat areas together with field data were used to calculate the biodiversity metric baseline.
To determine the best path forward, the existing development and land use footprint was overlaid on the baseline metrics to understand the expected biodiversity change over time in two scenarios: (1) business as usual, and (2) business as usual with habitat uplift.
Innovative solution ensures ecological balance and resilience
To ensure targeted conservation efforts, Ramboll’s analysis identified which areas to preserve biodiversity and which areas to consider for development.
These findings were considered when developing a comprehensive tree survey and conservation plan for DFW that establishes a zero net loss of tree canopy goal for future development. Additionally, the data was applied within DFW’s full sustainability roadmap to develop a plan for how DFW can achieve nature positivity by 2040.
These integrations not only support DFW’s sustainability goals, but also ensures an efficient approach to monitoring and enhancing biodiversity improvements which help the site’s ecological balance and resilience.

Biodiversity in numbers

  • : 7
    habitat types identified, measured, and monitored
  • : 0
    net loss of tree cover
  • : 2040
    is the year DFW reaches their nature net positive goal

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  • Amy Malick

    Amy Malick


    +1 415-796-1940

Let’s close the gap on biodiversity

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