2021 TxN 20 Honorees: BNSF & DFW Airport + Industry Highlights

We are excited to bring you the Texan by Nature 20 (TxN 20) for its third year! The TxN 20 is an effort to recognize the best work in conservation coming from businesses operating and based in Texas. It’s an opportunity to showcase innovation, commitment, and best practices from a variety of industries.

To select the 2021 TxN 20, the TxN Team evaluated submissions as well as conducted independent research across 2,000+ of Texas’ publicly traded and private companies within 12 industry sectors. All companies were evaluated on a 17-point scoring system to narrow down the list of the top 60 companies in Texas. A selection committee of top industry leaders was formed to evaluate the top 60 companies and select the final honorees for the TxN 20.

Texas is BIG: 268,597 square miles featuring the most roadway in the United States at 314,000 miles, the largest share of rail lines at 10,400 miles, and 400 airports including 2 of the top 15 busiest airports in the nation. In 2020 alone, DFW Airport served 7.7 million passengers! Texas’ transportation industry touches all parts of the state and it is doing more than just taking Texans to their next destination. Leaders in transportation are reducing emissions, becoming carbon-neutral, and recycling tens of thousands of tons annually. In an industry not typically synonymous with conservation, Texas transportation companies are driving sustainability advances for others to follow. 

Learn more about the 2021 TxN 20 honorees from the transportation industry and see a list of industry highlights. 

2021 Honoree: BNSF

BNSF is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies, operating approximately 32,500 route miles of track and almost 8,000 locomotives. In addition to rail being a sustainable way to transport goods and cargo, BNSF is reducing their waste through recycling efforts, investing in multiple National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grants, and investing in their infrastructure to make their technologies more efficient. In 2020 BNSF recycled 2.9 M rail ties, 60,000 of which have made their way into an artificial reef to create complex habitats for more than 250,000 fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

2021 Honoree: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

DFW Airport  is one of the most frequently visited super hub airports in the world and a returning TxN 20 Honoree for the third consecutive year. They have continued to prioritize environmental responsibility through reducing emissions, lowering operating costs, driving economic value, and reducing social inequalities. In fiscal year 2020, DFW achieved 99% diversion of waste from landfills for all construction projects, resulting in more than $25 million in savings. Over 1.1 million tons of construction waste has already been diverted from landfills in fiscal year 2021 to date (July 2021).  Beyond waste, DFW airport is committed to net zero operations by 2030 and is currently certified carbon neutral. The airport has reduced emissions 79% since 2010!

Read the full honoree Q&A write-ups and read the 2021 press release

Industry Highlights

In addition to this year’s TxN 20 honorees, learn more about best practices in conservation and sustainability coming from companies across the transportation industry.

  • Over the past four years, Toyota Motor Corporation has connected over 160,000 people with nature through their programs. Their Toyota Green Wave Project trains employees that conduct Plant in Harmony with Nature initiatives that include reforestation programs and wildlife habitat maintenance at many of their plants in Japan. In Texas, their Plano headquarters is LEED certified and includes what was the largest commercial rainwater collection system at the time of installation.
  • American Airlines’ campus there is designed to meet the LEED Gold standard, and their car-free campus policy there encourages their employers and team members to walk and bike between buildings, decreasing CO2 emissions and promoting time in the outdoors. American Airlines also planted 3,500 trees across 300 acres, including 90 acres of woodlands and 8+ miles of trails for their team.
  • Since 2002, Southwest Airlines has invested $620 million in fuel efficiency projects, and in 2019, these projects have helped them save 11.5 million gallons of fuel. Through their Green Team program, they engage their employees in conservation efforts by leading educational, hands-on efforts to make their facilities greener. Southwest Airlines was a 2019 TxN 20 Honoree.
  • In 2020, Union Pacific invested $2.8 billion into a capital program. Through this program, Union Pacific invested more than $2 million in flood mitigation work by cleaning culverts and upgrading drainage systems. Additionally, through thorough analyses, research, and repairs, Union Pacific reported a 910 million gallon reduction in water usage from 2019. Union Pacific was a 2019 TxN 20 Honoree.
  • Capital Metro promotes air quality as an active member of the Clean Air Coalition and through Ozone Advance, which is the regional air quality plan. CapMetro’s efforts in sustainability include working on a sustainability route map, as well as an environmental and sustainability management system to conserve natural resources.