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Cape Air Receives EPA Environmental Merit Award

May 2, 2012


Cape Air is the recipient of a 2011 Environmental Merit Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The award recognizes outstanding environmental advocates who have made significant contributions toward preserving and protecting natural resources.
Cape Air Sustainability Director Jim Wolf received the award from EPA Regional Administrator Curtis Spalding at a ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston on Wednesday afternoon.  
“To be recognized by the US EPA, an agency which has done so much to protect clean air, clean water and to reduce global warming, is truly an honor,” said Jim Wolf. 
The EPA’s nomination praised Cape Air for implementing a multi-faceted sustainability initiative as part of its long-term business strategy, and for its creative partnerships and replicable programs. Cape Air’s energy initiatives have the combined impact of reducing green house gas output by 1,540 metric tons annually, or the equivalent of taking 310 cars off the road.  
“This is good business,” said Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf said, “We benefit twice—once on our bottom line, and again in protecting resources.  We have found tremendous opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and to help our employees and communities save energy as well.  I hope this award will encourage other businesses to fully explore the steps they can take to save energy and reduce green house gas emissions.” 
The nomination cited Cape Air’s leadership in making its corporate headquarters a net zero electricity facility through energy efficiency improvements and installation of a solar photovoltaic renewable energy system. That system is now producing 84% of the building’s electricity needs, while energy efficiency improvements have reduced electricity used for cooling by 18%, and reduced natural gas consumption by 25% since 2009.
The nomination also noted Cape Air’s efforts to help employees save energy at home by facilitating access to home energy audits and rebate programs as well as helping them evaluate their home for solar energy applications.  Cape Air also provided its 850 employees worldwide with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs to use at home saving them $50 a year on average.  
EPA also praised Cape Air for its efforts to help communities save energy.  Cape Air supported the purchase of renewable Cow Power for Rutland/Southern Vermont Regional Airport. The contribution represented the equivalent of 25% of the annual electricity bill for the airport’s new terminal, and 100% of the annual electricity bill for the airport’s rescue equipment. 
Cape Air also has made strides in reducing the amount of fuel used in its operations. By installing new equipment on its fleet of Cessna 402s, Cape Air has reduced annual fuel consumption by 4%.  And recently Cape Air announced the purchase of a pure electric vehicle to handle a portion of its ground transportation needs on the Island of Nantucket.
“It’s my hope that consideration of environmental gains will be part of all business planning in the future,” Dan Wolf said, “This is an on-going process and every small step counts. We look forward to others receiving similar EPA awards and learning from what they do.”
About Cape Air:  Now in its 21st year, Cape Air is one of the largest independent regional airlines in the United States annually flying over 610,000 passengers to destinations around the world including New England, New York, the Caribbean, and Florida, the mid-Atlantic, the Midwest and Micronesia. With a fleet of sixty-four Cessna 402s and two ATR-42s, the employee owned company operates up to 600 flights a day. Based in Hyannis, Massachusetts, Cape Air also operates flights under the Nantucket Airlines brand. Cape Air is a codeshare partner with Continental Airlines in the Caribbean and Micronesia, with JetBlue Airways in New England and American Airlines in the Midwest.  In addition, Cape Air has ticket and baggage agreements with most major airlines. Cape Air’s unique brand of customer service, MOCHA HAGoTDI*, has earned the airline accolades as ‘Best Airline’ on Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and in the US Virgin Islands. The airline has been recognized for outstanding philanthropy in the communities it serves and Cape Air founder and CEO Dan Wolf was recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year™ Award.  Cape Air’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility encompasses energy efficiency, renewable energy, fleet fuel efficiency, waste reduction, responsible purchasing, support for employees to improve energy efficiency at home, and partnering with host communities on socially and environmentally regenerative projects.
Cape Air’s Sustainability Initiative has received numerous honors including recognition by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) as a Business Leader for Energy Efficiency (2011); the Association of Energy Engineers New England Chapter Award for Best Customer-Driven Energy Project for Small Commercial and Industrial, and the 2010 Mass Savers Award for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements making its corporate headquarters a net zero electricity consumer.      
*Make Our Customers Happy And Have A Good Time Doing It
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