The world’s first sustainable airport running on sun and wind power opens on Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.

Eighty percent of the airport’s infrastructure is made of recycled material and it has its own desalination plant that supplies fresh water to the terminal.

Airport manager Jorge Rocillo says the new building will help mitigate the impact tourism has on the islands’ fragile ecosystem.

Jorge Rocillo, Galapagos Ecological Airport manager:

“It’s a sustainable public building that can balance technology and adequate comfort for passengers without polluting the environment. This is basically the legacy we want to give.”

The building is so advanced it’s received the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certificate for sustainable constructions.

Ecogal Corporation’s Ezequiel Barrenechea managed the project.

Ezequiel Barrenechea, CEO of Ecogal Corporation:

“There were many challenges from a logistical point of view. First, with the sustainable construction certification, a number of features needed to be taken into account, not just the design but all the construction. Tanker ships were brought with water because seawater could not be used for building… The reality was that it was a difficult year and a half … and I’m very proud of what we have achieved.”

Tourists visiting the island like American Carrie Biolodeau are giving the new airport a thumbs up too.

Carrie Biolodeau, tourist:

“I think it’s exciting that it’s here in the Galapagos, which is itself a very unique place in the world and which has so much that deserves to be protected and maintained.”

The volcanic islands, located 625 miles off of Ecuador’s coast, are the inspiration behind Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Photo Credit: Ezequiel Barrenechea, CEO of Ecogal Corporation, which managed the project. Reuters