2017 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Carly Shannon, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP

Nov. 3, 2017

Carly Shannon, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP
Senior Project Planner and Sustainability Leader
C&S Companies
AGE: 30

  • Alma Mater: Boston College
  • What is your dream job?: I’m doing it (though I never imagined what “it” would be).
  • What person has impacted your career the most?: My parents. My mom is the reason I have an education, and my dad has always shown me the importance of a good work ethic and loving what you do.
  • If I could visit any airport in the world, it would be: Schiphol Airport – a leader in sustainability (and I missed last year’s Airports Going Green, which was held there!).
  • If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead: The first woman who ends up in the oval office. In my work, I’ve seen that having different perspectives at the table helps solve challenging issues. Never having a female in that role is simply a missed opportunity.

Carly Shannon works in the aviation practice for C&S Companies, leading sustainability initiatives for clients across the United States. Quickly progressing to this leadership role in a very short amount of time, she has brought her energy and enthusiasm for sustainability to help not only grow her career, but also grow the aviation practice.

This progression has led to significant contributions to the aviation industry to integrate sustainability into the planning, design and construction process for airfield improvements using the Envision process that has changed the paradigm on C&S’s approach to projects. Because of Shannon’s contributions leading these efforts, C&S has been involved in two Envision-awarded airport projects: Providence, Rhode Island’s TF Green Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Shannon has worked tirelessly to integrate sustainability principles not only into projects pursuing verification, but into all levels of the firm’s planning efforts. With her leadership, C&S took the incorporation of Envision one step further, creating a set of guidelines that can be passed on to contractors, which identifies the priorities in addressing sustainability in all projects, whether pursuing an Envision award or not.

This innovative approach goes beyond just project and planning principles. It means ensuring the philosophy was fully embraced and understood by other C&S employees. Shannon understood this and organized two in-person training opportunities where nearly 50 individuals from various locations and roles participated. More than 20 of them took the next step to receive their Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) credential.

Shannon’s innovation and commitment is further exemplified by taking first place in the Airport Consultant Council’s 2014 Young Professionals Innovation Competition, Resilience: Airports Learning To Bounce Back. She is regularly engaged in ACI-NA’s sustainability working group, writes articles and leads conference panels.

What does Shannon enjoy most about what she does? “Engaging different disciplines at an airport outside of planning/environmental and working with them to understand their role in – and potential contributions to – sustainability,” she said.

A big career challenge for Shannon is deceptively simple: saying no. “There are a lot of interesting projects out there, but you can’t do them all,” she said.
The aviation industry is exciting, said Shannon. “Airports are like small cities and present a wide range of challenges and opportunities,” she observed. “In addition, each one is so unique that the work I do changes every day.”

Her best piece of career advice? “Find something you're passionate about, that you can be good at, and that the market will demand,” she said.