102 Airports in 4 Continents Now Actively Addressing Their CO2 Emissions

Following an industry commitment to reduce its carbon emissions, made 6 years ago and the launch, 5 years ago of the carbon management standard Airport Carbon Accreditation, European airport trade body ACI EUROPE today reported on the industry’s progress, during its 24th Annual Congress in Frankfurt.

Airports Council International CRITICAL MASS ACHIEVED

The institutionally endorsed¹ programme independently assesses² and recognises airports’ efforts to manage and reduce their CO2 emissions. It certifies airports at 4 different levels of accreditation (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality). In the past twelve months, Airport Carbon Accredited status has been earned by a total of 102 airports in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

All the airports now certified by Airport Carbon Accreditation collectively represent 23.6% of global air passenger traffic. In the past year they have achieved a net reduction of 133,599 tonnes of CO2 from the emissions under their direct and indirect control. This result represents an average 5.98% reduction across all the airports in the programme.


The programme’s success in Europe is evident in the fact that there are 85 European airports currently certified – from Amsterdam to Zagreb. Collectively, these airports welcome 62.8% of European passenger traffic.

That list also includes 16 airports that have achieved carbon neutrality*.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “Many industries talk about their commitments. The airport industry is getting on with the job and delivering genuine, independently-verified carbon reduction year-on-year. Airports are moving up through the levels of the programme, becoming more efficient, less polluting and engaging partners to collaborate on this as well. An increase in terminal square metres or passengers no longer has to mean an increase in CO2 emitted.”

He added “This past year alone, the collective efforts of European airports in the programme yielded a net reduction of 353,842 tonnes of CO2, enough to power 147,781 households for a year. And that’s just last year. We’re 5 years into this, with real momentum. We will keep going – seeking new efficiencies and innovation to reduce the airport industry’s carbon footprint and also expanding the geographical reach of the programme.”

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that aviation’s total CO2 emissions account for 2% of global emissions’ impact on climate change. Of that figure, airports’ own operations only account for up to 5%, but European airports are keen to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions – several individual airports operators having already committed to becoming carbon neutral in the past few years with some having already achieved this.

¹The programme is administered by leading consultancy WSP and overseen by an independent Advisory Board including representatives from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), EUROCONTROL and Manchester Metropolitan University.

²WSP is the administrator of Airport Carbon Accreditation. It is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, working with governments, businesses, architects and planners and providing integrated solutions across many disciplines. The firm provides services to transform the built environment and restore the natural environment, and its expertise ranges from environmental remediation to urban planning, from engineering iconic buildings to designing sustainable transport networks, and from developing the energy sources of the future to enabling new ways of extracting essential resources. It has approximately 17,000 employees, mainly engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors as well as various environmental experts and design professionals, based in more than 300 offices, across 30 countries, on 5 continents. www.wspgroup.com

Airports are at different points on this journey to become cleaner and more efficient. As the centrepoints of a complex web of aircraft movements, technical operations

and surface access transport, airports can address their CO2 emissions in a variety of ways. These can include better insulation and energy efficiency, switching to green energy sources, investing in hybrid, electric or gas-powered service vehicles, encouraging employees, passengers & visitors to use public transport, working with airlines & air traffic management to reduce runway taxiing times and implement green landing processes and much more.

The programme was extended to airports in the Asia-Pacific region of ACI, in November 2011 (in partnership with ACI Asia-Pacific and the Africa region of ACI in June 2012, in partnership with ACI Africa).

*For full details of the levels of accreditation of each airport certified in the past 12 months, please see Pages 43 to 46 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation - Annual Report 2013-2014, downloadable here.

In the past year, the programme has been selected as of the Top 3 low carbon initiatives for Europe, in the European Commission’s World You Like Contest and also been highly commended at the International Transport Forum’s Transport Achievement Awards.

For more information on the programme:

Website: http://www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org

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