Growing list of European airports addressing their carbon footprint

February 1st, 2012 by Airports Council International

With the inclusion of the airline industry into the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme from 1 January 2012, ACI EUROPE has released an update on its flagship climate change initiative, Airport Carbon Accreditation, detailing the progress made by airports in lowering their own CO2 emissions.

Guernsey Airport has many options to address its carbon footprint (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

As of the 31 January 2012, some 55 airports in Europe welcoming 52% of European passenger traffic each year are now Airport Carbon Accredited at one of the 4 available levels of certification (‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Neutrality’).

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “with Helsinki airport, Dusseldorf airport, Warsaw airport and the six airports of Finavia’s Lapland Group now accredited, joining 46 others, our industry continues to make tangible progress in addressing its carbon footprint and becoming more efficient.”

“More than 750 million passengers a year are travelling through European airports that are now Airport Carbon Accredited,” he said.

Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President responsible for Transport, said “Genuine progress on greening transport and curbing emissions can only occur when the regulator’s work is complemented by citizens and businesses taking action of their own.”

“Airport Carbon Accreditation is a fine example of an industry taking the initiative in this regard. I am delighted to see so many airports are now participating in the programme – it is clearly helping to move European aviation onto a more sustainable footing.”

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action said “I am of course very happy to see that more than half of European passenger traffic is now passing through carbon accredited airports, congratulations!”

“It is important that all parts of industry and society join in our efforts against climate change, and examples like yours are inspiring.”

Initially launched in Europe in June 2009, the institutionally endorsed programme Airport Carbon Accreditation has moved up several gears in the past two and half years.

The programme is administered by leading consultancy WSP Environment & Energy and overseen by an independent Advisory Board including representatives of the European Commission, European Civil Aviation Conference, EUROCONTROL, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

In November 2011, the programme expanded to the Asia-Pacific region, gaining the support of ICAO at that time too.

Abu Dhabi Airport was the very first to become Airport Carbon Accredited in the Asia-Pacific region of ACI.

The recent ‘first time’ accreditations of a significant number of airports have seen the programme shoot past the 50% mark in Europe in the past weeks.

In Year one, 18 accredited airports achieved a reduction of 411,390 tCO2.

In Year two, 43 accredited airports achieved a reduction of 729,689 tCO2, equivalent to removing around 180,000 cars from the roads, and results of the CO2 reduction achieved for Year 3 of the programme, will be announced at the 22nd ACI EUROPE Annual Congress in Madrid from 20 t0 22 June 2012.

Recent renewals within the programme have also seen Gothenborg-Landvetter Airport renew its status as a carbon neutral airport as well as Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands achieve ‘Reduction’ for the first time.

Currently there are eight European airports Carbon Accredited for ‘neutrality’, seven European airports carbon accredited for ‘optimisation’, 19 European airports Carbon Accredited for ‘reduction’, and 22 European airports Carbon Accredited for ‘mapping’.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that aviation’s total CO2 emissions currently accounts for 2% of global emissions. Of that figure, airports’ own operations 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.

For more information, please visit the Airport Carbon Accreditation website.


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