After thirty months of progress, airport carbon reduction programme expands to cover over half of European traffic
Wed 15 Feb 2012 – Airports handling over half –52 per cent – of European passenger traffic are now certified under the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme set up by trade body ACI Europe and backed by the European Commission. Since its launch in June 2009, 55 airports have become accredited at one of the four levels of certification: Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality. Airports’ own operations account for only around 5 per cent of aviation’s two per cent share of global carbon emissions but, says ACI Europe, European airports are keen to tackle their contribution. Last November, the programme was expanded to include ACI’s Asia-Pacific region, with Abu Dhabi International Airport becoming the first to be accredited (read article), and gained the support of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
A number of significant European airports have recently become newly accredited, and renewals within the programme have also seen Gothenburg-Landvetter retain its status as a carbon neutral airport, with Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands achieving the Reduction level for the first time.
“With Helsinki, Düsseldorf, Warsaw 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,” commented ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec on the scheme’s milestone. “More than 750 million passengers a year are travelling through European airports that are now Airport Carbon Accredited.”
In Year One of the programme, 18 accredited airports achieved a reduction of 411,390 tonnes of CO2, rising in the second year to a reduction of 729,689 tCO2 as 25 further airports joined. Final results for Year Three will be announced at ACI Europe’s Annual Congress in June.
Earlier this month, Dublin, Cork and Bologna airports moved up the accreditation ladder to the Reduction level, in which airports put in place effective carbon management procedures towards reducing their carbon footprint.
So far, six Scandinavian airports – Oslo and Trondheim in Norway together with Stockholm’s Arlanda and Bromma airports, plus Gothenburg and Umea, in Sweden – and the two Milan airports, Linate and Malpensa, have achieved the highest Neutrality level.
To achieve this level, an airport has to fulfil all the requirements of the previous three levels and offset its remaining Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions to show its commitment to achieving carbon neutral operations for all direct and indirect emissions over which the airport has control, using internationally recognised offsets such as CERs, ERUs, VERs and EUAs.
Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President responsible for transport, commented that the number of airports now participating in the programme was helping to move European aviation onto a more sustainable footing.
“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,” he said. “Airport Carbon Accreditation is a fine example of an industry taking the initiative in this regard.”
Adding her congratulations to the European airports taking part in the programme, European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, said: “It is important that all parts of industry and society join in our efforts against climate change, and examples like yours are inspiring.”
Airport Carbon Accreditation is administered by consultancy WSP Environment & Energy and overseen by an independent Advisory Board that includes representatives of the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), Eurocontrol, ICAO and UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme).