Europe's airport carbon efficiency programme now extends to three continents as it ends its fourth year
(photo: TAV Tunisie)
Wed 19 June 2013 – Four years on from the launch of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme by European airport trade association ACI Europe, the scheme has now been extended to three continents following the certification of the first African airport, Enfidha-Hammamet International in Tunisia. In the past 12 months Airport Carbon Accreditation status has been earned by a total of 75 airports in 22 countries in Europe and 10 airports in seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region. All the airports now certified under the programme collectively represent 22 per cent of global air passenger traffic. At the recent ACI Europe/World annual conference held in Istanbul, meanwhile, Athens International Airport received ACI Europe’s Eco-Innovation Award for 2013.
The fourth year of the carbon accreditation programme yielded a reduction of over 170,000 tonnes of CO2 in Europe alone, reported ACI Europe’s Director General, Olivier Jankovec.
“Year 4 has been an epic year,” he said. “We’ve seen more airports reducing their CO2 than ever before, including an entire national airport group becoming carbon neutral. Our colleagues in Asia-Pacific have secured the participation of 10 airports in Asia-Pacific, including Hong Kong International Airport, certified at the ‘Optimisation’ level. And now Year 5 kicks off with the extension to Africa – that’s real momentum for such a young programme.
“Within and beyond Europe, airports of all sizes are now engaged in a real efficiency drive to reduce CO2 emissions that is making a real difference to the industry’s carbon footprint.”
There are four levels in the accreditation process, starting with ‘Mapping’ in which the carbon footprint of the airport is measured, progressing upwards to ‘Reduction’ (carbon management towards a reduced carbon footprint), then ‘Optimisation’ (engaging airport third party stakeholders in carbon reductions) and finally the highest level, ‘Neutrality’, under which direct emissions that cannot be mitigated are offset.
Tunisia’s Enfidha-Hammamet International has been certified at the ‘Mapping’ level. Over the past week, Queen Alia International in Jordan has also achieved ‘Mapping’ status and, for the first time, two Australian airports, Adelaide and Parafield, have reached the same level.
The programme is administered by consultancy WSP Environment & Energy and overseen by an independent Advisory Board made up of representatives from ICAO, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the European Commission, the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), Eurocontrol and Manchester Metropolitan University.
The Advisory Board judged the Eco-Innovation Award, with Athens International scoring highest on criteria such as stakeholder engagement, staff training and innovation. “Its hard work to lower its CO2 emissions confirms that despite economic pressures, this company continues to seek and deliver environmental management systems that go well beyond regulatory requirements,” said ACI Europe.
Athens International, currently accredited at the second ‘Reduction’ level, has implemented a series of energy-saving measures targeting a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions under its direct control by 2020 compared to 2005. The airport has put into operation an 8.05 MWp Photovoltaic Park, which it claims is the largest unified PV installation at any airport worldwide. Other initiatives include information campaigns and financial incentives for waste recycling, which has led to a significant increase in the recycling rate – from just 3% in 2001 to 53% in 2012.