ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation gets major boost as North American region joins the carbon programme
Tue 16 Sept 2014 – The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme launched by European airport representative body ACI Europe five years ago has received a major boost following its adoption by ACI counterparts in North America. With ACI’s Asia-Pacific and Africa regions already participating and its Latin America and Caribbean region expected to join in the near future, the carbon management standard for airports has achieved a near global coverage. During a launch ceremony at the recent ACI-North America (ACI-NA) annual conference, it was announced Seattle-Tacoma has become the first airport in the region to achieve certification within the programme. Montreal, Denver, San Francisco and Portland have also committed to joining by early next year. With the addition of Sea-Tac, 108 airports worldwide, which between them handle nearly a quarter of global passenger traffic, have been accredited at one of the four levels of the programme.
Having already achieved significant results in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific, the launch of the programme in North America is a decisive step in the establishment of Airport Carbon Accreditation as the global standard for carbon management at airports, said ACI. The programme independently assesses and recognises an airport’s effort to measure, manage and reduce its carbon emissions, with carbon neutrality the highest level that can be attained.
Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World, said the roll-out of the programme was an example of the industry’s commitment to working together for the benefit of the environment and the sustainable growth of aviation.
The organisation said it also spearheads other ACI efforts to minimise aviation’s impact on the environment, such as reducing taxiway separations, Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) to reduce taxi times and increase operational efficiency, and the availability of the free Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool that allows airports to track emissions, which can be used as a first step towards accreditation.
In a joint statement, Olivier Jankovec, Patti Chau and Ali Tounsi, who head ACI’s European, Asia-Pacific and Africa regions respectively, said: “Many industries talk about their commitments. We are getting on with the job and delivering genuine, independently-verified carbon reductions year-on-year. We applaud Seattle-Tacoma’s certification as the pioneering airport in North America and look forward to seeing others apply for certification at one of the four levels of the programme.”
Added Port of Seattle Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman: “Next year we expect to go even further in the certification as part of our Century Agenda goal to reduce aircraft-related emissions by 25% at Sea-Tac and 50% overall at the Port of Seattle.”
Administered by consultancy WSP, Airport Carbon Accreditation is overseen by an independent advisory board of representatives from ICAO, UNEP, the European Commission, ECAC, Eurocontrol and Manchester Metropolitan University. Over the past year, European airports in the programme have collectively achieved a net reduction of 353,842 tonnes of CO2.
“The launch of Airport Carbon Accreditation here in North America shows that our airport industry has become more demanding of itself. The success of the programme in other parts of the world is both an inspiration and a challenge,” said Kevin Burke, ACI-NA President. “As an ambitious industry, we want to do our part to lower our carbon footprint and become better partners in the global aviation system.”