Sydney becomes first Australian airport to release a sustainability report
Planting and maintaining trees at Sydney Airport
Fri 17 Apr 2015 – Sydney Airport has become the first Australian airport to release a sustainability report, which, it says, conforms to the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 guidelines. The airport says the report responds to stakeholder feedback and supports the environmental, community engagement and other initiatives the airport is undertaking. During 2014 it received government approval for a five-year Environment Strategy that provides the strategic direction for the environmental management of the airport and outlines more than 100 ongoing actions and initiatives to minimise environmental impact and support sustainable growth. Another achievement during the year was Level 1 certification under the industry’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and the airport is now developing a revised energy savings and carbon reduction plan.
“Sydney Airport is committed to operating sustainably as well as efficiently, including assessing the impact of our business and making improvements where required,” commented CEO Kerrie Mather. “With 38.5 million passengers a year, we’re focused on responsibly managing the airport to support this growth while also enhancing the passenger experience. Our first annual sustainability report is the culmination of extensive engagement with and feedback from key stakeholder groups.”
Mather said the airport had made a significant investment in reducing waste, energy consumption and water usage, including recycling water in terminals and installing in-ground power for aircraft to improve air quality. She added a number of environmental awards had been received by the airport and its community engagement programme had resulted in investments totaling A$1.48 million ($1.15m) in charities and the community in 2014 through donations, partnerships and in-kind support.
“Late last year, we partnered with Conservation Volunteers Australia to deliver environmentally beneficial outcomes across our local community, including a bush regeneration programme at Kamay Botany Bay National Park,” she said.
Having achieved Level 1 certification in the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme in May 2014, the airport is working towards Level 2 and is establishing methods, baseline and targets for year on year public reporting of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Sydney is joined in the programme by four other Australian airports: Brisbane, Adelaide, Parafield and Sunshine Coast.
In 2014, the airport offset the emissions from its vehicle fleet through Greenfield, a not-for-profit carbon offset provider that supports native forest restoration projects. This year it will undertake a climate vulnerability assessment to ensure that any relevant adaptation strategies are factored into future airport planning.
“Sustainability is a key priority for all airports and is increasingly important to airport passengers and stakeholders,” said Simon Bourke, Australian Airports Association Policy Manager. “It’s pleasing to see Sydney Airport leading the way by formalising its commitment to sustainability through its first sustainability report.”