Gatwick and Lyon airports step up energy initiatives to maintain carbon neutral status
Lyon-Saint Exupéry's new Terminal 1
Fri 6 July 2018 – Following its recent certification renewal as a carbon-neutral airport under the industry’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, London’s Gatwick Airport has signed a new three-year deal with Haven Power to continue supplies of 100% renewable electricity. This follows a previous five-year agreement that is credited as a major factor in achieving the carbon-neutral status for the UK’s second-largest airport. With electricity accounting for 75% of the ground operations carbon footprint, Gatwick says it is on course for reaching its renewable energy target of 25% by 2020. Meanwhile, the stabilising of its electricity consumption in spite of a 40% increase in the number of passengers has helped enable Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport to renew its carbon-neutral status under the programme.
Gatwick was the first UK airport to join RE100, a global collaborative initiative of businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity.
“The use of renewable energy by UK businesses is increasing as companies become more ambitious in terms of reducing their carbon footprint, but also because of the potential cost benefits of using renewables and embracing energy-efficiency programmes,” said Paul Sheffield, COO of Haven Power, one of the UK’s largest business electricity suppliers. “This is a positive step in the right direction and we hope to see more of the industry follow Gatwick’s lead.”
Haven Power says the use of renewable electricity will save approximately 39,000 tonnes of CO2 per year over conventional power and calculates it is the equivalent over the course of the agreement of saving enough carbon to fill Wembley Stadium five times over.
“Gatwick was among the first airports in the world to go for 100% certified renewable electricity,” said the airport’s Sustainability Manager, Rachel Thompson. “That’s credit to our Engineering (Utilities) and Procurement departments for having the vision to choose renewable electricity and to Haven Power, for being able to provide it.”
Lyon-Saint Exupéry’s new 70,000-square-metre Terminal 1 has been awarded certification by the French Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE), a sustainability standard for building construction and management.
Operator Aéroports de Lyon says it is training other companies at the airport in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as part of the carbon neutrality requirements of the ACA certification.
The airport has achieved an annual average 9% decrease of CO2 emissions in the period from 2012 to 2016, equivalent to 6,879 tonnes of CO2. To reach carbon neutrality, the airport has offset emissions over and above its benchmark through the support of projects implemented by GERES, which also help improve the living conditions of local populations. The projects include bioclimatic solutions for housing in Afghanistan and the deployment of improved cooking stoves in Cambodia.
VINCI Airports, which manages Aéroports de Lyon, initiated an environmental policy programme in 2016 called AirPact. Initiatives underway include the reintegration of the ISO 14001 standard in 2019; obtaining ACA level 1 for Lyon-Bron Airport from 2020 and maintaining the top ACA level 3+ carbon neutrality status for Lyon-Saint Exupéry; a 20% reduction in energy intensity between 2013 and 2020 by committing to the ISO 50001 (Energy Management System) approach; and formalisation of a biodiversity strategy.
Tanguy Bertolus, Chairman of the management board of Aéroports de Lyon, noted Lyon-Saint Exupéry was one of just 33 out of 133 European airports in the ACA programme to have achieved the maximum level of the ACA programme.
VINCI has 33 airports around the world participating in the ACA programme, with Lyon-Saint Exupéry the first to achieve level 3+. The group has just installed new photovoltaic parks at its airports in the Dominican Republic.
“At VINCI Airports we are convinced that climate change is one of the major challenges we must face,” said Joffrey Maï, Environment Manager for VINCI Facilities, in an interview. “Getting all our airports on board with the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is a testament to this voluntary commitment. To be clear, we do not adhere to this programme to meet regulatory requirements, but by conviction and bottom-up commitment.”