The world's busiest international airport, London Heathrow, becomes Airport Carbon Accredited
Thu 14 Oct 2010 – London’s Heathrow Airport has become the latest airport to join ACI Europe’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, bringing the total number of airports accredited to 23 since the launch in June 2009. With Frankfurt, Amsterdam Schiphol and the two Paris airports already in the programme, the addition of Heathrow is particularly welcome. Although Atlanta handles more passengers annually than any other airport, Heathrow has the highest number of international passenger throughput. The annual carbon management certification programme has four progressive levels of accreditation: Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality. Heathrow has been awarded the third level.
The Optimisation level recognizes that Heathrow has achieved a substantial reduction in its carbon emissions over the last three years, based on effective carbon management procedures and a comprehensive reporting of its carbon footprint. The level also recognizes the engagement that the airport has undertaken to influence other stakeholders on the airport site to reduce their CO2 emissions.
“If you do not effectively measure and benchmark energy use, you cannot reduce it, but that is exactly what we are doing,” commented Colin Matthews, Chief Executive of BAA, the operator of Heathrow. “This accreditation is an important milestone as we seek to make every journey better. Real improvements can be made through investment and joint-working. We are committed to helping the UK meet its environmental targets and I am delighted that the great lengths that all our staff go to have been recognized.”
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe, which represents over 400 airports in 46 European countries, said: “Today is a big day for Airport Carbon Accreditation, with Europe’s biggest airport becoming certified. The 23 airports that are now accredited span 12 European countries and account for over 30% of European passenger traffic.”
Other airports to be accredited recently include Brussels, Turkey’s Ankara Esenboga and Antalya, and Umea in Sweden. Last month ACI Europe announced that reductions of 411,637 tonnes of CO2 had been achieved by the programme. Jankovec said the addition of Heathrow raised the savings to over 540,000 tonnes in just 16 months.
“This collective effort is an excellent example of how seriously the aviation industry is treating the issue of CO2 emissions reduction, as highlighted at the 37th ICAO Assembly this past week,” he added. “Europe’s airports have already moved from words to action – we are delivering on our commitment to reduce emissions.”
The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is administered by consultancy WSP Environment & Energy and overseen by an independent advisory board that includes representatives from the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), Eurocontrol and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).