14 March 2023 – Airports Council International (ACI) today released the annual airport climate action results for Airport Carbon Accreditation, the global carbon standard for airports founded and managed by ACI EUROPE on behalf of airports worldwide.
The past reporting year, running from May 2021 to May 2022, ended with 395 airports spanning 79 countries engaging in carbon management and reduction at one of the six programme levels. The 91 new accreditations reported this year represent the highest growth since Airport Carbon Accreditation’s inception in 2009. Airports have also made great strides in progressing to more stringent levels of accreditation – 86 airports upgraded to a higher level of the programme during the year, with 89 having now achieved advanced levels of carbon management.
Highlighted amongst the programme’s achievements is the sheer diversity of airports now certified. They include airports of all sizes: top global hubs such as London-Heathrow, Istanbul, Doha Hamad International, Singapore-Changi and Dallas Fort Worth are amongst the accredited rollcall, along with capital gateways in all continents such as Abidjan, Athens, Amman, Phnom Penh, Quito and San Jose. Equally, smaller airports serving remote areas, island nations and popular tourism destinations as diverse as Galapagos, Kelowna, Puerto Vallarta, Enfidha Hammamet, Trondheim and Sunshine Coast are proudly counted in their number.
The reporting period covers a timeframe when many airports were facing the profound impact of sluggish and fragile post-Covid traffic recovery on airports’ financial and operational health. In this context, the results achieved serve to reconfirm the unwavering determination of the airport industry to mitigate its impact on the climate.
Delivering tangible carbon savings
The latest carbon reduction and compensation results achieved are equally record-breaking. In the period covered, accredited airports succeeded in collectively reducing the CO2 emissions under their control by 549,643 tonnes, a reduction of -8.1%. This is the largest reduction ever achieved through the programme. In addition, 898,821 tonnes of CO2e were compensated with high quality carbon credits, in line with ACI EUROPE’s Offsetting Guidance1 based on a qualitative assessment of the compensation mechanisms and offset types available on the market.
Niclas Svenningsen, Manager for Programmes Coordination at the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) said: “The results announced today speak volumes of the global airport industry’s commitment to fighting climate change. Against the backdrop of worsening climate impacts and the window of opportunity to keep the warming below 1.5°C rapidly closing, we need all parts of our global economy to act now. Airports have clearly understood this message and are on the front line of climate mitigation within their spheres of influence and lending their impetus to other industry actors. I commend each and every airport engaged in this collective effort to advance the decarbonisation of the airport industry globally.”
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, said: “The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is at the heart of what decarbonising an industry like aviation must be about: aspirational yet deeply practical and actionable, charting not only achievements today but the way forwards for tomorrow. Airports know well the role they play in their communities and the expectations that air passengers have with regard to our shared responsibility for the climate and environment. The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme provides a framework for measurable progress and demonstrable results. We are intensely proud of the achievements to date, and the appetite for continued change.”
Alignment with the Paris Agreement
The latest addition to the programme framework, Levels 4 (Transition) and 4+ (Transformation), require airports to align their carbon management and reduction trajectory with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, according to which global warming should be limited to below 2⁰C and ideally 1.5⁰C. Their launch back in July 2019 marked a step-change in the programme’s ambition level, laying the ground to accompany airports of all sizes and locations to reach Net Zero CO2.
The number of airports accredited at these levels reached 322 in the reporting period, pointing to the airport community’s readiness to pursue full decarbonisation in line with, or in some cases even more rapidly than the timelines enshrined in the global climate goals.
The 2021-2022 Airport Carbon Accreditation Annual Report can be downloaded here.
1 https://www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org/component/attachments/?task=download&id=1892 Level 4 airports: Christchurch International, EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, Faro, Flores, Horta, Kansai International, Kobe, Lisbon, Madeira, Marseille Provence, Osaka International, Ponta Delgada, Porto, Porto Santo, San Francisco International, Santa MariaLevel 4+ airports: Cannes-Mandelieu, Dallas-Fort Worth International, Eindhoven, Göteborg Landvetter, Heathrow, Indira Gandhi International, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Nice Côte d’Azur, Queen Alia International, Rome-Ciampino, Rome-Fiumicino, Rotterdam The Hague, Saint-Tropez, Stockholm Arlanda, Venice
Antananarivo and Nosy Be airports have become the first airports in Magascar to join the collective climate action movement of airports. Implemented by Ravinala Airports Madagascar, the two international airports of the country have met the requirements of Level 1 Mapping of Airport Carbon Accreditation. Congratulations!
The carbon management and reduction practices at Limoges Airport have earned them a successful upgrade to Level 2 'Reduction' of Airport Carbon Accreditation.
The French airport has completed a comprehensive carbon emissions inventory and moved ahead with CO2 reductions on its basis.
We are delighted to share the news that Melbourne Airport in Australia has gone ahead and secured a successful upgrade to Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 3 'Optimisation'!
At this level, the airport is busy reducing CO2 emissions in its direct control and rallying its business partners to join in the climate effort. This way, Melbourne Airport acts as a local engine for third party carbon reductions!
Find out more about Melbourne Airport's exemplary sustainability strategy and initiatives at this link.
Exciting news! Four airports in Corsica have just achieved Level 2 Reduction of the global Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, demonstrating their commitment to reducing carbon emissions.
Implemented by CCI d'Ajaccio et de la Corse-du-Sud, Ajaccio Napoléon Bonaparte, Bastia Poretta, Calvi Sainte-Catherine and Figari Sud Corse Airports are now actively contributing to the global effort to create a more sustainable future for aviation.
The latest airport to join the global carbon standard Airport Carbon Accreditation is Courchevel Altiport in the French Alps.
The airport's unique location at 2007 meters altitude with severe winters and heavy snowfall made for additional reasons to pursue carbon management, notably through better isolation of buildings and energy savings.
The airport's advanced climate strategy has earned them accreditation directly at Level 2 'Reduction' of the framework. At this level, airports are required to provide evidence of tangible CO2 reductions.
We are delighted to confirm that Tallinn Airport in Estonia has just upgraded to Level 3 'Optimisation' of Airport Carbon Accreditation. Tallinn Airport's advanced carbon management includes far reaching stakeholder engagement action plan, activating the airport's business partners to get on board with climate action.
Tallinn Airport's ultimate plan is to become a carbon netural airport in 2030. In order to achieve its environmental aims, the airport continues to establish solar parks at airports throughout Estonia, makes increasing use of battery-powered equipment, monitors ground and rain water levels and noise pollution, helps raise awareness among passengers, employees and partners and constantly looks for innovative new solutions that contribute to environmental protection.
Find out more here.
Dakar Blaise Diagne International Airport achieved Level 3 'Optimisation' of Airport Carbon Accreditation, as only the third airport in the African region and the first airport in Senegal. The airport has been recognised for its efforts to reduce its own carbon footprint, while taking steps to engage the companies active within its perimeter to bring about tangible CO2 reductions.
Find out more about the airport's environmental work here.
Belgium's Liège Airport has met all the stringent requirements to achieve an early upgrade to Level 3 'Optimisation' of Airport Carbon Accreditation.
Level 3 is a recognition awarded to airports with advanced carbon management strategy and implementation. At this level, Liège Airport is not only actively pursuing emissions reductions from sources under its direct control, but also engaging and driving their business community to engage in meaningful climate action.
Find out more about the airport's environmental policy and actions here.
Dalaman Airport in south-west Turkey is the latest to join the global collective climate action effort by airports. YDA joined the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme directly at its second level - Level 2 'Reduction'. To achieve this accreditation, the airport is required to provide evidence of carbon reduction as a result of a binding executive commitment to climate action. Congratulations to everyone involved!
We are delighted to share the news that Italy's Naples International Airport implemented by Napoli Salerno Airports Gesac achieved the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation.
Naples Airport met all the stringent requirements to achieve Level 4+ 'Transition', preparing a sound basis for reaching Net Zero CO2 emissions in the near future.
Aligned with global climate goals such as the Paris Agreement, Naples Airport's carbon management is now firmly focused on absolute emissions reductions and effective partnerships with business partners oriented towards greater sustainability across the entire airport site.
Congratulations for the huge team effort, crowned with a well-deserved success, to all the team at Naples Airport!
Mumbai International Airport, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, achieved Level 4+ 'Transition' of Airport Carbon Accreditation. It's the third airport in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve this high level of carbon management maturity.
The airport is aiming net zero emissions on its ambitious CO2 management pathway.
Italy's Alghero Airport has just joined the collective airport climate action within Airport Carbon Accreditation. The airport achieved Level 1 'Mapping', kickstarting their journey towards carbon-free operations.
Find out more here (in Italian).
Italy's Torino Airport has met all the necessary requirements to upgrade to Level 3 of Airport Carbon Accreditation.
This level requires the airport to engage in the preparation of stakeholders’ engagement plan, and extending the airport's emissions reduction process to the different actors operating at the airport (airlines, handlers, subconcessionaires, passengers, employees, partners and territorial realities).
All Level 2 'Reduction' accreditation requirements (achieved by Torino Airport in 2021) remain binding, starting with the carbon reduction implementation plan. Over the past five years, Torino Airport has reduced CO2 emissions under its direct control by 34 percent, totaling more than 3,000 tons.
For the coming years, Torino Airport is already working on additional projects aimed at neutralising CO2 emissions.
Find out more here.
Maastricht Aachen Airport has achieved the Level 2 'Reduction' accreditation from the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.
Maastricht Aachen Airport is actively committed to reducing its CO2 emissions. In recent years, the airport replaced overall lighting with LED, started generating green energy and electrified some of its equipment such as the power generators (ground power units), a baggage conveyor and luggage trolley tractors.
Roel Ubaghs, manager Sustainability & Innovation: "This accreditation is a great recognition for the first steps we have taken as an airport. But we still have a long way to go. In the coming years, for example, we will electrify more vehicles and equipment, switch completely to green energy sources and minimise our consumption of natural gas. The goal is to reduce our emissions to the absolute minimum. We will compensate for the remaining emissions, resulting in a net zero. To this end, we as an airport have drawn up a policy equipped with a plan on how we will actually realise this 'net-zero' ground operation."
Bastiaan de Bruijne, ACI EUROPE General Counsel said: “I commend Maastricht Aachen Airport for their double achievement: entering the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and becoming directly accredited at its second level. The ‘Reduction’ level is all about kick-starting real-life emissions reductions from within the airport’s direct control and testifies to the airport’s advanced carbon management strategy. I look forward to witnessing Maastricht Aachen Airport’s journey towards ridding its operations of carbon as part of the programme.”
Find out more about Maastricht Aachen Airport here.
Out of 425 airports addressing their carbon emissions within the global Airport Carbon Accreditation, 63 are French. Upgrades to higher levels confirm their pole position in airport climate action.
5 more airports upgrade to the highest levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation as COP27 unfolds, showcasing the unwavering climate ambition of the industry
10 November 2022 – As the landmark UN climate summit, COP27, is underway in Sharm El Sheikh, ACI has today announced the latest developments in its Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, highlighting the advances made by the global airport community to address the climate emergency.
Airport climate action – continuously raising the bar
Against the background of climate impact worsening, and the window of a +1.5°C world rapidly closing, the focus is more than ever on moving from commitment to concrete and tangible action. The airport industry has been working tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions through Airport Carbon Accreditation since 2009 – delivering concrete reductions of emissions under their direct control year after year, as well as engaging with their business partners to foster carbon reductions by third parties active within their premises.
In 2020, noting the increased need for deeper carbon cuts and in step with the rising ambition of airports around the world expressed in the industry’s commitments to Net Zero by 20501, ACI launched the first major, structural change to the programme since its inception: two new accreditation levels - Level 4 Transformation and Level 4+ Transition crucially linking airports’ climate efforts with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The introduction of these two new levels marked a shift in the ambition level of the programme, by setting out further obligations for accredited airports to formulate a long-term climate objective in line with the 1.5°C or 2°C pathways outlined by the IPCC, and defining a concrete plan to achieve it, including interim milestones to measure progress and take stock of the realised CO2 curbs. The two new levels have also gone beyond focusing on absolute emissions reductions of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by requiring airports to map carbon emissions from an extended number of sources and establish formal partnerships with companies active at their sites to guide and help them in decarbonising.
Since the launch of the two new levels, 43 airports around the world, including major hubs and regional airports alike, have already embraced their ambition. A total of 20 airports have achieved Transformation (Level 4) and 23 airports upgraded to Transition (Level 4+). Today, another five airports have met all the stringent requirements to receive these accolades. Level 4+ was achieved by London City (United Kingdom) and Lyon (France) airports, while San Francisco International (United States), Marseille Provence (France) and Zurich (Switzerland) airports secured Level 4.
Receiving praise from the UNFCCC
Airports’ extensive climate efforts within the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme have been applauded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Niclas Svenningsen, UNFCCC Manager, Outreach said: “To achieve the deep transformation needed for sustainable development and stabilisation of global temperature, we must require commitments and participation from all sectors and levels of society. I commend airports for their continued efforts to map and reduce their CO2 emissions year by year, as well as to engage their business partners in this endeavour. The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is evolving in step with the level of urgency to act now for our climate. Having introduced two new more ambitious levels aligned with the ambition of the Paris Agreement and seeing almost fifty major airports around the world embracing them, airports are sending a strong signal to other parts of the economy to follow with ambitious climate action today.”
1 ACI EUROPE Press Release, 26 June 2019: Europe's airport industry commits to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050ACI World Press Release, 8 June 2021: Net zero by 2050: ACI sets global long term carbon goal for airports
ANNEX I – ACCREDITATION UPDATE
With more than 400 airports actively addressing their emissions at one of the six available levels, the programme keeps expanding in all world regions, bringing new airports on board with carbon management. The latest entries include: Maastricht Aachen Airport in the Netherlands (Level 2), Ängelholm Helsingborg Airport in Sweden (Level 3+), Aurillac-Tronquières Airport (Level 2) and Le Puy-en-Velay Loudes Airport (Level 2) in France and three Brazilian airports: Florianópolis Hercílio Luz, Vitoria International and Macaé - Joaquim de Azevedo Mancebo all joining at Level 1.
The momentum for airport climate action can also be measured through upgrades achieved at the initial levels of the framework. Aberdeen Airport in Scotland upgraded to Level 3+ ‘Neutrality’. Saint-Nazaire Montoir and Nantes Atlantique airports in France have met the demands of Level 3 ‘Optimisation’, as did Aguascalientes Airport (Level 3) in Mexico. Level 2 ‘Reduction’ was achieved by La Rochelle, Ancenis, Le Havre-Octeville and Limoges airports in France, while in Latin America and the Caribbean, Martinique Aimé Césaire, and three Mexican airports: Hermosillo, Tijuana and Los Mochis are now actively reducing their emissions at this level.
ANNEX II – LIST OF LEVEL 4/4+ ACCREDITED AIRPORTS - download here
Three Parisian airports in Groupe ADP's international network are now transforming their operations to allow deeper CO2 emissions cuts in alignment with the ambition of the Paris Agreement. Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget airports have successfully upgraded to Level 4 'Transformation' of Airport Carbon Accreditation, bolstering climate action in and around the three key airport sites for the French capital.
At this recently introduced level, airports are required to set up a long-term absolute carbon emissions reduction target, aligned with the IPCC 1.5°C or 2°C pathways, as well as strengthening their stakeholder engagement to achieve carbon reductions across the entire airport site. The commitment to absolute emissions reductions needed at this level is a major step on the trajectory to reaching net zero emissions.
Find out more about carbon management at Paris airports here (in French).
25 airports in Africa now address their emissions within the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, with new entries announced at the ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly in Marrakesh, Morocco
24 October 2022, Marrakesh, Morocco – As the global community of airport operators and aviation stakeholders gathers in Marrakesh, Morocco for the 2022 ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Airport Carbon Accreditation has today announced new entries and upgrades to higher levels of accreditation achieved – with a particular focus on airports in Africa.
The conference host, the Moroccan Airports Authority (ONDA) has met all the requirements to accredit two more airports within its network: Rabat-Salé Airport and Fès Saïss Airport, both joining the collective airport climate action at Level 1 ‘Mapping’. In addition, the two busiest airports operated by ONDA, Marrakesh Menara Airport and Casablanca Mohammed V Airport, succeeded in upgrading to Level 2 ‘Reduction’ - the level at which airports are required to provide evidence of tangible CO2 reductions of emissions under their direct control.
In Tunisia, Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport operated by TAV Airports joined the programme directly at Level 2 ‘Reduction’, following in the footsteps of Enfidha Hammamet International Airport, the first airport to become accredited in the continent and also the very first to reach Level 3 ‘Optimisation’. At Level 3, airports are not only achieving scope 1 and 2 CO2 reduction but also activating their business partners and stakeholders operating at the airport site to get them involved in measuroing and reducing their own carbon emissions. La Réunion Roland Garros Airport is the only other airport in the African region to ever reach this level of carbon management maturity. There is currently one carbon neutral airport on the continent, Abidjan Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport in Côte d'Ivoire.
In total, 25 African airports1 in 13 countries are currently addressing their carbon emissions at one of the six levels available through the Airport Carbon Accreditation framework. They jointly cover more than 40% of African air passenger traffic (as per 2019 traffic levels).
Ali Tounsi, Secretary General of ACI Africa, said: “I am delighted to witness more and more African airports joining the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and progressing to its higher levels. These achievements show that airports in the region are already contributing in very tangible ways to ICAO’s Long Term Aspirational Goal of net zero CO2 for international aviation by 2050 – as they are addressing and eliminating emissions under their own control, while also increasingly working with businesses operating at their premises to influence further CO2 reductions. Today we celebrate the achievements of the carbon accredited airports and encourage all African airports to join the momentum.”
Airport Carbon Accreditation has seen an unprecedented growth in new accreditations in the past two years, despite the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing crises. Globally, there are now 420 accredited airports, with the regional breakdown as follows: Africa (25), Asia-Pacific (65), Europe (214), Latin America & the Caribbean (57) and North America (59). Carbon accredited airports cover almost half of the world air passenger traffic, at 49.4% (as per pre-pandemic traffic levels).
1 View the full list of accredited airports in the region here: https://airportco2.org/airports-across-the-world.html#region-africa
San Diego International Airport (SAN) in the US has achieved the highest level of certification within Airport Carbon Accreditation – Level 4+ ‘Transition.’
The airport achieved this certification through a series of programs that have increased the use of carbon-free electricity and all-electric vehicles, facilitated carbon-emission reductions by airline and rideshare partners, and enabled carbon-offset purchases by our passengers, among other efforts.
SAN is one of only three North American airports to achieve Level 4+ ‘Transition’ certification and the only airport in California to reach the milestone. To achieve Level 4+, SAN has demonstrated that it continues to reduce carbon emissions under its direct control (i.e. emissions from building energy use and fleet vehicles), is on a trajectory to meet international Net Zero emission targets through implementation of its carbon management plan, has offset its remaining direct carbon emissions, and has effectively partnered with tenants responsible for Scope 3 emissions at the airport.
Find out more here.