Committed to
carbon reduction

Airport Carbon Accreditation recognises and accredits the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions. There are four levels of certification: 'Mapping', 'Reduction', 'Optimisation' & 'Neutrality'.


What is it?
The ‘Optimisation’ step of Airport Carbon Accreditation requires third party engagement in carbon footprint reduction. Third parties include airlines and various service providers, for example, independent ground handlers, catering companies, air traffic control and others working on the airport site. It also involves engagement on surface access modes (road, rail) with authorities and users.

How to achieve it?
To achieve this level of accreditation, an airport has to:

  • Fulfil all the requirements of ‘Mapping’ and ‘Reduction’
  • Widen the scope of its carbon footprint to include a range of Scope 3 emissions. (GHG Protocol)
    Scope 3 emissions to be measured include:
    - landing and take-off cycle emissions
    - surface access to the airport for passengers and staff
    - staff business travel emissions
    - any other Scope 3 emissions which the airport chooses to include.
  • Presentation of evidence of engagement with third party operators to reduce wider airport-based carbon emissions.

More information
Airports rely on cooperation with airlines and service providers on the airport site, such as ground handling and catering companies. However, these services also emit carbon, making engagement with the providers essential for an overall reduction in the carbon footprint.

When considering Stakeholder Engagement for Level 3 of this scheme an airport should ensure that, as a minimum, the following requirements are met:

  • Identification and categorisation as far as possible of stakeholders the airport can guide and those it can influence.
  • Allocation of clear roles and responsibilities for engaging and facilitating partnerships with key stakeholders (airlines, ground handlers, etc)
  • Details of communications and training provided to stakeholders.
  • A clear implementation plan of the intended approach to engaging with stakeholders including proposed actions and timings.

Specific examples of ways in which an airport could work with stakeholders to reduce carbon emissions include:

  • Awareness and behavioural change campaigns to raise the profile of energy efficiency and low carbon practices across the airport community. This could include campaigns encouraging specific behaviours such as vehicle switch off / reduced idling time campaigns.
  • Formal airport wide schemes to encourage and facilitate take up of specific personal or operational practices or choice of equipment or vehicles. For example, car sharing programme, clean vehicle schemes and waste minimisation and recovery programmes.
  • Working with key business partners to ensure that they understand airport policy and goals and objectives and can support implementation. For example through tenant forums, airside operator groups or consultative committees.
  • Working with airport planners and third parties to ensure that airport’s infrastructure plans reflect and implement the airport’s carbon reduction goals and can facilitate reductions in the emissions from significant third parties. For example working with airlines to reduce ground running and taxiing times.
  • Providing training to third parties on energy efficiency and carbon management techniques.
    Setting minimum performance standards for example for building / retail unit refurbishment, operational practices and vehicle fleets.
  • Using incentives and cost structures to encourage good practice and use of efficient vehicles. For example differential charging for aircrafts with lower / higher emissions.
  • Building-in carbon / energy considerations into existing third party lease / contractual conditions and or incorporating checks on performance and implementation in airport auditing processes.
  • Forming strategic partnerships with key airport operators e.g. airlines or contractors to collaborate on investment projects and opportunities.