New arrivals and advancing airports

18 March 2019

Keeping up with the continuous flow of new entries and upgrades within the programme isn’t easy! Let’s take stock of what has changed since the last edition of AirportCO2 news. 

Here is a short rundown of the latest key figures. There are now 263 airports active in the programme worldwide. Europe has still the biggest share – 139 airports are at one of the 4 available levels. Airports in Asia-Pacific have accounted for most of the growth in the past months and consequently their total number racked up to 54. North American airports’ count is 39, and Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa have 20 and 11 accredited airports respectively. 

Warm welcome to the newbies

Since November 2018, 14 new airports have become accredited for the first time. 

Asia-Pacific has led with 7 airports joining the programme in the region. India welcomes four new participants, as Airports Authority of India accredits 4 of its airports: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata; Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar; Lal Bhadaur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi and Trivandrum International Airport. Two new airports joined in China: Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport and Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport both joined at Level 1 Mapping. In Japan, Kobe Airport became accredited at Level 2 Reduction directly. 

Latin American airports welcomed three newcomers: Pisco Airport in Peru, Salvador Bahia International Airport in Brazil joined at Level 1 Mapping, while Cibao International Airport in the Dominican Republic made it directly to Level 2. 

There was also growth in Europe, where two airports joined and one re-entered the programme. La Réunion Roland Garros Airport became accredited directly at Level 2. Luxembourg Airport joined and Cornwall Airport Newquay re-joined at Level 1. 

Kelowna International Airport joined the programme at Level 1 Mapping and is the newest participant in the programme in North America. 

The recently opened Blaise Diagne Airport in Dakar, Senegal, joined the programme at Level 1 Mapping as the 11th accredited airport in Africa and the 1st one in Senegal. Congratulations!

The sky is not the limit

12 airports in different regions scaled new heights in their carbon management efforts. Oman’s Salalah Airport, French airports: Dinard Bretagne, Rennes Bretagne, and Nouméa La Tontouta Airport in New Caledonia, Australia’s Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne Airports, Nadi Airport in Fiji and Tasmanian Hobart Airport have all something in common - they managed to successfully move up to Level 2 Reduction of Airport Carbon Accreditation in the past quarter. From this level on, these airports are actively reducing their emissions! 

Another 7 airports have put measures in place to activate the entire airport community to cut carbon. At Level 3, airports are required to engage with the companies and institutions working at the airport to come up with climate-smart strategies and implement them across the board. Narita, Kansai and Osaka Airports in Japan and Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan have now been certified in this regard. So have Larnaka and Pafos Airports serving Cyprus, in Europe and Ottawa-Macdonald Cartier International Airport serving Ottawa in Canada.   

49 carbon neutrals worldwide, 40 in Europe 

Airports in Europe are now 40% ready to deliver on their pledge to reach 100 carbon neutral airports by 2030, as Naples International Airport becomes the 40th carbon neutral airport. Congratulations to everyone involved! For more information about the actions they took to become carbon neutral, click here (Italian & English).  


Two CO2-reducing initiatives to watch in North America

18 March 2019

Seattle Tacoma International Airport’s operator, The Port of Seattle, is making the move to renewable natural gas (RNG) in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint further. Early this year, the Port announced a Request for Proposals, calling for renewable natural gas service to supply Sea-Tac Airport’s boilers and bus fueling system. These are responsible for more than 80 percent of the Port-owned emissions.  

Renewable natural gas, also known as biomethane, is a natural gas produced by the decomposition of organic matter, typically produced by landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and food and animal waste digesters. 

How much the project will cost or where the RNG would be sourced from will depend on the proposals the Port will receive. If proposers offer a full replacement of the Port’s gas supply, it would result in GHG emissions reductions of 18,000 metric tons per year. 

The Port of Seattle has adopted aggressive GHG reduction goals under its Century Agenda, with the aim to reduce emissions from its own operations by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050. Replacing fossil natural gas with RNG would put the Port ahead of its 2030 goal, and well on the way to achieving the 2050 goal. The company has achieved and maintained Level 3 Optimisation of Airport Carbon Accreditation since 2016. 

Moving South-East on the map of USA, another groundbreaking initiative has been taken up by the only carbon neutral airport in North America: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. What’s new? On top of their usual level of cutting edge Climate Action, the airport has now decided to team up with the Finnish company developing renewable fuels called Neste. Neste is the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, introducing renewable solutions also to the aviation and plastics industries. 

This new collaboration will explore the use of renewable jet fuel for aircraft stationing at DFW, helping the airline partners of the airport to bring down emissions from their operations, with a particular focus on CO2 emissions. It doesn’t stop there. The newly established partners will also look for additional methods to improve sustainability at the airport through the assessment of the logistics and supply chain options to lay the foundation for setting up a potential renewable jet fuel supply at DFW. 

Care to know more about DFW’s environmental work? Watch this video.


Naples International Airport – the 40th carbon neutral in Europe

18 March 2019

Naples International Airport brought the year 2018 to a close with a significant achievement in terms of environmental sustainability. In December, the airport qualified for Neutrality, the highest level of carbon management within Airport Carbon Accreditation, making it the 40th airport in Europe, and 49th globally to ever reach this important milestone. 

Since 2012, Gesac, the company operating the airport, has reduced the CO2 emissions from airport controlled sources by more than 20% in absolute terms. In unitary terms, this signifies that for each passenger passing through Naples International Airport, carbon emissions fell from 1.5 kg CO2/pax to 0.8 kg CO2/pax in 2017.

How did Gesac achieve such significant reduction of emissions? The past 7 years, the operator has carried out an important action plan aimed at reducing its energy consumption and improving the energy efficiency at the airport.

Year by year, an important reduction of Scope 2 emissions was achieved, thanks to activities which focused on the optimisation of lighting of indoor and outdoor areas, air conditioning control systems, as well as display units at the Terminal. Last year, the airport successfully adopted a full-scope Energy Management System, in accordance with the UNI ISO 50001, taking the energy efficiency optimisation process to the next level. 

Gesac also implemented several activities in order to reduce CO2 emissions through cooperation with ground handlers and other stakeholders working at the airport. Among them, we can mention the replacement of the main part of the vehicle fleet operating airside with electric vehicles, the adoption of Airport Collaborative Decision Making, as well as the promotion of environmental campaigns directed at the entire airport community, regarding sustainable mobility, energy consumption and waste management.  

In order to attain Level 3+ of Airport Carbon Accreditation, Gesac needed to offset the remaining residual CO2 emissions. The airport operator chose to contribute to the realisation of a hydro-electric plant in Laos, achieving a reduction in CO2 emissions and helping the development of rural communities in that country. 

What about the plans for the future? The airport is already drawing up ambitious plans for further reductions. The objective is to bring their emissions down by another 10% next year.

One of the projects that will help them achieve this goal entails construction of a new power plant. The so-called tri-generation plant, which was designed to achieve the best energy efficiency on the market, will use methane gas to produce enough electricity and hot water to serve the passenger terminal, cargo terminal and other office buildings around the airport complex. All this should lead to a massive reduction in CO2 emissions. According to the company’s estimation this new power plant will cut around 900t/year of CO2.

On top of that, the airport operator has several exciting projects on the horizon, including increasing the number of electric vehicles and other electrical equipment at the airport, all aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. 


The 20th accredited airport in Latin America & the Caribbean is…

18 March 2019

Cibao International Airport (AIC) in the Dominican Republic is the latest to join the growing community of climate-smart airports in the Latin American & the Caribbean region. The airport became directly accredited at Level 2 Reduction of Airport Carbon Accreditation, a notable success as it’s the first airport in the country to obtain it. 

The Dominican Republic has now 7 accredited airports, as the six other accredited airports implemented by AERODOM/ VINCI Airports have recently renewed their certification at Level 1 Mapping.

Cibao Airport’s successful accreditation has been accomplished through the implementation of a series of actions aimed at reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, and moreover, at achieving a greater independence from the consumption of electricity from the grid. This has been possible thanks to the execution of energy efficiency measures and, above all, to the operation and expansion of a 3 MW photovoltaic plant set on auto-consumption, a project in which Cibao International Airport has been a pioneer in the national airport industry. The energy generated by this solar installation will cover 80% of the airport’s needs. 

The airport’s General Manager Teófilo Gómez said that the airport’s accreditation shows the efforts being made by the air transport to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. He also said he felt proud that AIC became the first airport in the country to reach Level 2 of Airport Carbon Accreditation. Gómez confirmed the commitment of this airport to advance to the next level of accreditation and continue contributing to the mitigation of climate change in a concrete and effective manner. 

The effects caused by climate change affect the Dominican Republic significantly, making the country very vulnerable to this phenomenon. Among the notable and immediate effects are the exacerbation of hydroclimatic phenomena such as hurricanes and tropical storms, which have serious consequences for the people and ecosystems. Likewise, it should be noted that the very serious and imminent disappearance of coral reefs due to the increase in ocean temperature will have unfortunate consequences in marine ecosystems and therefore, in human activity.

In this context, as part of the Paris Agreement, the Dominican Republic has committed to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases to 25% by 2030 compared to 2010, as a contribution to the global objective of the Agreement of limiting the global increase in temperature below 2 ° C, ideally to 1.5 ° C with respect to pre-industrial levels.

Cibao International Airport’s ambitious Climate Action is unquestionably tied to this effort. 

Read more about the inauguration of the 3MW solar plant at the airport here (in Spanish). 


Setting a good example: Airport Carbon Accreditation in the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Yearbook 2018

18 March 2019

 As the concerted climate action by airports gains momentum with 262 participants to date, the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme received a special recognition from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a key enabler of this unprecedented movement. The programme was included as the only case study from the transport sector in the second edition of the UNFCCC’s Global Climate Action Yearbook 2018

This publication, produced under the guidance of the UNFCCC High Level Champions, reflects the range of current climate initiatives from non-governmental stakeholders and brings key messages to the international community to encourage a higher level of climate ambition on the national level. 

The Publication was launched on the 6th December 2018, at a side event happening in parallel with the two-week long marathon of climate change negotiations between the signatory countries at the COP24 in Katowice, Poland. 

In order to give the Yearbook a suitable inauguration, speakers from all levels of governments, the private sector and civil society were invited to take stock of progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Airports Council International was represented by Marina Bylinsky, Head of Sustainability at the European office of the organisation. The discussion was animated by Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Leader of WWF’s Climate & Energy Practice, with the panelists coming from: the European Commission, WE MEAN BUSINESS, as well as the UNFCCC High Level Climate Champions: Special Envoy, Mr. Tomasz Chruszczow, and Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, the Minister of Defense and National Security of Fiji, who also supervised the creation of the publication. To watch the on-demand streaming from the event click here

We would like to express a special word of thanks to Galapagos Ecological Airport in Ecuador and Nadi International Airport in Fiji, for providing the necessary material for the case study to be completed. 

You can read the full version of the case study here


How to choose the best offset credits for your airport

18 March 2019

 The answer to this question is within reach as Airport Carbon Accreditation launches the new comprehensive compendium for carbon offsetting at airports: the Offsetting Guidance Document.  

Within the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, when airports apply for Level 3+ Neutrality, they are required to compensate for unavoidable, remaining residual CO2 emissions under their direct control. In order to reach this level, airports need to balance out their scope 1 and 2 residual emissions, as well as Scope 3 airport staff business travel emissions that cannot be reduced by other means. The purchase of carbon offsets is the key way to do this.

In order to better understand the complexity of carbon markets, ACI EUROPE commissioned a study on offsetting for airports, assigned to the environmental consultancy Ecofys in 2017 and completed in 2018. The study included the identification of the key offsetting quality criteria and the assessment of offset programmes and projects against them. Based on this assessment, a proposed list of eligible offset programmes was established and offset project types were attributed different degrees of confidence in their compliance with the quality criteria. The Airport Carbon Accreditation Task Force and Advisory Board reviewed the study and agreed on the new Offsetting Guidance Document.

In the first edition of this compendium, readers will become accustomed with the most important terms in the world of offsets, get a detailed picture of the quality criteria that offsets need to meet and the new offsetting requirements and recommendations to abide by those airports who plan to reach Level 3+ Neutrality or are renewing their accreditation at this level. This new guidance will contribute to ensuring that the programme evolves in line with the latest international developments, maintains its credibility, and maximizes its effectiveness.

The Offsetting Guidance Document is available publicly. You can download your copy here


Dakar Blaise Diagne Airport joins the programme!

14 March 2019

We've got a new accredited airport in Africa! Dakar Blaise Diagne Airport becomes the first airport in Senegal to join Airport Carbon Accreditation. The airport's carbon management has been recognised with a Level 1 Mapping certificate! Warm welcome and congratulations to everyone involved.  


The top 3 busiest airport in Europe renews its accreditation

11 March 2019

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has just managed to successfully renew at the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation - 3+ Neutrality! The airport is acing its carbon management efforts, while remaining one of the busiest airports in Europe. Read more about their excelling environmental work here


Geneva Airport: carbon neutral & committed to staying this way

07 March 2019

The first carbon neutral airport in Switzerland has just managed to successfully renew their certificate within Airport Carbon Accreditation. Geneva Airport became accredited at Level 3+ Neutrality last year and means to keep it going! Congratulations on your exemplary Climate Action efforts. 


Gold Coast Airport secures an upgrade to Level 2

06 March 2019

Australia's Gold Coast Airport is now actively reducing its CO2 emissions within Airport Carbon Accreditation. Freshly accredited Level 2 Reduction, the airport is making great strides in limiting its impact on the Climate. Kudos!


Nouméa La Tontouta Airport moves up a level!

21 February 2019

The only accredited airport in New Caledonia has just moved up a level in carbon management! Nouméa La Tontouta Airport is now actively reducing its CO2 emissions at Level 2 Reduction of Airport Carbon Accreditation. Congratulations & well done on the hard work done to limit the impact of the airport's operations on the Climate!

Read more (in French) here.  


20 accredited airports in LAC as Cibao Airport joins the programme!

13 February 2019

Cibao International Airport in the Dominican Republic is the 20th airport in Latin America & the Caribbean to become part of Airport Carbon Accreditation! The airport's ambitious Climate Action has been recognised with a Level 2 Reduction certificate. That's a first in the country! Congratulations! 


Cornwall Airport Newquay is back on board with Airport Carbon Accreditation

06 February 2019

Cornwall Airport Newquay has achieved Level 1 of Airport Carbon Accreditation, in a bid to mitigate the impact of their operations on the Climate! Keep it up :). 


All 6 AERODOM airports renew their certification!

06 February 2019

We are delighted to confirm that the 6 accredited airports in the Dominican Republic, owned by VINCI Airports, have successfully renewed their Level 1 Mapping certification. Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Samaná El Catey International (AZS), La Isabela International (JBQ), María Montez International (BRX) and Arroyo Barril (EPS) airports are busy with mapping their carbon footprint, in the meantime already engaging in advanced climate action initiatives, like solar parks planted at their premises. We keep our fingers crossed for your journey to carbon neutrality! 

Read more here about AERODOM's actions (in Spanish) here.  


Cambodia Airports renews their certification

29 January 2019

It was a record year in passenger traffic for Cambodia Airports, operated by VINCI Airports! At the same time, their engagement on the Climate front didn't falter even the slightest bit! Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanouk Airports renewed their Level 1 Mapping Airport Carbon Accreditation certificates. 35 airports owned or operated by VINCI Airports worldwide are part of the movement! 


Carrasco International Airport goes a level higher

28 January 2019

The only accredited airport in Uruguay, Carrasco International Airport, has made it all the way to Level 2 Reduction of Airport Carbon Accreditation. To give an example of their Climate Action: most recently, the airport made the headlines with the opening of a brand new, 0.5 MW photo-voltaic plant at its premises. In its first stage, the solar plant occupies a one hectare plot at entrance of the terminal and consists of 1,540 photo-voltaic panels distributed in seven rows from north to south. Its metal structure has state-of-the-art solar tracking technology, which allows the movement of the panels during the day and a 30% improvement from the sun’s energy to traditional fixed panels. Read more about it here

We keep our fingers crossed for the airport's journey to carbon neutrality!  


Düsseldorf Airport renews at Level 3 Optimisation

25 January 2019

Congratulations to Düsseldorf Airport for renewing their Airport Carbon Accreditation at Level 3 Optimisation! The German airport is hard at work to reduce the emissions from their operations and engage their business partners to do the same. Read more about their Climate Action (in German) here


Australia's Brisbane Airport is one step away from carbon neutrality

24 January 2019

Brisbane Airport has just achieved a successful renewal within Airport Carbon Accreditation! The Aussie airport is just one step away from the coveted CO2 neutrality. Congratulations on your renewed Level 3 Optimisation certificate! 


Rajiv Gandhi International Airport renews at Level 3+ Neutrality

23 January 2019

The first airport to ever reach Neutrality in India and in the broader Asia-Pacific region has just renewed their accreditation for another year! Even though years pass, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, serving the city of Hyderabad, keeps it fresh with their Level 3+ Neutrality certificate within Airport Carbon Accreditation. Congratulations! 


Kelowna Airport joins the programme!

23 January 2019

We are delighted to reveal that Kelowna International Airport in Canada started Mapping its CO2 footprint within Airport Carbon Accreditation! The airport joined the community of now 13 climate-smart airports in the country of maple syrup ;). Congratulations to everyone involved!