Schiphol becomes carbon neutral airport

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Europe’s fourth busiest airport, has achieved carbon neutrality.

The achievement was announced at this year’s Global Sustainable Aviation Summit taking place in Geneva. Olivier Jankovec, director general of airports industry organisation ACI EUROPE said: “It shows what can be done in less than five years, when carbon dioxide emissions reduction is deemed a top priority and embedded in corporate culture.”

There are now 96 airports certified in four continents under the Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme – and more are expected to join in the months ahead.

Launched in Europe in June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation expanded to Asia-Pacific in November 2011 and Africa in June 2013.

The institutionally endorsed programme independently assesses and recognises airports’ efforts to manage and reduce their CO2 emissions. It certifies airports at four different levels of accreditation (mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality).

Activities undertaken by airport operators to reduce their emissions, include investments in heating and lighting efficiency technology, electric, hybrid or gas-powered vehicles, public transport incentive schemes and less corporate travel. Airports implementing programmes such as Airport-Collaborative Decision-Making (A-CDM) and Continuous Descent Operations (CDO) also help engage others to lower their emissions on the airport site.

“With the programme focused on continuous improvement in reducing CO2 emissions, it is also great to see so many participating airports advancing year after year towards carbon neutrality. These airports are truly leaders in terms of addressing our industry’s impact on Climate Change,” said Jankovec.

In Europe, the last months have seen the first time accreditations of Venice Airport, Treviso Airport, Naples Airport and Groningen Airport Eelde, leading to a total of 80 European airports certified under the accreditation scheme.

Several established participants in the programme have also succeeded in moving up a level of certification. Eindhoven Airport (also a member of the Schiphol Group) became the first carbon neutral airport in the Benelux earlier this year. Athens International Airport, Hamburg Airport and Farnborough Airport have all succeeded in moving up another level of certification to level 3, ‘optimisation’. Meanwhile, Cork Airport and Rome Ciampino Airport also succeeded in their attempts to reach the ‘reduction’ level.

In Asia, there have also been several new additions and upgrades within the accreditation scheme. Sharjah International Airport in the UAE has recently become certified at the ‘mapping’ level. Kaohsiung Airport in Taiwan has entered programme at the ‘reduction’ level, while Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport has upgraded to that level as well. Incheon International Airport in South Korea has joined Kempegowda International Airport and Indira Gandhi International Airport, which both earned the ‘optimisation’ certification – the highest certification without using offsets.

On 17 June, the final results of the CO2 reduction achieved for Year 5 will be announced at the 23rd ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, which will be hosted by FRAPORT (Frankfurt Airport) – the very first airport to become certified by the programme.

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