Editorial: 578,062

By Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE

578,062 Tonnes. Thanks to Airport Carbon Accreditation, this is the amount of CO2 emissions that Europe’s airports have managed to reduce so far.

Over the last months, our flagship environmental programme has broken new ground with several airports joining the programme and others successfully moving up certification levels. The 29 airports that are now Airport Carbon Accredited account for more than 35% of European air traffic, welcoming close to 500 million passengers. As more airports are expected to join in the coming months, our objective is to cover 50% of European air traffic by the end of 2012.

These results and ambitions clearly demonstrate that European airports have moved towards active carbon management, and that they are working on their collective commitment to carbon neutrality. By establishing the standard for carbon mapping and carbon management at airports and by independently recognising individual airports’ efforts and achievements, Airport Carbon Accreditation has been instrumental in all of this.

It is therefore no surprise that the last few months have also seen increasing recognition of Airport Carbon Accreditation from the European institutions. We are extremely grateful for the personal endorsement and support of the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Transport, Mr Siim Kallas. The involvement of the services of the European Commission in charge of Climate Action is also a strong signal, as well as the fact that Airport Carbon Accreditation has been formally commended in the Conclusions of the European Aviation Summit organised last October by the Presidency of the EU.

All this undeniably points to the fact that with Airport Carbon Accreditation, we have raised the profile of our industry – taking the lead in relation to a vital issue for our members: their licence to operate and grow. Aviation will remain the subject of much attention in global negotiations on Climate Change and the de-carbonisation of transport is already a much-heralded priority for the EU. In this context, our ability to advance our environmental performance and showcase our credentials is more important than ever.

Besides securing our future, carbon management is also about economic efficiency – an immediate priority for any business. The attention paid by some of the financial press to recent accreditations is telling in this regard, with investors getting increasingly sensitive to the economic case and the strategic imperatives of environmental management.

578,062 tonnes of CO2 is the equivalent of the energy required to power more than 100,000 European households during a year. A pretty good achievement for Airport Carbon Accreditation, considering that the programme is only 18 months old. While this issue obviously brings you more details about Airport Carbon Accreditation and a range of pending regulatory and business issues, it also introduces you to a new face in the airport community: Torborg Chetkovich, who has just taken the reins of the new Swedish airport group – an exemplary performer when it comes to carbon management.

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