It has been a very busy few months for Airport Carbon Accreditation. Initially launched in Europe in June 2009, the independent, institutionally endorsed programme reached several landmarks since the last issue of Airport Business.
At the joint ACI EUROPE & ACI ASIA-PACIFIC annual event AIRPORT EXCHANGE last November, Airport Carbon Accreditation was formally extended to the Asia-Pacific region, making certification available to airports there. Abu Dhabi International Airport is the very first to become Airport Carbon Accredited in the Asia-Pacific region. Bangalore Airport has also committed to become accredited by the programme in the near future.
Patti Chau, Regional Director, ACI ASIA-PACIFIC said “We are delighted that Airport Carbon Accreditation is now available to Asia-Pacific’s airports. This corner of the earth will soon be the biggest aviation market in the world and airports are keenly aware of the need to make their facilities and operating processes as environmentally sustainable and efficient as possible.”
The extension to Asia-Pacific also coincided with ICAO lending its support to the programme, a development which is clearly a decisive step in the establishment of Airport Carbon Accreditation as the global standard for carbon management at airports. Raymond Benjamin, ICAO Secretary General said “Airport Carbon Accreditation is a highly significant initiative by airports for meaningful and measurable action in addressing their greenhouse gas emissions. I commend ACI for its success with the programme in Europe and for extending it to the Asia-Pacific region, in line with ICAO’s global strategy for dealing with climate change.”
Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “When we first launched Airport Carbon Accreditation in June 2009, there was cynicism from some quarters that a voluntary initiative wasn’t going to have much success. But, as you can see, the demand for the programme has outgrown Europe and ICAO’s support is an acknowledgement that aviation is really leading the field in taking action to address its impact on climate change by becoming more efficient.”
But the good news doesn’t stop there. A burst of further applications in December/January, in particular from Scandinavia, has seen the number of accredited airports in Europe rise substantially over a period of about 3 months. Malmö Airport became the 5th Swedavia airport in the programme and joined its siblings in the ‘Neutrality’ level of certification. Dusseldorf Airport, Warsaw Airport, Helsinki Airport and the 6 airports of Finavia’s Lapland Group also recently became accredited, joining 46 others. As of February, some 55 airports in Europe welcoming 52% of European passenger traffic each year are now Airport Carbon Accredited at one of the 4 available levels of certification (‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Neutrality’).
Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President responsible for Transport, a long time supporter of the programme commented “Airport Carbon Accreditation is a fine example of an industry taking the initiative. I am delighted to see so many airports are now participating in the programme – it is clearly helping to move European aviation onto a more sustainable footing.”
His colleague, Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action was equally emphatic, saying “I am very happy to see that more than half of European passenger traffic is now passing through carbon accredited airports, congratulations! It is important that all parts of industry and society join in our efforts against climate change, and examples like yours are inspiring.”
Recent renewals within the programme have also seen Gothenborg-Landvetter Airport renew its status as a carbon neutral airport as well as Frankfurt Airport (the very first airport ever to become accredited back in September 2009) achieving ‘Optimisation’ for the first time. Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands and Bologna Airport in Italy achieve ‘Reduction’ for the very first time, while Budapest Airport has just renewed at the ‘Mapping’ level.
Chrystelle Damar, ACI EUROPE’s Manager for Environmental Strategy & Intermodality commented “The success of the initiative lies as much in its scientific robustness as in the airport industry’s long tradition of acting as a good neighbour and a good citizen.”
At time of press, Airport Carbon Accreditation is also due to make an appearance at the Aviation & Environment Summit in Geneva, at which Olivier Jankovec will make a special announcement about the achievements of the programme to date.
Final results of the CO2 reduction achieved for Year 3 of the programme, will be announced at the 22nd ACI EUROPE Annual Congress in Madrid, 20-22 June 2012.