Helsinki Airport has officially brought its carbon footprint to zero and it has received the international ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) certificate for this achievement.
“The ACA certificate awarded to Helsinki Airport is an important milestone in the implementation of Finavia’s accelerated climate programme at our airports,” explains Mikko Viinikainen, Finavia’s Sustainable Development Director.
Achieving the certificate has required extensive reviews, continuous improvements in Finavia’s emissions efficiency, and offsetting of residual emissions. According to Viinikainen, before an airport is awarded the top ACA accreditation it must review its own emissions and those generated by other operators in the facility.
“The largest airport solar power plant in the Nordic area is under construction at Helsinki Airport,” Viinikainen adds. The solar panels are in the process of being installed, and they are expected to be operational by late summer. When complete, the power plant will have a total capacity of more than 500 kWp. Moreover, it will supply almost 10% of all the electricity required by the new terminal extension at Helsinki Airport.
In July, Finavia started using renewable diesel fuel in vehicles operating at the airport. The buses travelling between the terminal and aircraft are fuelled by biodiesel produced entirely from waste and residue.
Finavia is also making efforts to reduce emissions at its other airports. The use of renewable energy is being increased by relying more on bioenergy and geothermal heat. Finavia’s goal is also to ensure that the companies operating at its airports are committed to using renewable fuels.
Helsinki Airport and the airports in Lapland joined the programme in 2011, and each year Finavia has been supplying evidence that the emissions at Helsinki Airport are decreasing. In addition to the existing measures, Finavia aims to ensure this by introducing other environmentally-friendly solutions, such as LED lighting.
“It is increasingly important that companies set an example in reducing emissions,” adds Viinikainen. “Finavia is committed to working hard to ensure that our airports will not increase their carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. In addition to minimising our own emissions, this also means that we are committed to reducing emissions in countries struggling with environmental problems, such as India, through offset mechanisms.”
The airports in Lapland are at the second level of ACA certification, which means that they have demonstrated that they have actively reduced carbon dioxide emissions. The aim is to make all Finavia airports carbon-neutral by 2020.
Key measures under Finavia’s climate programme for 2020:
- Use of wind power
- Construction of a solar power plant
- Airport vehicles fuelled by renewable diesel
- Purchase of eco-friendly vehicles
- Substantial increase in LED lighting
- Use of pellet fuels and geothermal energy as heat sources
- Offsetting and purchasing emissions units from voluntary markets
- Eco-friendly construction (including BREEAM certification for the new terminals)
- Ensuring that other companies operating at the airports are committed to reducing their emissions