Airport Carbon Accreditation News

Issue: 3Spring 2011

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As Airport Carbon Accreditation comes close to its second anniversary, the launch ceremony in Manchester in June 2009 seems like a long time ago. Airport Carbon Accreditation was an ambitious programme, right from the start, and those ambitions are now bearing fruit. At time of writing 42 European airports have been accredited, in 18 different countries - an excellent start to the programme!


The article below will take take you through some of Airport Carbon Accreditation's newest achievers. Also in this newsletter we speak with Mr. Patrick Gandil, Vice-President of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), on the carbon challenges facing the European aviation industry, and we give an update on the support the programme has been receiving from the top levels of the European institutions.


Finally, we look at some of efforts being made to actively promote Airport Carbon Accreditation, by both ACI EUROPE and others.newaccred


Latest Accreditations

2011 has already seen a wealth of new accreditations. The full list of participating airports can be viewed here, but in the meantime, some of the recent highlights are included below.


Airport Carbon Accreditation has welcomed two airport groups into the programme. Both Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and Aeroportos de Portugal (ANA) achieved accreditation at each of their 3 and 7 airports respectively. 

Gatwick presentation


Alongside DAA and ANA, Airport Carbon Accreditation welcomed new entrants Prague, Budapest and Chisinau Airports, each of which achieved 'Mapping' level, for the first time.


Stewart Wingate, CEO Gatwick Airport & Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE


Amongst the larger European airports GatwickHamburgParis Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports have all reached 'Reduction' level, while both Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Munich Airport recently achieved 'Optimisation' level.


Finally, 2010 ended in style with the news that Swedavia's Göteborg Landvetter Airport reached the holy grail of accreditation - 'Neutrality' level!gandil


Patrick Gandil on Airport Carbon Accreditation

Patrick Gandil



Patrick Gandil, Vice President and Focal Point for for Environmental Matters of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) answers some questions on the environmental challenges facing the European aviation industry.

Why did ECAC decide to endorse Airport Carbon Accreditation?

Airport Carbon Accreditation provides a very useful tool to measure CO2 emissions, and it allows for a common method to be used across Europe. Airport Carbon Accreditation paved the road to carbon footprint calculators that the European White Paper on transport clearly urges.


ACI EUROPE made a bold move and set up a standard at a time of uncertainty. Thus, in retrospect, I consider that ECAC support was very positive.


What responsibility does the European transport industry have with regard to CO2 emissions, and how can this responsibility be reconciled with its responsibility to facilitate mobility for European citizens?

I am not sure that climate responsibility of transport industry has to be reconciled with mobility facilitation responsibility. Indeed, both objectives, in my opinion, have never been in opposition. Moreover, energy efficiency has ever been a top priority for aviation industry. Thus, addressing climate change responsibility is, especially for aviation operators, an additional incentive to get things moving.


In my opinion, carbon accreditation is an excellent way to mobilise the airport community to the importance of mitigating carbon emissions. 


Finally, I am sure that the incentive role of ETS system for float modernization must be pointed out. For an airline, every carbon ton saved through using a new aircraft or a new procedure will correspond to one carbon ton less to purchase. The ICAO resolution adopted last November about market-based measures is a first step of generalization of carbon mitigation approach similar to ETS in other countries.


Speaking of balancing responsibilities, European airports have existing environmental obligations under European law - Where should their priorities lie between sometimes competing environmental demands?

The amount of emissions taking place during the LTO cycle makes up only a minority of the total CO2 emissions. The bulk of the CO2 gains must be made through technological improvements and better air traffic management. 


A major difference between noise and climate issues is that demand may drive the aviation industry to lower fuel consumption aircrafts (and so to carbon mitigation) whereas noise reduction may be set apart. 


Airport Carbon Accreditation is an example of the industry freely and proactively tackling a key social issue in the absence of any regulation - other than airport carbon emissions, is there scope for similar such programmes in the wider aviation industry, which could address issues beyond the environment ?

If the idea is to consider industry voluntary commitment in the wider aviation industry, let me please mention the Agreement of Voluntary Commitments signed by the main aviation stakeholders in France (airlines, manufacturers, airports and French Government) on January 2008 in order to limit the environmental nuisances (noise, greenhouse gases and local atmospheric pollution).


About the process of voluntary accreditation of the aviation sector about other issues, in my opinion, the industry of aircraft demolition and aviation material recycling could be a good candidate.commission


European Institutions' Support

Airport Carbon Accreditation has attracted strong support from the European Commission. Vice President responsible for Transport Siim Kallas has repeatedly commended the programme, attending 3 separate accreditation ceremonies, and stating that he believes the programme "is playing a crucial role in helping move European aviation onto a more sustainable footing".

Paris ACA
Vice President Kallas with Olivier Jankovec present to President & Director General of Aéroports de Paris Pierre Graff

Click here for video footage of Vice President Kallas' appearance at the accreditation ceremony for Brussels Airport in October of last year. 


The European Commission is not alone in its enthusiasm for Airport Carbon Accreditation. The 'Bruges Declaration', compiled at the Bruges Aviation Summit at the behest of the then Belgian European Presidency, also specifically recognised the value of the programme.internally


Airport Carbon Accreditation Communications Workshop 

On March 17, representatives from airports across Europe came together for a special Airport Carbon Accreditation Communications workshop at ACI EUROPE HQ in Brussels. Open to both environment and communications professionals, at both accredited and unaccredited airports, the workshop explored the challenges associated with the communication of Airport Carbon Accreditation achievements.


ACA Comms workshop


Presentations were provided by ACI EUROPE staff as well as representatives from airports with experience of successful Airport Carbon Accreditation communications, with the aim of helping others make the most of their accreditation. 


ACI EUROPE members can access the workshop presentations and learnings in the Members' Room, under the Environmental Documentation section.externally



Airport Carbon Accreditation on TV


Airport Carbon Accreditation has gotten some valuable exposure in recent times. Over Christmas the programme was the subject of a story on 'CNN World View'.


Since then, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, to celebrate its 'Optimisation' accreditation (which involved an impressive reduction of 130,000 tonnes of CO2) produced a video for its 'Schiphol TV' service - click on the screen grabs to link to the relevant videos!









In this issue

European Institutions' Support

Communications Workshop

Airport Carbon Accreditation on TV     

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