Airport Carbon Accreditation News

Issue: 4Autumn 2011

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Airport Carbon Accreditation passed the Year 2 milestone since the last issue of Airport Carbon Accreditation News, and what a year it has been! The figures announced to mark the programme's second birthday were impressive - 729,689 tons of CO2 reduced in Year Two alone - the equivalent of taking 180,000 cars off the road. And behind this excellent achievement Airport Carbon Accreditation now has 43 airports accredited across 18 European countries, representing more than 43% of European passenger traffic. 


In this issue of Airport Carbon Accreditation News, you can find out about the latest airport accreditations and renewals. After this read (or indeed listen to!) our interview with Damien Meadows, Head of Unit within the European Commission's Directorate General for Climate Action, who is currently facing 'interesting times', to say the least. Find out just how Zurich Airport captured the coveted ACI EUROPE Eco-Innnovation award this Summer, and get up to speed on Airport Carbon Accreditation with details of the Annual Report 2010-2011.


Also in this edition we delve into the programme, and dig up some interesting examples of what airports are actually doing to earn their accreditations. Finally we look at some airport environmental stories that have captured the public's imagination in recent times.latest


Latest Accreditations & Renewals

The second half of 2011 has seen a consolidation of the programme, with many renewals of airport accreditations, at various levels. Following a particularly active first half of the year, during which Airport Carbon Accreditation certified many new airports, this period of renewals is particularly encouraging, as it shows that the programme has depth and 'staying power' as well as breadth. 


At 'Mapping' level, Toulouse-Blagnac achieved Airport Carbon Accreditation for the first time, joining TAV's Istanbul Ataturk and Ankara Esenboga Airports, as well as Bologna Airport - all of which renewed their 'Mapping' accreditations.

ACA Toulouse
ACI EUROPE Director General Olivier Jankovec presents Toulouse-Blagnac Airport with its accreditation certificate.

Meanwhile at 'Reduction' level Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Brussels, Athens International and Farnborough Airports all renewed over the last few months. They were joined by Antalya Airport, which became the first Turkish airport to reach this level. 


Renewals were also made at the 'Neutrality' level in Sweden and Italy, with Stockholm Arlanda and Bromma Airports as well as Milan Linate and Malpensa Airports all maintaining their coveted carbon neutral positions within Airport Carbon Accreditation.


.....And just as Airport Carbon Accreditation News goes out for publication, word has just reached that Geneva Airport has become accredited at 'Optimisation' level! See below for a 'behind the scenes' look at some of the work that Geneva has done to make this achievement possible! damien


Perspective: Damien Meadows, DG CLIMA

Damien Meadows - DG CLIMA


Damien Meadows is the Head of the European Commission's unit responsible for the International Carbon Market - Aviation and Maritime. Prior to that, from 2006, he was the Deputy Head of the European Commission's unit responsible for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 



What led DG Climate Action to become involved in Airport Carbon Accreditation, given that you have the presence on the Advisory Board?

We were happy to be invited, to help take forward a positive initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Airport Carbon Accreditation is a good contribution to this.


We're seeing a lot of opposition from stakeholders, both inside and outside the EU, to the inclusion of aviation within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from this January coming - what are your views?
We welcomed ACI EUROPE's support for action to reduce emissions in the past. Europe has followed ICAO assembly resolutions, by including aviation in an existing open emissions trading system, and we find it very disappointing that some of the states in ICAO are simply focusing on what states should not do, instead of what should be done, to curb growing aviation emissions. Emissions trading is a market based measure in the best interest of the aviation industry, if it wants to work through market mechanisms rather than controls on the number of runways, and Air Passenger Duties, and what we're seeing at the moment from some countries, and some airlines, is disappointing.


Given that this was agreed quite a while ago, were you surprised at the level of opposition that arose?
I'm surprised that a number of stakeholders are overlooking, or exaggerating the economic impacts, when this is expected to be around 2 euros transatlantic, and that the rule of law, which is something very important to Europe, is not seen as one of the prime issues - clearly Europe will follow the judgement of courts. On the politics, the US cap-and-trade bill of 2 years ago covered international aviation. I think what we're seeing now is far more political than economic or legally based opposition. And here ACI EUROPE has been positive in the past in taking forward actual practical measures. And this is better than the position of many airlines.

Beyond the introduction of ETS, how do you see the climate change debate affecting air transport in the EU beyond that?
It's clear that action needs to be taken on global emissions if climate change is not to go beyond 2 degrees celcius, and I think this is a determining factor of the aviation sector's growth for the next 30 - 40 years. It's disappointing that some of the airlines seem to disagree with the most favourable option, which is on the table, because with European public opinion - and I think 7500 people have signed a petition in the last 24 hours in support of the EU ETS - it's disappointing that some of them seem to act as if no action is a possible alternative, because scientifically and politically that isn't the case.


So the ETS would be the main vehicle?
The ETS is what airlines themselves wanted, when many people were pressing for taxes or charges, and it's disappointing to see that some of these stakeholders are arguing against it in favour of something which doesn't exist, which is a single global trading system - something which ICAO decided in 2004 not to pursue.


Moving on from ETS - air traffic management - what role do you feel that sector has to play in the fight against climate change?
Oh quite a big role. You need to use all measures - a comprehensive approach, and this is where air traffic management - the proper use of airspace and so on, continuous descent - these all have an important role to play, and they're all incremental elements of what needs to be done. So full support from DG CLIMA (DG Climate Action) for making those necessary improvements.


Airport Carbon Accreditation is well regarded within DG MOVE (Mobility & Transport) - with favourable comments from Vice President Kallas - does it have a similar perception within DG Climate Action, and do you feel that there's scope for Airport Carbon Accreditation to serve as an example for other voluntary industry-led initiatives, within aviation or otherwise? 
I think it's well seen here, and it definitely is an example of what airports in other parts of the world could do. In terms of voluntary industry led-initiatives, it's good to see some which are working. With the voluntary agreement on reducing car emissions, we saw that these voluntary agreements didn't work, so that's made some quite sceptical on these. Of course, everyone's flying, passing through airports, and to clarify that the EU ETS is a useful building block towards global action.


So these voluntary schemes could be stepping stones to reaching these more formal global agreements, or is that something that's really out of the question at this stage?
I can't see that the airline industry themselves are necessarily capable to the same extent of working through positive voluntary industry-led initiatives. ACI has been successful for a number of years - if you look at IATA, with their 230 airlines, the low cost carriers, the regional airlines, it's hard to see that all airlines could voluntarily agree on a meaningful initiative.zurich


Zurich Airport Wins Eco-Innovation Award

Zurich Eco Innovation Award

Zurich Airport was recently awarded the much coveted ACI EUROPE Eco-Innovation Award, as part of the 7th ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards, during the 21st ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly in Lisbon. Judged by the independent Advisory Board of Airport Carbon Accreditation, and presented at a glitzy ceremony, the Eco-Innovation Award requires airports to demonstrate how they employ best practice in addressing their environmental impact, across a number of different fields.


ACI EUROPE Director General Olivier Jankovec & ACI WORLD Chair Max Moore-Wilton present the Eco-Innovation Award to Zurich Airport's Head of Environmental Protection Services, Emanuel Fleuti.


Zurich Airport swept the board, thanks to its impressive achievements across a variety of different environmental topics. These included the introduction of emissions-based landing fees for aircraft, cooperation with airlines and groundhandlers to negate the need for the use of aircraft auxiliary engines, and the airport's excellent and recently expanded public transport connections. And if that were not enough, the airport has also set itself an ambitious carbon reduction goal of 40% of 1991 level by 2020.


Zurich Airport was keen to point out that its achievements were in no small part a result of the 'Swissness' of its approach - a combination of careful and rigorous implementation of innovations, all while keeping an eye on the smallest detail.


Commenting  on the award, Emanuel Fleuti, Head of Environmental Protection Services at Zurich said "ACI EUROPE's Eco-Innovation Award gives welcome recognition to the hard work that Zurich Airport has been undertaking for several years now. While we believe that these environmental efforts are in the interests of airports regardless, it is great to see our various initiatives getting the industry attention that they deserve".

Zurich Airport panorama

The Eco-Innovation Award is up for grabs again in 2012, so airport operators should stay tuned to ACI EUROPE communications for information on how to enter.annualreport


Airport Carbon Accreditation Annual Report 

ACA Annual Report 

The Airport Carbon Accreditation Annual Report for the year 2010-2011 was published over the Summer, and is available here. Topping off an extremely successful year, the report accompanied the announcement that the programme was responsible for the reduction of over 720,000 tons of CO2 in its second year.


Of particular interest to members may be the case studies from 5 different participating airports, which provide a valuable insight into what is actually involved in getting an airport accredited at the various levels.inside 


Inside Airport Carbon Accreditation


Behind the scenes at Airport Carbon Accreditation, airports are enacting a multitude of different projects with a range of different environmental objectives. Here we look at some examples of what being accredited actually means in practice, and in this issue we focus on electricity, exploring how two accredited Airports have used different approaches to manage its production and consumption.


Antalya ACA signs
Antalya Airport is keen to promote its environmental credentials

Antalya Airport in Turkey has very much focused on its own electricity generation and consumption, bringing into operation this year its 'trigeneration' plant. Powered by liquefied natural gas, this multi-million euro equipment supplies the airport with electricity, but also satisfies its heating and cooling needs, thus minimising associated electricity transmission losses. Meanwhile on the demand side, various initiatives and technology upgrades have been put in place to limit electricity consumption.


Geneva Airport, on the other hand, has taken an alternative approach, focusing instead on working with their aviation partners to reduce overall airport-wide emissions. When the engines of an aircraft are not running, external energy is required to power the aircraft's other systems. Instead of using wasteful individual stand-alone Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), aircraft parked at equipped stands must use more environmentally-friendly fixed energy systems. 2012 will see the installation of more fixed energy-use positions across the airport, for this purpose.


In the same approach, Geneva Airport has also expanded its network of electricity meters to increase visibility of third party electricity consumption, and has also negotiated with airport shop concessions to introduce other regulations on the consumption of electricity.spotlight


Spotlight: Airport Innovations


Two particular environmental airport projects attracted a lot of attention recently. Both quite different in scope, they demonstrate the wide variety of efforts European airports are making to improve their environmental impact. 


Athens International Airport PV Park

Athens International Airport in late September opened its 8 megawatt peak Photovoltaic Park. Harnessing the energy of the sun, the park is the largest of its kind in an airport site worldwide, and is projected to generate 20% of the company's energy needs. And in carbon terms, that equates to saving 1.5 MILLION trees worth of carbon annually. Not bad, eh?


For more details on this achievement, check out Athens International Airport's press release.




Also in September, London Heathrow Airport unveiled its 'Heathrow Pods' - a transport system consisting of 21 low energy, battery powered, driverless, zero emission vehicles capable of carrying four passengers and their luggage along a dedicated 3.8km guide way. As well as pleasing passengers, the concept's environmental credentials are solid - 50,000 bus journeys are expected to be eliminated annually, and the pods use 70% less energy than would be required to power a car.  


There is a pile of online material about these pods, but to get a first hand account, see Heathrow Airport's own YouTube video, which gives a quick summary on all you need to know about this innovative project.

In this issue

Zurich Airport's Eco-Innovation Award

 Annual Report 

Inside Airport Carbon Accreditations 

 Spotlight: Airport Innovations

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