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Airport Carbon Accreditation2020-03-16T08:33:00+00:00

World Programs

Airport Carbon Accreditation

In today’s globalized world, the theme of mobility surrounds us. Yet, there is a growing awareness that the planet’s resources are finite. Society has woken up to the potentially damaging effects of climate change and new policies are being put in place to address them.

The air transport sector, with its legacy of innovation, has sought to drive the agenda of climate action forward, in particular, the airport industry. As the visible face of aviation on the ground, airports bring undeniable benefits to society – connecting places,
people and products. Following years of working individually to address their local environmental impact, airports are now working in a collective way across the globe, to make further strides in managing, reducing and ultimately neutralising their carbon footprint.

And Airport Carbon Accreditation is empowering their efforts.

What is Airport Carbon Accreditation ?

Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only institutionally endorsed, global carbon management certification programme for airports. It independently assesses and recognises the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions through 4 levels of certification: ‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’ & ‘Neutrality’. Airport Carbon Accreditation is also the only global airport specific carbon standard which relies on internationally recognised methodologies. It provides airports with a common framework for active carbon management with measurable goal-posts. The programme is site-specific allowing flexibility to take account of national or local legal requirements that individual airport operators have to comply with, while ensuring that the methodology used is always robust.

Airport Carbon Accreditation is aimed at innovative airports and strives to allow the airport industry to effectively reduce its environmental footprint, to benefit from increased efficiency through lowered CO2 emissions, shared expertise and knowledge exchange, as well as better communication of the results.

Participating airports can be certified at 4 different levels of accreditation

Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is the institutionally endorsed programme independently assesses and recognises airports’ efforts to manage and reduce their CO2 emissions.

Level 1 : Mapping

What is it and how to achieve it ?

Becoming Airport Carbon Accredited at the Mapping level requires carbon footprint measurement.

To achieve this level of accreditation, an airport has to:

  • Determine its ‘organisational boundary’ and the emissions sources within that boundary which are Scope 1 and Scope 2 sources, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
  • Provide written evidence of policy commitment to emissions reduction by the top management at the airport.
  • Collect data and calculate the annual carbon emissions for the previous year.
  • Compile a carbon footprint report, and
  • Engage an independent third-party to verify the report before submission, to ensure that the carbon footprint calculation is in accordance with ISO14064 and accreditation requirements.

Level 2 : Reduction

What is it and how to achieve it ?

Becoming Airport Carbon Accredited at the Reduction level requires carbon management and
progress towards a reduced carbon footprint.

To achieve this level of accreditation, an airport has to:

  • Fulfill all the requirements of Mapping.
  • Provide evidence of effective carbon management procedures including target setting, and
  • Demonstrate a reduction in Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions against a 3 year rolling average.

Level 3 : Optimisation

What is it and how to achieve it ?

Becoming Airport Carbon Accredited at the Optimisation level requires third-party engagement in carbon footprint reduction. Third parties include airlines and various service providers, for example, independent ground handlers, catering companies, air traffic control and others working on the airport site. In addition, this includes engagement on surface access modes (road, rail) with authorities and users.

To achieve this level of accreditation, an airport has to:

  • Fulfill all the requirements of Mapping and Reduction.
  • Widen the scope of its carbon footprint to include a range of Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions to be measured include:
    – landing and take-off cycle emissions.
    – surface access to the airport for passengers and staff.
    – staff business travel emissions.
    – any other Scope 3 emissions which the airport chooses to include.
  • Presentation of evidence of engagement with third-party operators to reduce the above emissions.

Level 3+ : Neutrality

What is it and how to achieve it ?

Becoming Airport Carbon Accredited at the Neutrality level requires that the airport company compensates for the remaining carbon emissions under its control that cannot be further reduced, by offsetting.

To achieve this level of accreditation, an airport has to:

  • Fulfill all requirements of Mapping, Reduction and Optimisation, and
  • Offset its remaining carbon emissions over which the airport has control, using internationally recognized offsets.