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 and reducing their carbon footprint on the way to full decarbonization of the sector.

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 six levels of certification: ‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’, ‘Neutrality’, ‘Transformation’ and ‘Transition’. 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 6 DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCREDITATION

Through its 6 levels of certification, Airport Carbon Accreditation acknowledges that airports are at different stages in their journey towards comprehensive carbon management. It is a programme for airports of all sizes, extending even beyond hubs and regional airports with scheduled passenger traffic, to include general aviation and freight-focused airports.

Level 1 : Mapping

What is it?

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

How to achieve it:

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

Level 2 : Reduction

What is it?

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

How to achieve it:

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?

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. This level also includes engagement on surface access modes (such as road and rail), with authorities and with users.

How to achieve it:

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
  • Present evidence of engagement with third-party operators to reduce the above emissions

Level 4 : Transformation

What is it?

The achievement of level 4 represents a step change in the carbon management of an airport, as the airport will have to define a long-term carbon management strategy oriented towards absolute emissions reductions.

How to achieve it:

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

  • Compile an extended carbon footprint (for Scope 1 and 3)
  • Formulate a long-term, absolute emissions reduction target, aligned with the 1.5°C pathway or the 2°C pathway outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Define the steps to achieve this target and the interim milestones to measure its progress
  • Demonstrate evidence of actively driving third parties towards delivering emissions reductions

Level 3+ : Neutrality and Level 4+: Transition

What is it?

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

How to achieve level 3+ ‘Neutrality’:

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

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

How to achieve level 4+ ‘Transition’:

  • Fulfill all requirements of Transformation, and
  • Offset the residual carbon emissions over which the airport has control, using internationally recognised offsets.

Find out more on www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org