7 levels of accreditation

Level 3: Optimisation

At Level 3 ‘Optimisation’ of Airport Carbon Accreditation, airports are required to engage their third parties in carbon footprint management. Third parties include airlines and various service providers, such as independent ground handlers, catering companies, air traffic control and others working on the airport site. It also involves engagement on surface access modes (road, rail) with authorities and 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 (as per GHG Protocol)
  • Scope 3 emissions to be measured include, amongst others:
    • – landing and take-off cycle emissions
    • – surface access to the airport for passengers and staff
    • – staff business travel emissions
  • Presentation of evidence of engagement with third party operators to reduce wider airport-based carbon emissions

More information

Airports rely on cooperation with airlines and service providers on the airport site, such as ground handling and catering companies. However, these services also emit carbon, making engagement with the providers essential for an overall reduction in the carbon footprint.

When considering Stakeholder Engagement for Level 3, an airport should ensure that, as a minimum, the following requirements are met:

  • Identification and categorisation of stakeholders the airport can guide and those it can influence
  • Allocation of clear roles and responsibilities for engaging and facilitating partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Presentation of a clear implementation plan of the intended approach to engaging with stakeholders including proposed actions and timings

Specific examples of ways in which an airport could work with stakeholders to reduce carbon emissions include:

  • Awareness and behavioural change campaigns to raise the profile of energy efficiency and low carbon practices across the airport community. This could include campaigns encouraging specific behaviours such as vehicle switch off / reduced idling time.
  • Formal airport-wide schemes to encourage and facilitate take up of specific personal or operational practices or choice of equipment or vehicles. For example, car sharing programmes, clean vehicle schemes and waste minimisation and recovery programmes.
  • Working with key business partners to ensure that they understand airport policy, goals and objectives and can support implementation. For example through groups or consultative committees representing airport tenants and airside operators.
  • Working with airport planners and third parties to ensure that an airport’s infrastructure plans reflect and implement the airport’s carbon reduction goals and can facilitate reductions in the emissions from major third parties. Working with airlines to reduce the use of Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) and taxiing times would be one example of this.
  • Providing training to third parties on energy efficiency and carbon management techniques.
  • Setting minimum performance standards, e.g. for building / retail unit refurbishment, operational practices and vehicle fleets.
  • Using incentives and cost structures to encourage good practice and use of efficient vehicles, such as differential charging for aircrafts with lower / higher emissions.
  • Building-in carbon / energy considerations into existing third party lease / contractual conditions and/or incorporating checks on performance and implementation in airport auditing processes.
  • Forming strategic partnerships with key airport operators including airlines or contractors to collaborate on investment projects and opportunities, for instance in relation to Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).