Christchurch Airport in New Zealand has taken a major step forward in its commitment to fight against climate change, becoming the first airport in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world to reach Level 4 Transformation of Airport Carbon Accreditation. This high achievement is evidence of the airport’s continued efforts to align its carbon management strategy with the global climate goals. It also follows ACI’s recent announcement of the introduction of two further levels of accreditation in its global Airport Carbon Accreditation programme (Level 4 Transformation and Level 4+ Transition) to mark the industry’s ongoing commitment to ‘Build Back Better’.
Christchurch Airport, which was previously accredited at Level 2 Reduction of Airport Carbon Accreditation, has successfully upgraded to Level 4 Transformation, one of the highest levels of accreditation, by taking swift and concrete actions to transform its operations to achieve CO2 emissions reduction in alignment with the Paris Agreement (global warming limited to below 2°C and ideally 1.5°C). To attain this accreditation, Christchurch Airport has also addressed broader emissions in its carbon footprint that include all the significant operational sources on- and off-site. Furthermore, the airport has demonstrated evidence of actively engaging and leading its stakeholders towards delivering emissions reductions.
Speaking of this achievement, Malcolm Johns, CEO Christchurch Airport, commented: ‘’Achieving Level 4 Transformation of Airport Carbon Accreditation is a giant leap for our airport community. We are very proud to be the first airport in New Zealand and in the world to reach this accreditation. As regional airport, we set a good example for our regional peers and for the airport industry as a whole. We show that small is big when you are bold enough to set the bar higher on climate actions and to deliver on ambitious environmental goals. We will continue to work diligently to build a more sustainable aviation in strong cooperation with our business partners.’’
Stefano Baronci, Director General ACI Asia-Pacific, said: ‘’We are thrilled to see Christchurch Airport becoming the first airport in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world accredited at Level 4 Transformation of Airport Carbon Accreditation. This achievement demonstrates the airport’s firm commitment to invest in a more sustainable future for aviation and for the region it serves. Without a doubt, it is a remarkable milestone at a time of unprecedented challenges for aviation. For airports, it is essential to recover from COVID-19 in a more agile and sustainable way and Christchurch Airport is clearly leading the way in working towards decarbonisation. We hope other airports in the region will follow Christchurch Airport’s leadership.’’
Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented: ‘’Today’s announcement that Christchurch Airport has reached Level 4 Transformation of Airport Carbon Accreditation underlines the airport’s strenuous efforts to decarbonise and to take its climate goals to the next level. We congratulate the airport on its achievement and on its firm steps towards creating a more sustainable journey. This recognition is also a clear signal that, despite the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, airports of all sizes and in various world regions are strengthening their commitment to build back better, to operate in a more sustainable way and to protect their local communities from climate change.’’
Global standard for airport climate action shows increased ambition despite challenge of pandemic
17 November 2020 - ACI has today unveiled two further levels of achievement in its global Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, marking the industry’s determination to ‘Build Back Better’ as it looks towards recovery.
Introducing Level 4 Transformation and Level 4+ Transition
At ACI EUROPE’s Annual Congress, live-streamed from Brussels Airport, Olivier Jankovec announced the first major, structural change to the programme since its inception in 2009: two new accreditation levels - Level 4 Transformation and Level 4+ Transition.
The introduction of these two new levels marks a shift in the ambition level of the programme. CO2 emissions reductions and continuous improvements have been at the core of Airport Carbon Accreditation since launch. Level 1 Mapping through to Level 3+ Neutrality do allow for flexibility in the magnitude of reductions achieved.
By contrast, Levels 4 and 4+ set out further obligations - namely:
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, said: “The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme has always set the bar high in terms of our industry’s leadership and commitment to striving towards measurable change. We do not shy away from the role aviation plays in the climate emergency – it is one of the most difficult of industries to decarbonise. Yet in our connected, global world, working to a new paradigm following the crippling pandemic, our ambition to not only continue but to improve has never mattered more.”
“During the worst of the pandemic, airports around the world continued to achieve accreditation at all levels of the programme. In fact, since last March, 29 airports joined the programme for the first time and a further 22 achieved new levels of accreditation. We’re incredibly proud of their achievements. The introduction of these two further levels sets the bar yet higher. They bring the programme into line with the latest scientific and policy developments of recent years, and quite rightly reflect enhanced public expectations of the societal and environmental role we play. And already, airports are showing themselves able to step up.”
Praise for the programme from UNFCCC
The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, and the ambition represented by the new levels announced today, has been applauded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said: “To achieve the deep transformation needed for sustainable development and stabilisation of global temperature, we must require commitments and participation from all sectors and levels of society. Airports have been severely hit by the Covid-19 crisis and yet, they are continuing their efforts to map and reduce their CO2 emissions year by year, as well as to engage their business partners in this endeavour. The programme went even further this year by introducing two new more ambitious levels, aligned with global climate goals. This is encouraging. I commend airports for this leadership; a signal that can set an example for others to follow with ambitious climate action.”
First accreditations at Level 4+ already achieved
At the ACI EUROPE Annual Congress today, it was announced that two airports have already reached Level 4+, the first in their respective regions to do so. Congratulations go to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in the United States, and to Indira Gandhi International Airport in India for their achievements.
Accepting their certification, Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport said, “This recognition is the latest example of DFW Airport’s commitment to serving our community and our world with a comprehensive, holistic approach to sustainability. We continue to look for innovative and meaningful ways to reduce the Airport’s carbon footprint with mindful and responsible practices and processes. We can and will do more thanks to the focus and hard work of everyone at DFW Airport.”
Mr. Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, DIAL, said, “Achievement of the Level 4+ accreditation is a testimony of our commitment towards ensuring sustainable development at IGIA. Going forward, we will continue to develop best in class infrastructure and provide services using innovative and sustainable technologies. With this achievement, we have set up new benchmark for other airports in this region to follow.”
Rebranded programme to reflect today’s ambition – and readiness for tomorrow
To reflect the enhanced Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, ACI EUROPE today unveiled a renewed, fresh branding for the programme. Visually striking and encompassing all the new levels, the family of Level identities works seamlessly across all media and locations. And, with the programme ambition firmly fixed on the ultimate goal of Net Zero CO2 emissions, it’s future proof too – expanding and adapting along with the programme itself.
Cambodia’s 3 international airports have now been recognised for carbon reduction with level 2 of Airport Carbon Accreditation!
The successful upgrade to level 2 results from the reduction of Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions at the airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Bravo Cambodia Airports and VINCI Airports! Learn more here.
9 Mexican airports including Cancun Airport, implemented by Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) have successfully entered Airport Carbon Accreditation at level 1 'Mapping'!
This first step is meant to pave the way for ASUR Group's long-term ambitions to reach CO2 neutrality across its entire network.
We bid a warm welcome to Cancun Airport, Cozumel Airport, Huatulco Airport, Merida Airport, Minatitlan Airport, Oaxaca Airport, Tapachula Airport, Veracruz Airport, Villahermosa Airport.
Find out more in the group's Press Release.
We are delighted to confirm that Oman Airports have just achieved level 1 'Mapping' of Airport Carbon Accreditation for operations at Duqm Airport. DQM joins the already accredited Muscat and Salalah Airports, both at level 2 'Reduction'! Thumbs up for keeping up with your commitment to environmentally friendly practices across the entire network of Omani airports.
Mainland China has gained a second level 3 accredited airport in a span of three weeks! Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport has just upgraded to Optimisation level, having provided proof of tangible reduction of own emissions as well as demonstrated efforts to engage its business partners in this endeavour. Congratulations to the airport team working hard to achieve more sustainable operations at the busy Chinese hub!
Sweden's Stockholm Skavsta Airport has just joined Airport Carbon Accreditation at level 1 'Mapping'! Congratulations to the airport team working hard to keep up with the global environmental strategy led by VINCI Airports, their operator. Skavsta Airport joins the programme as the 315th airport in the world and the 37th airport in the VINCI network to become climate smart! Find out more here.
We are delighted to confirm that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has taken its sustainability efforts one step further and achieved level 3 'Optimisation' of Airport Carbon Accreditation! Their extensive work to reduce the CO2 emissions within their control and enlist their business partners in the same endeavor have been recognised with an upgrade. Find out more about their CO2 reduction work here.
EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg reconfirms its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions within its control!
The main airport connecting Canton to the World has just achieved level 3 'Optimisation' of Airport Carbon Accreditation! Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is the first airport in Mainland China to reach this high within the global carbon management programme for airports. The upgrade has been awarded in recognition of extensive efforts carried out by the Guangdong Airport Authority to reduce the airport's direct emissions and influence emissions reductions by its business partners. Congratulations!
We are delighted to announce Sharjah Airport Authoritys big environmental success! Sharjah Airport has joined the highest rank of the global carbon management programme for airports, Airport Carbon Accreditation. At level 3+ 'Neutrality', the airport has reduced emissions from sources under its control to a maximum and compensated for residual emissions with the purchase of responsible carbon credits. Congratulations to the team who's hard work to reign in emissions is now being celebrated!
Sharjah Airport's accreditation at level 3+ brought the total number of carbon neutral airports in Asia-Pacific to a lucky 7. Keep them coming!
Airports joined since pandemic declared 11 March 2020:
Bram Fischer International Airport South Africa (Level 1); Chania International Airport Greece (Level 1); Edinburgh Airport United Kingdom (Level 2); George Best Belfast City Airport United Kingdom (Level 2); Lagos Murtala Muhammed Airport Nigeria (Level 1); Leeds Bradford Airport United Kingdom (Level 1); Palermo Airport Falcone Borcellino Italy (Level 1); Queen Beatrix International Airport Aruba (Level 1); Queretaro Airport Mexico (Level 1); Samos International Airport Greece (Level 1); Kaohsiung International Airport Chinese Taipei (Level 3); Zvartnots International Airport Armenia (Level 1).
An interview with Marina Bylinsky, Head of Sustainability, ACI EUROPE
There has been a lot of talk about sustainable, balanced, green recovery from the present crisis. Many stakeholders see COVID-19 as an opportunity for a complete reset of our economy. How could this concept play out in the aviation sector?
What is the role of airports in this effort?
And what would be the gamechanger for airports in this regard?
(1) https://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/publications/wpapers/workingpaper 20-02.pdf, p. 4.
Interview published in the 2020 Summer issue of Airport Business.