How to apply

What is the Mentorship Initiative?

The Mentorship Initiative is a voluntary framework launched in January 2021, aiming to support airports in overcoming entry-level barriers and obstacles in their accreditation journey within the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. It is designed to assist airports interested in becoming accredited or advancing to a higher level of accreditation. The initiative operates in complement to the formal accreditation process, providing mentor airports an avenue to share their knowledge, best practices, and experiences with candidate airports.

It’s essential to emphasise that the Mentorship Initiative does not substitute the approved verification process or any formal roles and responsibilities of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme administrators. Currently, 18 airports have actively participated in this initiative, fostering long-term cooperation within the airport community. The Mentorship Initiative’s operation is depicted in the figure below:

In what areas can support be provided?

The areas where support can be provided may be indicatively related to:

  • Governance and management structure
  • Development of carbon footprints
  • Target setting & Carbon Management Plan
  • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  • Offsetting
  • Verification
  • Application process
  • Communications
  • Requirements of new levels (e.g., Level 4)

Which will be Mentor and Candidate Airports?

In order to ensure adequate level of experience and a manageable approach, airports at Levels 2, 3/3+ or 4/4+ could mentor and be paired with up to three Candidate Airports at any level below the level of the Mentor Airport. A Candidate Airport can be any ACI member airport that wishes to enter the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme or upgrade to a higher level. In addition, depending on its current level and ambition for further progress, the Mentor Airport can also take the role of a Candidate Airport.

Case study

Christchurch International Airport (mentor) and Hamilton Airport (candidate) share their experience

1. Why have you decided to apply as a Mentor/Candidate Airport?

Mentor: Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, has been working on our airport carbon reductions for almost two decades now, and a critical part of that in recent times has been using Airport Carbon Accreditation to help set our pathway. This programme offers a framework of what best practice looks like, and what the stepping stones towards achieving that involve.

Going through the Airport Carbon Accreditation framework, and particularly being audited and externally verified by specialists in both greenhouse gas emissions and airports, we have learnt so much, and set ourselves the challenge of doing better. Climate change requires us all to be prioritising reduction action now. Because of the value of this programme, that offers so much more than simply a certification, we wanted to share our experience with others regarding the carbon reduction journey.

Candidate: Hamilton Airport in New Zealand was approached to see if it would be interested in a mentorship programme and as we were just starting to gain momentum on our sustainability journey, we jumped at the opportunity. Christchurch International Airport is in an aspirational position for us in terms of their sustainability status, so working alongside them on our Airport Carbon Accreditation journey is invaluable.

2. Which are the most important benefits of the Airport Carbon Accreditation Mentorship Initiative?

Mentor: The Airport Carbon Accreditation mentorship programme creates a platform that allows us collectively to progress our carbon reduction programmes faster. Through the Mentorship initiative, we can share how challenges have been addressed, what worked well, and what didn’t. There is also a great sense of camaraderie around the problems we face as a network, and those we still have to solve. 

Candidate: The advice and the support of an organisation that has “been there, done that” is incredibly helpful to us. The team at Christchurch Airport has been able to make practical recommendations for us that we can implement in our own airport, and as we grow our sustainability activities, we can continue to look to them for assistance and guidance on what is a relatively unknown path.

3. How have you organised the type of engagement between airports?

Mentor: Due to COVID constraints over the previous two years, we have engaged entirely through online meetings, though are hoping this will open up over the coming year.

 Candidate: Due to COVID we had to engage virtually, however we do hope to visit at some stage. As members of NZ Airports, we have been able to get together virtually through that forum as well.

4. Would you recommend to other airports to participate in the Airport Carbon Accreditation Mentorship Initiative?

Mentor: Christchurch International Airport would definitely recommend it – being able to go through the Airport Carbon Accreditation process with another airport that shares or has overcome many of the same challenges allows faster progress. It also presents an opportunity to connect within the industry in a non-competitive way, and ultimately learn what each other do best.

Candidate: Absolutely! We can think of no better way to work collaboratively and learn from the experts. It makes our progress so much clearer and easier.