Nice Airport becomes the first carbon neutral airport in France

August 30, 2016

Building on France’s highly regarded hosting of COP21, where new global targets
to limit climate change were agreed during last year’s climate negotiations*,
the airport of Nice
Côte d’Azur – France’s
third busiest airport – has now achieved carbon neutral status, certified by
the independent carbon management programme Airport Carbon Accreditation.

Nice Airport becomes the first carbon neutral airport in France


Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur – France’s third
busiest airport – achieves carbon neutral status, certified by Airport
Carbon Accreditation

First carbon neutral airport in France, 25th
in the world

33.6% of air passengers worldwide now travel
through airports certified under the 4 levels of the Airport Carbon
Accreditation programme

 Nice, France: Building
on France’s highly regarded hosting of COP21, where new global targets to limit
climate change were agreed during last year’s climate negotiations*, the
airport of Nice
Côte d’Azur – France’s third busiest airport –
has now achieved carbon neutral status, certified by the independent carbon
management programme Airport Carbon Accreditation.

 In parallel, the sister airports of Cannes Mandelieu
Saint-Tropez have become certified at Level 3 ‘Optimisation’ of the

 Since 2011, the airport group has been participating in the Airport
Carbon Accreditation
programme. Over time, it has successfully engaged 37
partner companies
on its airport sites to work with them to lower their
collective carbon footprint – including airlines, freight companies, helicopter
companies, retailers, restaurateurs, fuel providers, cleaning companies,
security providers and many more.

 In the intervening 5 years, Aéroport Nice Côte D’Azur has successfully reduced
its carbon footprint, lowering its carbon emissions by 75% per passenger
kilogram and has now taken the additional step of purchasing recognised carbon
offsets for the remainder of the carbon emissions under its direct control.

 The Airport
Carbon Accreditation
programme – launched by the airport association
ACI EUROPE in 2009 – certifies airports
at 4 different levels of accreditation covering all stages of
carbon management (1. Mapping, 2. Reduction, 3. Optimisation and 3+. Neutrality).
It is independently administered, institutionally-endorsed¹ and has the
support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ),
United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO), the European Union (EU) and others.

 Reacting to the news of Nice Côte d’Azur’s achievement,
Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE
commented « I would
like to warmly congratulate all of the team at Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur
for their work and this historic achievement that sees Aéroport Nice Côte
d’Azur become carbon neutral – the first in France. The demands of the 4 levels
of certification of
Airport Carbon Accreditation are rigorous, requiring
strategic engagement and diligent work from the airport operator. Aéroport Nice
Côte d’Azur today becomes the 25th carbon neutral airport in the world. During
COP21, our industry formally committed to having 50 carbon neutral airports in
Europe by 2030. With the good example of innovative airports like Nice Côte
d’Azur, we are on the right track.

 Dominique Thillaud, Chairman of the Management Board
of the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) Group
« Our group committed
to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of its daily activities. Today we are
proud that the Nice platform is the first French airport to make it all the way
to carbon neutrality – 2 years ahead of our initial target – and this in spite
of increased capacity due to growing traffic. This reflects our strong
dedication to emissions reductions across all the ACA Group, including the
airports of Cannes Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez and demonstrates that we are
doing our part to achieve the goals set at the COP21, joining several other
European airports already certified at Level 3+. »

 “Today’s announcement that Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur
has achieved carbon neutrality through
Airport Carbon Accreditation is
excellent news. We are very encouraged by the growing number of carbon neutral
airports here in Europe, all the more so when it is one as prominent as Nice,
in the country that hosted COP21,”
said Niclas Svenningsen, who
heads the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the
United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Secretariat in Bonn, Germany.

 The full
results for Year 7 of the programme (June 2015 to May 2016) including the
carbon reduction achieved, will be released at this year’s ACI NA & ACI
WORLD Annual General Assembly in Montreal from 25 to 28 September.

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(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that aviation’s total
CO2 emissions
account for 2% of global emissions’ impact on climate change. Of that figure,
airports’ own operations only account for up to 5%, but airports are keen to
tackle their greenhouse gas emissions – several individual airports operators
having already committed to becoming carbon neutral in the past few years with
some having already achieved this.

 * At the 21st
Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC, the so-called Paris Agreement
has been concluded, in which the signatories commit themselves to limit the
increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above
pre-industrial levels, while intending to not exceed 1.5°C. In addition, the
Agreement aims at strengthening abilities to climate adaptation and an enhanced
climate finance. To achieve the defined objective of limited global warming,
States submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), setting out
their proposed climate policies in view of their respective historic, current
and anticipated future emissions, as well as mitigation capabilities. The COP21
has recognised that the currently proposed INDCs were not sufficient to reach
the target of 2°C; they therefore have to be reviewed every five years with the
aim of a progressively increasing ambition. While international aviation
emissions are not covered by the Paris Agreement but are addressed by the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), emissions under the direct
control by the airport as well as aircraft emissions from domestic flights are
within its scope and thus subject to INDCs. The full text of the Paris
Agreement can be found on

are at different points on this journey to become cleaner and more efficient.
As the centrepoints of a complex web of aircraft movements, technical
operations and surface access transport, airports can address their CO2
emissions in a variety of ways. These can include better insulation and energy
efficiency, switching to green energy sources, investing in hybrid, electric or
gas-powered service vehicles, encouraging employees, passengers & visitors
to use public transport, working with airlines & air traffic management to
reduce runway taxiing times and implement green landing processes and much more.

developed and launched by
ACI Europe in June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation
was extended to airports in Asia-Pacific, in November 2011 (in partnership with
ACI Asia-Pacific) and to African airports in June 2013, (in
partnership with
ACI Africa) and North American airports in September 2014
(in partnership with

 ¹The programme is administered by
leading consultancy WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and overseen by an
independent Advisory Board including representatives from the UNFCCC (United
Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change), ICAO (International Civil
Aviation Organisation), UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), the
European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), EUROCONTROL and
Manchester Metropolitan University.

 As the
programme administrator, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff assesses and
approves the airports under the programme, provides administrative and secretariat
services and advises applicant airports through the accreditation process. WSP
Parsons Brinckerhoff is one of the world’s leading professional services firms.
Amongst others it provides services to transform the built environment and
restore the natural one and expertise ranging from environmental / climate
remediation to urban and transport planning, to designing and implementing
sustainable transport networks and strategies, to airport sustainability carbon
management and energy planning and management.

 To find
out which airports are certified & their level of certification, visit: