PRESS RELEASE: Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur group obtains the highest climate accolade in global CO2 standard for airports

September 27, 2021

Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur has achieved Level 4+ ‘Transition’ of Airport Carbon Accreditation, the first airport group in France to do so. The successful accreditation at the new highest level of the renowned CO2 reduction programme for Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez airports is a continuation of the group’s long standing engagement in climate action. Nice Airport became the first carbon neutral airport in France in 2016, joined by Cannes and Saint-Tropez airports in 2018. The group has been active in the programme since 2011. Today’s achievement is inextricably linked to and supports the group’s commitment to achieve Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2030.

Attaining Level 4+ represents a step change in the carbon management of an airport. It requires setup of a long-term goal and strategy oriented towards absolute emissions reductions, including an emissions trajectory and interim milestones. Côte d’Azur airports’ actions to realise tangible reductions of their own CO2 emissions are now aligned with the Paris Agreement (global warming limited to below 2°C and ideally 1.5°C). The group has also included broader emissions in their carbon footprint that include all the significant operational sources on- and off-site. The airports have also demonstrated evidence of actively engaging and leading their operational stakeholders towards delivering emissions reductions.

A snapshot of initiatives implemented by the airports to progress towards their ambitious goal includes:
• Investment in hydrogen systems for engines which reduce air pollutant and CO2 emissions from ground vehicles
• Switching from gas-powered boilers to temperate water loop in Terminal 1 at Nice Airport slashing 700 T eq. CO2 per year
• Innovative partnerships with chosen stakeholders enabling joint action to advance decarbonisation across the entire airport site.

Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur said: “Receiving the Level 4+ Airport Carbon Accreditation is not just a medal or a greenwashing operation. It represents the international recognition of a sincere commitment and an ambitious and unprecedented action plan. When we reduce the absolute value of our direct emissions, we help to protect our region. This involves taking numerous actions, being innovative and looking for solutions that help to reconcile air transport with air quality requirements on a daily basis. In the future, low-emission aeroplanes will take off and land at totally neutral airports.”

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE said: ‘’Hats off to the team at Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur for this stellar achievement. The French airport group has always been an early mover within Airport Carbon Accreditation. I’ve been thrilled to witness the group’s continued climate efforts over the years, scaling new heights thanks to consistent hard work and dedication to the highest environmental standards. As testament to that, Nice Airport was the first airport to achieve carbon neutrality in France in 2016, followed shortly by Cannes and Saint Tropez airports.”

He added: “Today’s accreditation of the entire group at Level 4+ is both the pinnacle of their carbon management prowess and a very tangible step on the way to achieving Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2030. It’s an extremely demanding objective that the airport group has chosen to embrace. I commend the group’s efforts and achievements, especially in light of this self-imposed 2030 deadline, demonstrating not just commitment but concrete action to tackle carbon emissions – and thus contributing to a more sustainable future for aviation and for the region they serve.”


Despite the continued difficulties faced by the global airport industry in light of the pandemic, its commitment to fighting climate change remains resolute. This is illustrated by the growing Airport Carbon Accreditation participation across the world, most recently recording 352 accredited airports. The latest airports to join the programme are:
• North America: King County International Airport (Level 1) in the US
• Europe: Strasbourg Airport (Level 1), Paris-Beauvais Airport (Level 1), Montpellier Méditerranée Airport (Level 2), Lille Airport (Level 1), Avignon-Provenance Airport (Level 1) in France, Gaziantep Airport (Level 1) in Turkey.
Progress has also been achieved through airports moving to higher levels of accreditation. In Asia-Pacific, Bahrain Airport has upgraded to Level 3 ‘Optimisation’ and Perth Airport in Australia reached Level 2 ‘Reduction’. In Europe, Zagreb Airport earned Level 3 accreditation, the first airport in Croatia to do so. Charlottetown Airport in Canada upgraded to Level 2 ‘Reduction’.

To date, the following airports have achieved the highest levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation:
• Level 4 ‘Transformation’: Christchurch Airport in New Zealand
• Level 4+ ‘Transition’: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in the US, Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport in India, Rome Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino Airports in Italy, Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the Netherlands, Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur group including Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez airports in France.