«At the beginning of the 1990s, I passed for a soft dreamer by announcing that we would halve CO2 emissions. Today, this is the case. I come back to the same idea: the hardest thing is to choose to change course. After that, it’s only a matter of deadlines and progress.»
Camille Gira – Former State Secretary for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Luxembourg
Airport Carbon Accreditation is the global standard for carbon management in the airport industry. The aim of this program is to encourage and enable airports to implement best practices in carbon management, with the ultimate objective of becoming carbon neutral. It has been developed in line with international standards, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064, and is updated accordingly as these standards evolve.
The programme focuses on CO2 emissions, as they represent the large majority of airport emissions. Independent verification ensures the program’s credibility. Airports can become accredited at four progressively ambitious levels of accreditation.
requires a policy commitment to emissions reduction endorsed by top management and the development of a carbon footprint for emissions under the airport’s control (i.e., scope 1 & 2 emissions).
requires the fulfilment of all level 2 accreditation requirements, formulation of a carbon emissions reduction target, development of a carbon management plan to achieve the target and annual reduction of emissions under the airports’s control (i.e., scope 1 & 2 emissions) versus the three-year rolling average.
requires fulfilment of all level 2 accreditation requirements, development of a more extensive carbon footprint to include specific scope 3 emissions and the formulation of a stakeholder engagement plan to promote wider airport-based emissions’ reductions.
requires fulfilment of all level 3 accreditation requirements and offsetting of residual emissions under the airport’s control that cannot be reduced.
An airport must understand how much carbon it emits every year and from which activities and operations in order to plan how to limit these emissions. Therefore, as a first step, an airport needs to measure its carbon emissions, also known as its carbon footprint.
An airport can measure its footprint itself, guided by accreditation bodies or get support from one of a number of specialist companies.
The auditor passed end-December to verify the calculations and data and gived a positive opinion:
Verification of the adequacy of the methology used
«The quantization methodology is particularly suitable. The justification of Luxembourg Airport regarding its choice of scope, collecting data method and GHG emissions calculation is relevant. Based on the presented evidence and audits, the GHG emissions inventory is accurate and free of any significant deviation (> 5%).»
Wassim Daoud — Manager at D&D Intelligence
To achieve this level of accreditation, an airport has to fulfill all the requirements of «mapping», provide evidence of effective carbon management procedures including target setting, and show that its carbon footprint has been reduced by analysing the carbon emissions data of consecutive years.
This process is known as carbon management and involves a diverse range of measures. These include the airport demonstrating it has a low carbon / low energy policy and that a senior committee or body has responsibility for climate change / carbon / energy matters. It is also asked to provide information on how it communicates emissions performance to relevant stakeholders and to install procedures for preparing and checking an accurate carbon footprint.
Both monitoring of the consumption of fuel & energy and the setting of carbon / energy reduction targets are required. The airport also has to implement programmes or control mechanisms to ensure operations minimise emissions and show that it considers the emissions impact of investments. Awareness training about emissions for staff has to be provided and a process of self assessment & auditing to monitor progress of improvement delivery has to be installed.
Most of this reduction is due to the fact that, according to our gradual demolition at lux-Airport of old energyconsuming buildings, we don’t rent out old buildings after the current tenant leaves.
For the optimization of heating the old Cargocenter buildings, we study – case by case – the possibility to put the heating on frost protection only, turn on the boilers as late as possible and turn them off as soon as possible, and to modify the set value temperature point in function
of the activity.
Lastly, beginning the optimization of Terminal A energy will also contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.
Left to right: Olivier Jankovec – Director General ACI Europe, René Steinhaus – CEO lux-Airport, Sandrine Trapp – Environmental Officer lux-Airport, Filip Cornelis – Director for Aviation in European Commission (DG MOVE), Jost Lammers – President of ACI Europe / CEO Flughafen München GmbH
We are already aware that most of our carbon footprint is concentrated in the heating of older buildings. We will therefore analyze the thermal envelope, heating processes and management systems of these buildings to identify areas with a potential to reduce consumption.
On the other hand, we are working on energy optimization of the terminal A which involve the revision of energy metering through the analysis of existing meters, their operation, their suitability and their replacement according to specific needs, as well as their integration into the GTC control system. Existing set values will be reviewed and adapted to optimize the different installations in terms of efficiency and energy saving potential.
We will also carry out a study of new concepts such as a progressive replacement of energy-intensive light sources with LED lighting.
The «Optimization» step of Airport Carbon Accreditation requires third party engagement in carbon footprint reduction. Third parties include airlines and various service providers, for example, 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.
To achieve this level of accreditation, an airport has to fulfill all the requirements of «mapping» and «reduction». GHG Protocol Scope 3 emissions to be measured include landing and take-off cycle emissions, surface access to the airport for passengers and staff business travel emissions. It also has to present evidence of engagement with third-party operators to reduce wider airport-base carbon emissions.
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 carbon footprint.