London Gatwick Airport has become the first UK airport to join the RE100 alliance, a collaboration of businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, in a move that will help the airport to become carbon neutral by spring 2017.
Gatwick has been purchasing 100% renewable electricity since 2013 and by joining the RE100 alliance, the airport aims to play its part in accelerating the UK’s move toward a low carbon economy. Electricity comprises 80% of the airport’s operational carbon footprint and it now plans to offset the remaining emissions through investments in international, national and local renewable energy programs, in addition to continued investment in energy and fuel efficiency.
The 87 member companies of the RE100 alliance create demand for around 107 TWh of renewable electricity annually – almost equaling the Netherlands’s yearly demand in 2015 (109 TWh). RE100 is led by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP.
Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick, said, “The initiatives announced today are important milestones in Gatwick’s journey to become the UK’s most sustainable airport and one of the greenest in the world.
“We are serious about growing sustainably and we have some ambitious plans to develop in the most environmentally responsible way possible. We expect to see our world first waste plant generating heat for our North Terminal this year and we are introducing an electric car-sharing service, the first of its kind for a UK airport.
“A set of rigorous environmental targets is driving our overall environmental performance and, despite a dramatic increase in our passenger numbers, I’m delighted to say that our environmental footprint is the same or better today than it was in the early 1990s despite our passenger numbers doubling.”
Damian Ryan, acting CEO, The Climate Group, said, “It is really encouraging to see companies such as Gatwick committing to bold climate action, helping us move toward a net zero-emissions economy.
“But we need to see faster progress. In order to deliver on the Paris Agreement and keep global warming well below two degrees, we need governments to remove policy barriers and create investment incentives that can provide easier access to renewable energy. And we need more business leaders to influence the usage of renewable power right along their supply chains.”
Written by Dan Symonds