Helsinki Airport in Finland has been certified as carbon neutral by the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program.
ACI Europe doubled its carbon neutral target in mid-June, pledging to create 100 carbon neutral airports in Europe by 2030. Helsinki Airport is the first airport to reach the milestone since the announcement and becomes the 28th airport in Europe to reach that target, and the 34th in the world.
The airport reached the fourth and final level of the ACA program after completing a number of measures to reduce its carbon footprint, including extensive reviews, continuous improvements in Finavia’s emissions efficiency, and offsetting of residual emissions.
To become carbon neutral, airports must first map their CO₂ footprint (Mapping), before eventually reducing (Reduction) and optimizing their CO₂ emissions. Carbon neutrality is reached when the carbon offsetting or reduction initiatives match the airport’s initial carbon output.
Mikko Viinikainen, sustainable development director, Finavia, said, “The ACA certificate awarded to Helsinki Airport is an important milestone in the implementation of Finavia’s accelerated climate program at our airports. Our climate program comprises a number of different measures, but Helsinki Airport plays a key role in the reduction of emissions.”
In July, Finavia also started using renewable diesel fuel in vehicles operating at the airport. The buses travelling between the terminal and aircraft are fueled by biodiesel produced entirely from waste and residue. The airport is also building the largest solar power plant in the region.
“The solar panels are in the process of being installed, and they are expected to be up and running by late summer,” added Viinikainen. “When operational, the power plant will have a total capacity of more than 500 kWp. It will supply almost 10% of all the electricity required by the new terminal extensions at Helsinki Airport.”
Finavia is also making determined efforts to reduce emissions at its other airports. The use of renewable energy is being increased by relying more on bioenergy and geothermal heat. Finavia’s goal is also to ensure that the companies operating at its airports are committed to using renewable fuels.