Left to right: Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe, and Ken O’Toole Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport in northwest England has become the UK’s first carbon neutral airport after being certified at Level 3+ by the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation program.
Over the last decade, the airport has reduced its energy use by the equivalent used by 10,000 homes each year. In addition, the airport purchases all of its electricity from renewable sources. To compensate for remaining emissions, the airport has also purchased verified carbon offsets.
Collectively, these initiatives have reduced emissions from the energy and fuel used to operate the terminals, runways and facilities at Manchester Airport from 72,000 tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) in 2006, to zero in 2016.
Manchester Airport has invested more than £7.5m (US$9.5m) in energy efficiency projects, working with local and national businesses to develop innovative lighting solutions. The energy management team has installed more than 25,000 low-energy LED lights throughout the airport, including the first on any UK runway.
Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said, “Manchester Airport is committed to being one of the leading European airports when it comes to environmental management. We are proud of our track record. After a decade of hard work to reduce the amount of energy we use, I am pleased to be the first UK airport to be recognized by Airport Carbon Accreditation as carbon neutral.
“As an organization, we recognize that climate change is an important global challenge, with aviation contributing around 2% of international carbon emissions each year. This achievement demonstrates the lengths we go to to ensure we balance our role as economic generator, alongside caring for the environment, while working with our third parties to reduce the wider impact of our industry.”
Olivier Jankovec, director general, ACI Europe, said, “Congratulations to all the team at Manchester Airport on this achievement. Becoming carbon neutral is no small feat and today actually serves as a timely reminder of how much work Manchester Airport has put into achieving this goal. They were one of the airports that participated in the pilot phase of the program and they have worked their way up through the four levels of the program over the intervening years – we actually launched Airport Carbon Accreditation here in Manchester at our Annual Congress in 2009. So, it really is a red-letter day for Manchester Airport, for the program and for air transport in the UK.”
Airport Carbon Accreditation was developed by ACI Europe and has since been rolled out to other global ACI Global Regions. The program is specific to airports, with four different levels of accreditation including Level 1 Mapping, Level 2 Reduction, Level 3 Optimization, and Level 3+ Neutrality. It also requires airports to monitor emissions from third-party operations (including aircraft on the ground), and to work with business partners to reduce their emissions. It is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with airports at Level 3+ (Neutrality) entitled to use the UN’s ‘Climate Neutral Now’ logo.