French airport operator Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur Group has been awarded ACI Europe’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Level 4+ certification.
The award is a critical step in the group’s ambitions to achieve full net-zero emissions by 2030, without any offsetting. According to the operator, Golfe de Saint-Tropez Airport is already the first airport in France in a position to claim net zero without offsetting.
In 2018, the group was the first in France to receive the ACA Level 3+, which certified its carbon neutrality by offsetting its residual emissions. In 2020, the group started its reforestation operations directly on the site of Golfe de Saint-Tropez Airport, and in the municipalities adjacent to the Cannes-Mandelieu and Nice Côte d’Azur airports. This created natural carbon sinks capable of absorbing up to 300 tons of CO2 equivalent per year as the trees grow.
Between 2018 and 2019, the company’s three airports succeeded in reducing the absolute value of their direct emissions: -4.4% for Nice, -20% for Cannes-Mandelieu and -27% for Golfe de Saint-Tropez. Despite the growth of traffic, emissions have been cut and absorption has been increased directly in the surrounding region. The Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur group has now become the first airport group in France, and the second in Europe, to receive the new and more demanding ACA Level 4+ accreditation.
Franck Goldnadel, chairman of the board of directors of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, said, “Receiving the Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 4+ is not just a medal or a pretense covering up 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 on totally decarbonized airports. This is the course of history, and we want to be its laboratory.”