London Luton Airport (LLA) has been awarded the Airport Council International’s (ACI) Level 3 Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) certification after reducing its direct carbon emissions by more than 30%. The award comes just 18 months after LLA joined the scheme.
LLA joined the ACA at the end of 2019 amid a 23% increase in passenger numbers between 2016 and 2019. The airport achieved this accreditation in these conditions by switching to a 100% renewable electricity supply that includes sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power. The airport also upgraded its air handling units to increase efficiency, resulting in an annual reduction of over 3% of the total electricity consumption. Reducing the number of lights across the site and switching to more efficient LED equivalents similarly aided the airport’s decarbonization. Additionally, by installing a new heating system, LLA reduced their gas consumption by 16%.
The airport has also recently submitted to responses to the UK government’s Jet Zero Consultation, and the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into net zero aviation. In both submissions, the airport has called on the government to commit and contribute financially to support the sector in making the necessary changes and investments. LLA has committed to achieving carbon neutrality for its own operations by no later than 2026, and the airport is currently developing a carbon reduction strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. The airport will continue to work closely with stakeholders and partners to drive further reductions in carbon emissions.
The ACA Scheme is a global carbon management framework for airports, managed by Airport Council International (ACI). The framework is intended to help drive the reduction of carbon emissions across all areas of airport operations, from airport infrastructure to airlines, surface access providers, ground handlers and retailers.
Alberto Martin, CEO of LLA, said, “Achieving this Accreditation is a significant milestone for the airport in its sustainable growth journey. However, we know that there is more to do and we remain committed to reducing our carbon emissions across both our operations and the site itself. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners as we move toward our shared goal of making aviation as sustainable as possible.”
Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, added, “I would like to congratulate the whole team at LLA for successfully achieving Level 3 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation. It is a testament to the work they have done in driving down emissions and, importantly, engaging with companies operating at its premises to drive third-party carbon reductions too. It is a challenging road ahead for the aviation industry and significant efforts are required to make sustainable aviation a possibility. However, it is great to see that LLA is addressing this and we look forward to seeing what’s next.”