Airport Carbon Accreditation
Reducing carbon emissions & increasing airport sustainability
Airport Carbon Accreditation was developed and launched by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe in 2009. As of late 2014, Airport Carbon Accreditation had expanded worldwide to all ACI regions. Today it is the only global carbon management standard for airports.
It aims to help airports reduce carbon emissions and achieve best practice in carbon management. The programme is structured around four increasingly stringent accreditation levels, with the highest one being carbon neutrality. Reaching this status requires an airport operator to reduce its own emissions as much as possible, compensate any residual emissions by purchasing carbon offsets and engage with its stakeholders to support them in reducing their emissions.
The initiative commits to increase airport accreditations in all regions, and encourage already accredited airports to continuously enhance their carbon management and thus progress towards the higher levels of accreditation.
In June 2017, the initial commitment for the European region – 50 carbon neutral airports in Europe by 2030 – has been upgraded. The target is now to achieve 100 carbon neutral airports in Europe by 2030.
Partners and Signatories
As of November 2018, 249 airports worldwide are accredited. 48 of them are carbon neutral, including 39 in Europe, 6 in Asia-Pacific and 1 in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa respectively. The programme is managed by ACI Europe in close cooperation with the other ACI regions and support by ACI World.
The administration of the programme, including the review of applications and award of accreditations, is ensured by an independent third party, the consultancy WSP.
Activities of the Initiative
Outreach and coalition building:
- Since COP23, new participants have joined the program and progress towards the higher levels of accreditation has been recorded in all world regions. As of November 2018, 249 airports worldwide are accredited, representing over 46% of world air passenger traffic. In reporting year 9 (May 2017-May 2018), accredited airports have reduced over 347,000 tonnes of CO2 and offset 672,000 tonnes of CO2.
- The initiative’s plan for 2018/2019 is to continue to progress towards additional accreditations through continued cooperation with UNFCCC and the SLoCaT Partnership.
Figure 1. Airport Carbon Accredited airports over time (2010-2018)
Figure 2. Distribution of Airport Carbon Accredited airports
- A series of dedicated workshops are being delivered to the ACI regions, meetings are taking place, while the Guidance Document (i.e., the manual that explains the step by step process and requirements of accreditation) has been translated into French and Spanish. Additional guidance material for airports is being prepared.
- Exchange of best practices in carbon management is continuously taking place between accredited airports, in particular through a dedicated Airport Carbon Accreditation Task Force.
- A new e-newsletter – Community, dedicated exclusively to accredited airports, has been launched.
- The Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT), provided by ACI World in collaboration with Zurich Airport, is available at no cost to airports and can in particular help small airports become Airport Carbon Accredited.
- The programme Administrator WSP has carried out a study on carbon reduction opportunities used by accredited airports. Over 1700 opportunities have been identified, with the most frequently used ones referring to lighting and HVAC systems. These results will support the development of additional carbon management guidance for airports.
- The Airport Carbon Accreditation Task Force is working on the long-term future of the programme, by analyzing how it can foster emissions reduction initiatives which are consistent with the ambition of the Paris Agreement.
Monitoring and reporting:
- Airport Carbon Accreditation continues to report on the programme developments and the carbon performance of accredited airports in its Annual Reports. They are available on airportcarbonaccreditation.org.
- Updated information on programme participation as well as airport case studies and interviews are available at www.airportco2.org.