Tallinn Airport’s Riivo Tuvike says green transition is no passing fad

Chairman of the Management Board of Tallinn Airport, Riivo Tuvike, says the green transition is no passing fad but is here to stay, as the airport further commits to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

Credit: Tallinn Airport (TLL)

On 18 May 2022, Tallinn Airport (TLL) partnered with the Green Tiger co-operation platform to present the first Green Forum, at which speakers and attendees shared their experience of reducing environmental impact and discussed how Estonia’s transport gateways, the Port of Tallinn, Rail Baltic and Tallinn Airport, can be made more sustainable.

Tallinn Airport has set itself the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. To implement such a major change, however, requires co-operation and everyone to play their part. The aim of the Green Forum was to bring together Estonia’s transport gateways in order to reach consensus and drive the green transition forward in the transport sector. Riivo Tuvike, the Chairman of the Management Board of Tallinn Airport, said there is no time to wait: the changes must be implemented now.

Andres Veske, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Green Tiger, said that Estonia had used up all of its own natural resources for 2022 by 14 March 2022. “It’s clear that our economic model is unsustainable in its current form, because nature is an integrated system,” he remarked. “You just can’t keep taking from a closed system without giving something back. That’s why we have to move towards an economy that’s in balance with nature.”

Veske added that the transport sector’s footprint accounts for 30 per cent of all carbon emissions, of which just four per cent are attributable to aviation. “Which makes Tallinn Airport’s push to reduce that impact all the more noteworthy.

“It’s a great sign that the airport has taken the reins and, as a brand new member of Green Tiger, is leading the discussion on how to make Estonia’s transport gateways more sustainable. Green Tiger is planning to draw up a transport roadmap to ensure the sector can pinpoint the areas it affects and mitigate that impact.”

Tuvike stressed that the green transition is no passing fad: companies which have failed to reduce their environmental impact by 2030 will find themselves out of the game.

“We’ve already taken a number of steps to lessen the impact we have on the world around us,” he further explained. “We’re focussing on using less energy while also producing our own renewable supplies. Our aim is to be providing 30 per cent of the airport’s electricity from our own solar farms by 2023. And in autumn 2022, we’ll be making the switch from gas to district heating.”

Tuvike added that maximum use is made of batteries in technology and transport and stressed that carbon neutrality is just one facet of the airport’s environmental action. “Our focus is on forest maintenance plans, since our aim is to ensure flight safety whilst preserving as much diversity as possible around us,” he explained.

“That includes ensuring that birds can nest in peace in spring. We also want to make the airport entirely plastic-free and to contribute to the circular economy.”

Sharing their best practice in environmental and sustainability management at the forum were the Port of Tallinn, Enterprise Estonia, Ülemiste City and Utilitas. The panel which brought the event to a close focussed on the present and future of sustainable Estonian gateways, with input from Tallinn Airport, the Port of Tallinn, Rail Baltic Estonia and Enterprise Estonia.

Tallinn Airport joined Green Tiger in February 2022 to contribute to the green transition of the economy and the transport sector and to contribute to awareness-raising and the sharing of experience. The Green Forum was organised in association with Green Tiger.

The goal of Tallinn Airport is to ensure the sustainable and responsible operation of the airports belonging to the group and the provision of high-quality services, while preserving the natural environment and reducing air emissions. Tallinn Airport aims to be a carbon-neutral airport by 2030.

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