Gatwick’s green stamp of approval signals decade of change

Posted: 4 August 2010 | GatwickAirport | No comments yet

GatwickAirport announces the launch of its first sustainability plan as an independent airport and becomes the largest UK airport to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard…

GatwickAirport announces the launch of its first sustainability plan as an independent airport and becomes the largest UK airport to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, signalling its commitment to become a sustainable airport.

The plans – called a ‘Decade of Change’ – sets out the airport’s environmental targets across its business activities for the next 10 years with the overall goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 50%1.

Other key goals include contributing to Gatwick’s local communities, transforming public transport access for passengers and staff; improving air quality through the use of new technology and systems; reducing operational noise; sending no waste to landfill; increasing recycling to 70%; reducing energy and water consumption by 20%2 and protecting local habitats at the airport.

“Behaving in a responsible and sustainable way is at the heart of our business. As new owners we’ve grasped the opportunity to introduce new, challenging targets and initiatives to improve our environmental credentials,” said Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport.

“Over the past six months we’ve been working very hard to develop a plan that takes us through to 2020, that both recognises our responsibilities and fits with our aspirations for growth and success,” added Stewart.

The airport is already on its way to becoming a sustainable airport, as recently, it became the largest airport in the UK to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing its carbon footprint with plans in place to further reduce carbon emissions year-on-year. Gatwick was already the largest airport in the country to achieve certification to ISO14001, the international environmental standard.

“We are delighted to have been awarded with this standard of excellence by the Carbon Trust. The aviation industry is often in spotlight when it comes to climate change but our approach demonstrates the value of making sustainability a core part of how we run our business,” said , Head of Sustainability at GatwickAirport.

“For example, we are in the process of upgrading the lighting in both of our terminals with low voltage equivalents and we have installed passenger sensors on our travelators and escalators, allowing operation to cease when not in use.”

Harry Morrison, General Manager of the Carbon Trust Standard Company said, “We congratulate GatwickAirport on their achievement. Today, being a good carbon citizen isn’t just about looking good on paper. Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard gives GatwickAirport the true emissions data they need to build the appropriate carbon reduction strategies and set the right path. Furthermore, based on a rigorous, independently assessed methodology, the Carbon Trust Standard allows organisations to talk with integrity to their stakeholders, consumers and investors about what they have been doing to reduce their carbon emissions.”

As part of its 10-year sustainability plan, Gatwick is looking to reduce its energy consumption in a number of other ways, such as, generating power via renewable sources, introducing a new vehicle low emission zone and installing an electric car recharge network, that will give passengers and staff easy access to a charge point.

Gatwick has also partnered with Grundon Waste Management to introduce food waste recycling and minimise waste sent to landfill. Recycling points for materials including cardboard, glass and cooking oil have long been in operation around the airport, however this initiative has allowed the use of additional collection points for food waste.

“Any leftovers, out-of-date products, coffee grounds and peelings, for example, are packed into corn starch bags, collected and taken to a plant where it is converted into agricultural fertiliser. Not only does this help to maximise our recycling at Gatwick, it also provides our retail partners with the facilities to meet their own environmental objectives,” said Liz.

Gatwick’s recently published annual Sustainability Performance Report, which includes further information about the new environment strategy and its 2009 performance, can be found online

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