Heathrow powers down to win Carbon Trust award

Posted: 16 September 2010 | Heathrow Airport | No comments yet

Heathrow Airport has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard after saving enough energy over the last three years1 to power more than 6,300 homes for a year…

Heathrow Airport has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard after saving enough energy over the last three years1 to power more than 6,300 homes for a year.

The UK’s hub airport improved its carbon efficiency by nearly 12 percent2, despite turnover growth of 31 percent. This means that for every pound in income, 12 percent less carbon was emitted.

Heathrow joins over 350 UK organisations who have gained the Carbon Trust Standard – the world’s first award that recognises real carbon reduction. It’s a rigorous, independent assessment which certifies that organisations have measured, managed and improved carbon efficiency.

Heathrow is on track to make further savings this year, having already cut energy use through smart operation of lifts, escalators and baggage conveyors.

Large savings also came through careful management of heating, cooling and ventilation, as well as modernised lighting systems and more efficient waste recycling. Major renewable energy investments such as biomass and combined heat and power plant are also leading the way in greening the airport’s energy supply.

With complex and near constant operation – particularly around its unique security requirements – improving the carbon efficiency of Heathrow’s operations is a complex and difficult task. And with over 77,000 workers on site – the majority of whom are not employed by Heathrow – much of the success is down to close collaboration and the commitment of those on the ground.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, Heathrow’s owners: said: “There is no silver bullet to improving carbon efficiency, but through a great team effort we are delighted to have obtained recognition for the progress we have made. This is the first step on a long road to helping the government meet the strict environmental targets which also form a core part of Heathrow’s strategy. Despite the major challenges ahead, we are confident that our investments in people and infrastructure will secure real long-term success in reducing our carbon footprint.”

Jonathon Counsell, British Airways’ head of environment, said: “This is another good example of how Heathrow is striving to reduce its impact on the environment. We have been proud to play our part in supporting the airport to achieve this reduction. At the main Terminal 5 building alone we have managed to reduce energy consumption by 19 percent since it opened in March 2008 and have already identified another 3 per cent in potential savings. Through working together we will be able to bring significant improvements to the way Heathrow operates.”

Harry Morrison, general manager at the Carbon Trust Standard Company, added: “We congratulate Heathrow Airport on their achievement of the Carbon Trust Standard. Today, being a good carbon citizen isn’t just about looking good on paper. Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard gives Heathrow Airport the true emissions data they need to build the appropriate carbon reduction strategies and set the right path.”


  1. Between January 2007 and December 2009
  2. Tonnes CO2e/£ Turnover
  3. Comparing carbon footprint data from financial year 2009, ending in December, to the average of the previous two financial years.
  4. Average household total energy consumption = 19MWh, source UK Energy statistics digest 2010:

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