Geneva and Galápagos airports become carbon neutral
The world’s first ‘green’ airport, Galápagos Ecological, and Geneva Airport have been accredited as carbon neutral by the trade body representative of airports worldwide.
SAFE SPACE: The Galapagos Islands are something of an ecological haven
While aircraft operators are preparing for the implementation of CORSIA, ICAO’s global market-based measure to address emissions from international aviation, the new year has kicked off with renewed efforts by the global airport industry towards addressing its CO2 emissions, through the independent and voluntary global programme, Airport Carbon Accreditation.
Two new airports have been added to the list this January: the tiny Galápagos Ecological Airport, one of the greenest airports on the planet, and Geneva Airport, Switzerland’s second largest with around 16 million passengers every year.
Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World said: “An impressive 3.2 billion air passengers now travel through airports certified at one of the 4 levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation – a testament to how much the programme has helped mobilise airport operators towards addressing their carbon footprints. Airport Carbon Accreditation is enabling a multi-speed effort now involving 211 airports across the world and it’s inspiring to see the level of innovation and diversity with which airports are working to reduce their emissions.
“I would particularly like to congratulate Genève Aéroport and Galápagos Ecological Airport on achieving carbon neutral status – this marks the moment from which there are now carbon neutral airports in every ACI region of the world. This really sends a message to the wider world that carbon management is a valid consideration for every business no matter where they are located.”
André Schneider, General Manager of Genève Aéroport commented “We take pride in being able to say that we have delivered on the commitment we made last year, to reduce the net emissions under our control to zero. Now that we have reached to Level 3+ of Airport Carbon Accreditation, we intend to continue our work on the various environmental aspects of our operations with the same zeal.”
Jorge Rosillo, General Manager, Galápagos Ecological Airport commented “It is a great honour for us to receive this certification at Level 3+ Neutrality as the first airport in Latin America & the Caribbean. Most importantly, our Neutrality status is the fruit of a group effort.
“The support for our ecological approach to running an airport came from all levels of our organisation – from the top management at Corporación América to each & every employee, who takes pride in being part of Galápagos Ecological Airport. At the same time, the whole process of measuring and reducing our carbon footprint was facilitated by the intelligible framework provided by Airport Carbon Accreditation.”
Galápagos Ecological Airport runs on 100 per cent with renewable energy. According to its website, 35 per cent of this is generated by photovoltaic panels installed on the terminal walkways and the remaining 65 per cent by windmills strategically located in the airport area. It was the first airport to be awarded USGBC LEED GOLD certification.
Javier Martinez Botacio, Director General ACI-LAC added: “This is a landmark moment for us in the ACI-LAC region – I sincerely congratulate Galápagos Ecological Airport on their success in becoming the first carbon neutral airport in the region. More than that, we are very encouraged by the fact that the learnings and efficiencies achieved through their carbon management journey up to Level 3+ will ultimately be implemented by airports across the Region.”
In addition to reducing their carbon footprint through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy, these airports invested in carbon offsets funding biomass and cook stoves projects, purchased under the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Gold Standard.
With four different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality), Airport Carbon Accreditation is independently administered, institutionally-endorsed and has the support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Commission (EC).
In Africa, there are now 10 airports certified at one of the 4 levels of the Airport Carbon Accreditation, 41 in Asia-Pacific, 118 in Europe, eight in Latin-America & Caribbean and 34 in North America.