What is the ‘Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme’?

The “Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme” (ACA) is the only institutionally backed global certification programme that currently exists to assess how much effort airports are making to reduce their CO2 emissions. The smartest decision an airport can make to achieve the objectives of the programme is to have a quality IT consultancy to guide them in implementing this project.

In this article, we are going to tell you what the “Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme” involves and explain the requirements that any airport that wants to be certified in it must comply with. We will also explain why it is important to rely on professionals like Airport Gurus to improve an airport’s energy efficiency.

Aviation today

Mobility in today’s globalised world is a vital aspect when it comes to increasing the prosperity and well-being of people around the world. Air traffic is essential in this respect, although it still needs to improve in terms of speed, cost-effectiveness and, above all, sustainability.

Freedom of movement is a major human need and airports bring many benefits to countries, transporting people and goods, connecting places and achieving greater freedom for all. However, aviation does have a high level of pollution and this needs to be addressed.

Airports have never shied away from addressing environmental impact by developing technological improvements and innovations aimed at sustainability. This work used to be confined to the local level, but that is changing and airports are now working together to reduce their carbon footprint and align with the planet’s global goals.

ACI Europe’s Annual Assembly in 2008 approved a resolution on climate change in which all airports committed to reduce carbon emissions from their operations to become carbon-neutral.

In 2009, ACI Europe launched the “Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme” to assess how well airports are managing their CO2 emissions. During the first year of the programme, the 17 most advanced airports in environmental management took up the challenge and in the following years the programme was extended to other countries around the world, demonstrating the commitment of the airport industry to environmental actions.

Asia-Pacific was the first region to join the ACI Europe Programme in November 2011. Africa’s airports followed in June 2013 and North America in September 2014. Later that year, several airports in the Caribbean and South America also decided to join the programme.

The Carbon Accreditation Programme 

The programme is designed to effectively reduce the carbon footprint of the airport industry to achieve greater efficiency through reduced energy consumption, shared experience, knowledge sharing and reporting results among all airports. 

Airports wishing to participate in the programme have to be certified at 6 different levels of accreditation:

  • 1- Mapping: measuring the carbon footprint.
  • 2- Reduction: managing to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • 3- Optimisation: third-party participation to achieve the objective.
  • 4- Neutrality: neutralising the carbon footprint in direct emissions by offsetting.
  • 5- Transformation: modifying operations to eliminate emissions.
  • 6- Transition: offsetting residual emissions.

By assessing each of these tiers, the programme identifies each airport’s stage of comprehensive carbon management. It is the only global airport-specific carbon programme that is based on methodologies recognised by the entire international community and provides a common framework for managing CO2 emissions with measurement scales. The project also ensures a robust methodology that addresses the legal requirements of each region or country.

It is worth knowing that there are a considerable number of airports certified at each level of the programme, which means that the industry is aware and that many airports, regardless of where they are located and their size, are leading an increasingly important movement to actively reduce the carbon footprint of aviation on the planet.

These are the airports certified in the programme around the world:

  • 219 certified airports in Europe.
  • 65 in Asia.
  • 25 in Africa.
  • 57 in South America and the Caribbean.
  • 59 in North America.

After more than a decade of implementing the “Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme”, it has proven to be a highly effective and forward-thinking tool that supports airports of all sizes and locations to reduce their climate impact.

Action by airports to reduce their carbon footprint will be critical in the coming years and the programme will continue to evolve and help other airports to achieve their goals. At Airport Gurus, we want to help you implement the “Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme”. Contact us for more information.

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