Press Releases

Global airport industry hard at work to reduce and eliminate its CO2 emissions



· 189 airports across the world now certified at one of the 4 levels ofAirport Carbon Accreditation

· These airports welcomed 2.5 billion passengers a year – that’s 38% of global air passenger traffic

· 30 airports are carbon neutral – the latest are Bangalore International and Sunshine Coast Airport

· There are now 25 carbon neutral airports in Europe, 4 in Asia-Pacific and 1 in North America 

Brussels, Hong Kong, Casablanca, Washington DC, Panama and Montreal:  With international airline emissions soon to be subject to the CORSIA° agreement struck at ICAO last year, the global airport industry today issues a reminder of the progress it has been making in addressing its CO2 emissions, through the independent and voluntary global programme, Airport Carbon Accreditation.

Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World commented “An impressive 2.5 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 189 airports across the world and it’s inspiring to see the level of innovation and diversity with which ** airports are contributing to the fight against Climate Change.”

She added “I would particularly like to congratulate Bangalore International and Sunshine Coast on becoming carbon neutral airports. We are also hugely encouraged by the latest accreditations in Africa – this really sends a message tothe wider world that carbon management is a valid consideration for every business no matter where they are located.”

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN FOLLOWS (in alphabetical order)


Recent months have seen a significant spike in interest in Africa, where several new airports have come on board, nearly doubling the participation on the African continent. Cape Town International, King Shaka International (Durban), Port Elizabeth International and O.R. Tambo International (Johannesburg) – 4 airports in South Africa have all successfully entered the programme at Level 1 Mapping. This brings the total number of African airports in the programme up to 9.


Meanwhile in the Asia-Pacific region, Sunshine Coast Airport and Bangalore International Airport (India) has just become the 3rd and 4th airports in the region to achieve carbon neutrality (Level 3+).

Peter Pallot, Airport general manager, Sunshine Coast Airportsaid “The team has worked incredibly hard to make Sunshine Coast Airport the most sustainable airport in Australia. To date our initiatives have delivered a 24% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, 9% reduction in electricity consumption per passenger and an 11% reduction in waste-to-landfill per passenger.”

Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, Bangalore International Airportsaid “This is a big moment for our airport. BIAL’s approach to sustainability incorporates understanding and learning from experience, and we have progressively developed capabilities to respond to industry best practices. As one of the early adopters to become Airport Carbon Accredited when the programme first launched in Asia-Pacific 6 years ago, our journey to carbon neutrality has been steadily well-documented as we rose through the 4 levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation. BIAL continues to work in collaboration with its partners within the eco-system to improve and reduce energy, constantly working towards carbon neutrality. We hope our example inspires other airports to be as ambitious in the way they manage their carbon emissions.”

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok) and Adelaide Parafield and Sydney Airport have both successfully moved up to Level 3 Optimisation

There are now 38 airports certified in Asia-Pacific with recent entrants including Gold Coast Airport and Hobart International (both in Australia) as well as Muscat International Airport and Nadi International Airport (Fiji) – which have allstarted their journey to active carbon management, becoming accredited at Level 1 Mapping. Nadi International’s accreditation is significant as it is the first airport from anisland nation under threat from climate change, to participate in the programme.


In Europe, where Airport Carbon Accreditation started out in 2009, there are now 117 airports participating in the programme, 50 of which are at the top 2 levels of the programme. The most recent movers within the programme are Dusseldorf and Naples airports – each of which successfully make the jump from Level 2 Reduction, to Level 3 Optimisation. Madeira, Marseille and Porto Santo airports have moved up to Level 2 Reduction while Switzerland’s Bern Airport became the latest newcomer in Europe, entering the programme at Level 1 Mapping.


It’s been two and a half years since the programme was launched in North America, but already an impressive 21 airports have become certified in this region. These airportscurrently account for 32.4% of air passenger traffic in North America.


In addition, the programme has 4 airports in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

With 4 different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality), Airport Carbon Accreditationis independently administered,institutionally-endorsed¹ and has the support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Commission (EC).


Check out the interactive maps, case studies & programme results on 

As usual, the carbon reduction achieved in Europe during Year 8 (June 2016 to May 2017), will be announced during this year’s ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly, Congress & Exhibition in Paris from 12-14 June 2017. The global annual results will be published in September 2017. 


Notes for editors

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that aviation’s totalCO2emissions account for 2% of global emissions’ impact on climate change. Of that figure, airports’ own operations only account for up to 5%, but airports are keen to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions – several individual airports operators having already committed to becoming carbon neutral in the past few years with some having already achieved this.

Find out more about CORSIA by visiting:

The Airport Carbon Accreditationprogramme – launched by the airport association ACI EUROPE in 2009 – certifies airportsat 4 different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (1. Mapping, 2. Reduction, 3. Optimisation and 3+.Neutrality).It is independently administered,institutionally-endorsed¹ and has the support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the European Union (EU) and others.

**Airports are at different points on this journey to become cleaner and more efficient. As the centrepoints of a complex web of aircraft movements, technical operations and surface access transport, airports can address their CO2 emissions in a variety of ways. These can include better insulation and energy efficiency, switching to green energy sources, investing in hybrid, electric or gas-powered service vehicles, encouraging employees, passengers & visitors to use public transport, working with airlines & air traffic management to reduce runway taxiing times and implement green landing processes and much more.

Originally developed and launched byACI Europein June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation was extended to airports in Asia-Pacific, in November 2011 (in partnership withACI Asia-Pacific)and to African airports in June 2013, (in partnership withACI Africa) and North American airports in September 2014 (in partnership withACI-NA).

¹The programme is administered by leading consultancy WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and overseen by an independent Advisory Board including representatives from the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change), ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), EUROCONTROL and Manchester Metropolitan University.

As the programme administrator, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff assesses and approves the airports under the programme, provides administrative and secretariat services and advises applicant airports through the accreditation process. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff is one of the world’s leading professional services firms. Amongst others it provides services to transform the built environment and restore the natural one and expertise ranging from environmental / climate remediation to urban and transport planning, to designing and implementing sustainable transport networks and strategies, to airport sustainability carbon management and energy planning and management.

To find out which airports are certified & their level of certification, visit: 

For more information, contact: Robert O’Meara, Director, Media & Commuincations, ACI EUROPE

email: tel : +32 486 54 14 71

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