Press Releases

ACI World launches sustainable recovery guidance for airports

Best practice document helps airports initiate, maintain, or enhance sustainability commitments

Montreal, 27 September 2021 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has launched comprehensive guidance to help airport executives incorporate sustainability at the core of their strategies as they work towards long-term recovery.

The ACI World Sustainable Recovery Best Practice highlights the advantages of incorporating sustainability in recovery plans including access to funding through government relief packages and sustainability-linked bonds, as well as further developing a more balanced business model that incorporates social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

The publication provides a table of best practices and examples of action under three pillars of sustainability and governance, which airports worldwide should consider while developing their own sustainable recovery plans. A step-by-step approach to building such a plan is also included.

“As the industry seeks to ‘build back better,’ airports have been recognizing the advantages of a sustainability-centric recovery strategy,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “While health and evolving passenger expectations remain central to airports and the industry’s sustained recovery, climate change and other related externalities remain the major risk we face as a sector and as humanity.

“We believe that aviation’s role in serving a post-pandemic, decarbonizing global society and economy is critical, but continued efforts will require support from government and other stakeholders. Aviation and non-aviation players will need to further collaborate to identify solutions that realize the positive transformation that sustainability can bring to the sector, the overall economy, and in achieving each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

In June 2021, ACI member airports at the global level committed to Net Zero Carbon by 2050. To date, 352 airports have been accredited under the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation program, the only institutionally endorsed, carbon management certification standard for airports.

As a companion to the Best Practice guidance, the ACI World Sustainable Recovery Case Studies provides successful examples from six airports under the three pillars of sustainability. The case studies highlight sustainable alternatives for airports to consider while they plan for recovery in the short-, medium-, and long-term, and exemplify that while many of the good practices from before the pandemic remain valid, the post-COVID-19 world may require different approaches.

The sustainable recovery guidance comes strategically just ahead of the ACI-LAC/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 21–24 November 2021. This year’s event will be under the theme “Runway to Recovery: Reconnecting Aviation for a Sustainable Future.”

Notes for editors

  1. Read the ACI World Sustainable Recovery Best Practice.
  2. Read ACI World Sustainable Recovery Case Studies.
  3. Stay up to date with COVID-19 developments on ACI World’s dedicated news hub.
  4. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2021, ACI serves 701 members, operating 1933 airports in 183 countries.

Media contacts

Adam Zampini
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254