Bristol Airport aims higher in bid to cut its carbon emissions after gaining accreditation

July 6, 2018

Bristol Airport’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint have been recognised with accreditation in a global industry programme.

The airport, which last year handled 8.1m passengers and is one of the UK’s fastest growing, has been awarded the second of four levels in the Airport Carbon Accreditation. 

The scheme is an independent, voluntary programme which certifies airports at four different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management – mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality. Bristol Airport aims to by carbon neutral by 2030.

It is independently administered for ACI Europe, the organisation representing European airports, and has won praise from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and the European Commission.

Bristol Airport became the 23rd airport in Europe to achieve accreditation at the mapping level in 2015. This entailed measuring energy use over a nine-year period and committing to a Carbon Management Plan to reduce carbon emissions across its 196-hectare site. 

The airport has installed photovoltaic panels on the terminal building, uses air source heat pumps to heat it, and has fitted LED lighting as well as ongoing engagement with colleagues to encourage energy saving.

Level two accreditation recognises the results delivered by these and other initiatives, which led to a 28% reduction in carbon emissions per passenger between 2014 and 2017. 

Absolute emissions have also fallen by more than 6% despite major developments including two terminal extensions, the most recent of which added 9,000 sq m to the building.

Bristol Airport head of sustainability James Shearman said: “Achieving level two accreditation demonstrates our continued commitment to reducing Bristol Airport’s carbon footprint. It is an important step on the journey towards carbon neutrality, which is our ultimate long-term goal.”

The next level in the four-stage process is optimisation, which requires airports to widen the scope of its carbon footprint to include third-party emissions, such as those generated in the landing and take-off cycle of aircraft. The final stage is carbon neutrality.

A consultation considering how the airport can meet future demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales closes later today. 

As part of its masterplan consultation the airport has set out a charter for future growth which includes commitments to publish a sustainable growth strategy with detailed objectives, targets and an action plan.

Last month Bristol was voted the best airport of its size in Europe in one of the industry’s top awards schemes.

The airport shared top billing in the 5m to 10m passenger category with Seville Airport in Spain at the annual ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards.

The judges said they selected Bristol for its continued investment in infrastructure, its staff training and increased public transport links.









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