London City Airport’s operations have been rated as carbon neutral, accredited at Level 3+ (Neutrality) by the international Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.
“Achieving neutral accreditation is a significant achievement which everyone at London City Airport can be proud of. It recognises our efforts to cut carbon emissions in every part of our business, from runway lighting to energy systems, and underlines our commitment to building a more sustainable future for the airport and aviation industry,” said Alison FitzGerald, Chief Operating Officer for London City Airport. “Our efforts won’t stop here. We are committed to becoming the UK’s most sustainable airport. To achieve that, we have set a goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 without using carbon off-setting and we are working to create an eco-system in which we directly collaborate with airlines, manufacturers and other partners to accelerate progress and confirm the airport as a leader in sustainable air travel.”
This milestone follows shortly after the airport’s biggest airline, British Airways, committed to offsetting carbon emissions on all domestic flights from January 2020.
The airport is also reducing construction emissions in its transformational half-billion-pound City Airport Development Programme which aims to achieve ‘Very Good’ status under BREEAM – the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master-planning projects, infrastructure and buildings.
As part of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, London City Airport has engaged with 48 East London schools to find a suitable location to install solar panels which will offset the business’ carbon emissions and reduce carbon emissions locally.
Additionally, the airport has offset emissions through an investment in a project to generate electricity using solar energy in India. As well as reducing carbon emissions, the project improves energy security, provides sustainable employment which reduces poverty and contributes to improved healthcare, sanitation and educational support for local communities. The project is reviewed to ensure it meets the requirements under the Quality Assurance Standard (QAS) for Carbon Offsetting, including auditing to ensure all offsets sold are retired on appropriate registries within 12 months of purchasing.
Beyond carbon emissions, London City Airport is making its business more sustainable through a range of initiatives. The airport is reducing waste by promoting the re-use and recycling of materials, targeting 70% recycled or composted, in order to retain its status as a ‘zero waste to landfill’ company. This includes initiatives, such as working with bio-bean to convert coffee waste into biofuel. To reduce the amount of plastic waste across the airport, London City Airport was the first UK airport to ban single-use plastic straws and is now seeking a robust sustainable solution for plastic security bags for passengers through its £10,000 innovation challenge.
About the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme
Airports applying to become accredited must have their carbon footprints independently verified in accordance with ISO14064 (Greenhouse Gas Accounting). Evidence of this must be provided to the programme administrator (WSP) together with all claims regarding carbon management processes which must also be independently verified.
The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme requires London City Airport to calculate its carbon footprint annually, demonstrate a reduction in carbon emissions, engage third parties across the airport to reduce their footprint as well and offset carbon emissions where the business can’t currently eliminate them.
Of the 293 airports participating in the programme, only 62 have achieved Level 3+ (Neutrality) status. In Europe, there are currently 51 accredited airports in 15 countries. Aside from London City Airport, just five other airports in the UK have achieved this status: Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and TAG Farnborough.