The Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme is in robust shape as it enters its second decade – but change is necessary
Ten years after it was launched in Europe in June 2009, the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation programme has spread worldwide to include 264 locations.
In addition, more than 100 of these accredited airports are bringing their influence to bear on other organisations to lower their CO 2 emissions, ACI announced during its 2019 World Annual General Assembly (WAGA) in Hong Kong on 2–4 April.
Jane’s spoke to Gittens and her counterpart at ACI Europe, Olivier Jankovec, during the ACI WAGA to assess recent developments and next steps for the programme as it enters its second decade.
Change is on the agenda, said Gittens, who was present at the launch of the programme 10 years ago. “It’s been a topic of discussion. We need to up the ambition – carbon accreditation is still very valid and worthy, and we’ve learned a lot, so we can share lessons with other airports .... But we’re now aware that we have to do more.”
The core principles and governance structure behind Airport Carbon Accreditation are sufficiently strong, but ACI recognised that certain criteria need to change. “From the start, we were mindful that as science evolves, and the knowledge about climate change evolves, and as the challenge becomes more complicated, we need to make sure that the programme is always fit for purpose and that it reflects the latest science on climate change,” Jankovec remarked.
Airport Carbon Accreditation assesses and validates four levels of carbon management: Mapping (Level 1), Reduction (Level 2), Optimisation (Level 3), and Neutrality (Level 3+). At the time of writing, 49 airports worldwide have obtained Neutrality status, compared with 44 in the previous year (May 2017 to May 2018).
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