Posted on: 27 June 2018 by Chloe Greenbank
TAG Farnborough Airport has become the first business aviation airport in the world to achieve carbon neutral status, under the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.
Over the past decade, the airport has worked hard to reduce carbon emissions by 42% or 2,183 tonnes. The airport has invested over £1 million into energy-efficiency projects, including upgrading to LED lighting and investing in sustainable travel across the airport site.
“As a world-class facility, TAG Farnborough Airport is committed to responsible and sustainable development through comprehensive management of our environmental impact,” said Miles Thomas, environment manager at TAG Farnborough Airport.
While admitting that the recent accreditation is an important milestone in the airport’s carbon-reduction efforts, Thomas went on to say “our work in this field by no means ends here and we will continue to identify new and innovative ways to improve our sustainable credentials.”
Congratulating the airport on its carbon neutrality, Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s director general, referred to the team at TAG Farnborough Airport as “pioneers” and added that he hoped other business aviation airports will now follow suit.
“We firmly believe that every aspect of aviation needs to try to address its carbon footprint and business aviation is no exception,” he said. He added that the team at Farnborough have “engaged in ever-greater efforts in sustainability over the past years, allowing them to rise through the levels of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme to reach their ultimate goal today.”
Attaining carbon neutral status is the culmination of over a decade’s work by TAG Farnborough Airport’s environmental team, headed by Miles Thomas. Key factors contributing to the airport’s carbon neutrality have included energy efficiency, staff accountability and awareness training, driven by the ISO14001 certification.
LED lighting has been installed throughout the airport site, saving 15% of total electricity consumption in the first two months. While its commitment to supporting the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) energy supply will see the airport’s annual footprint reduced by a further 2,000 tonnes.
Sustainable travel across the TAG Farnborough Airport site has also helped to minimise liquid fuel use and a network of 20 electric vehicle (EV) chargers has enabled the use of electric vehicles from small ground handling trucks to a Tesla Model S. Staff also have a fleet of bicycles at their disposal to use when travelling between airport buildings.
In conjunction with a certified carbon offsetting project, the airport has also offset residual emissions through tree planting projects at schools in the local area paired with a conservation project in the Amazon rainforest (Florestal Santa Maria Project) which protects trees in one of the most biodiverse places in the world.
Looking to the future, projects with the aim of further reducing carbon emissions will include the total re-fit of the airfield ground lighting system, replacing the old tungsten fittings with LED lighting.