During the fourth year of the Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme, 84 airports in Europe and Asia saved a total of 170,164 tonnes of CO2 emissions – enough to power 71,000 households for one year. The airports now certified under the scheme represent 22% of global air traffic.

Many of the world’s airports have embraced the need for greater energy efficiency to reduce damaging emissions, environmental impact and costs. In the past, airports have dealt with these issues on an individual basis. The need for better results, however, has driven them towards collective action and Airport Carbon Accreditation is the tool that empowers this growing action plan.

Airport Carbon Accreditation independently certifies airports’ efforts to manage and reduce carbon emissions through four levels of certification: mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality. Launched in 2009 by the European region of Airports Council International and endorsed by the European Commission, International Civil Aviation Organization and United Nations Environment Programme, airports have been quick to join the efforts to achieve greater global reductions.

By February 2014, 79 European airports in 24 countries were certified at one of the four levels of the programme. Extended to the Asia-Pacific region in 2011, there are now 12 airports in 7 countries that have achieved certification. In June 2013, the first African airport – Enfidha-Hammamet in Tunisia – brought another continent to the global effort and more are expected to follow in the near future. The programme was named one of the top three low carbon initiatives in the European Union in 2013.