Following the global airport industry’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions made in 2007, the intervening years have seen a groundswell of airports become part of the industry carbon management initiative, Airport Carbon Accreditation.

As of August 2015, the programme certified 129 airports in 41 countries worldwide. The programme independently certifies airports’ efforts to manage and reduce carbon emissions through four increasing levels of certification: mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality (see graphic for further details).

Airports are at different points on the journey to become cleaner and more efficient. As the centre points of a complex web of aircraft movements, technical operations and surface access transport, airports can address their CO2 emissions in a variety of ways, many outlined in other case studies in Aviation Climate Solutions. These can include: better insulation and energy efficiency; switching to green energy sources; investing in hybrid, electric or gas-powered service vehicles; encouraging employees, passengers and visitors to use public transport; working with airlines and air traffic management to reduce runway taxiing times; and implementing green landing processes.

The programme is administered by leading consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff and overseen by an independent advisory board including representatives from the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the European Commission, European Civil Aviation Conference, Eurocontrol, the Federal Aviation Administration and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Originally developed and launched by ACI Europe in June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation was extended to airports in Asia-Pacific in November 2011 (in partnership with ACI Asia-Pacific), to African airports in June 2013, (with ACI Africa), North American airports in September 2014 (with ACI North America) and Latin American airports in November 2014 (with ACI Latin America).


ACS 120 levels graphic