ATLANTA - Following the global airport industry’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions made 7 years ago and the European launch in 2009 of the carbon management standard Airport Carbon Accreditation, last night saw a major development in carbon management for airports in North America.

A ceremony took place yesterday evening at the 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition of ACI-North America (ACI-NA) in Atlanta, in the presence of more than 1,600 aviation experts, to mark the launch of Airport Carbon Accreditation in North America, in cooperation with ACI-NA.

The institutionally endorsed programme independently assesses and recognises airports’ efforts to manage and reduce their CO2 emissions. It certifies airports at 4 different levels of accreditation (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality). In the past twelve months, Airport Carbon Accredited status has been earned by a total of 107 airports in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific.**

Having already achieved significant results in Europe, Africa & Asia-Pacific, the launch of the programme in North America is a decisive step in the establishment of Airport Carbon Accreditation as the global standard for carbon management at airports.

Kevin M. Burke, President & CEO of ACI-NA commented “Today’s launch of Airport Carbon Accreditation here in North America shows that our airport industry has become more demanding of itself. The success of the programme in other parts of the world is both an inspiration and a challenge.”

The launch ceremony also saw Seattle-Tacoma International Airport become the very first airport in North America to achieve certification within the programme.

He added “As an ambitious industry, we want to do our part to lower our carbon footprint and become better partners in the global aviation system. I congratulate Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on being the first to achieve certification in North America, leading the way for many others. I also applaud the other North American airports who have committed to becoming early adopters of Airport Carbon Accreditation, including Aéroports de Montreal, Denver International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Portland International Airport.”

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI Europe, Patti Chau, Regional Director ACI Asia-Pacific and Ali Tounsi, Regional Director ACI Africa commented “We are delighted to see Airport Carbon Accreditation become available to North American airports today. It’s a big moment for the programme, as it demonstrates the momentum the airport industry’s environmental commitment has gained over the past 7 years and the demand for this kind of tool in the North American market.”

They added “Many industries talk about their commitments. We are getting on with the job and delivering genuine, independently-verified carbon reduction year-on-year. We applaud Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s certification as the pioneering airport in North America and look forward to seeing others apply for certification at one of the 4 levels of the programme.”

“This is a significant step to be recognized world-wide for the environmental stewardship programs we have instituted at Sea-Tac Airport,” said Port of Seattle Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman. “Next year we expect to go even further in the certification as part of our Century Agenda goal to reduce aircraft-related emissions by 25 percent at Sea-Tac and 50 percent overall at the Port of Seattle.”

Airport Carbon Accreditation is now live in 5 continents and the 108 airports certified by the programme welcome 24.2% of global passenger traffic annually.