TAG Farnborough becomes first carbon neutral business airport


TAG Farnborough Airport in the UK has been awarded carbon neutral status, the first business aviation airport in the world to achieve this under Airport Carbon Accreditation run by ACI Europe.

To achieve carbon neutral status, an airport must have mapped its carbon emissions, reduced CO₂ emissions under its direct control, engaged with others on the airport site to reduce their emissions, and invested in responsible and credible programs to offset residual carbon emissions.

Miles Thomas, environment manager at TAG Farnborough Airport, said, “As a world-class facility, TAG Farnborough Airport is committed to responsible and sustainable development through comprehensive management of our environmental impact.

“While carbon neutrality is without a doubt an important milestone in our carbon reduction efforts, 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.”

Carbon emissions in 2008 were 5,242 tonnes. Over the past decade, TAG Farnborough Airport has reduced carbon emissions over which it has direct control by 42%, equivalent to 2,183 tonnes. Over the past five years alone, the hub has invested over £1m (US$1.3m) in energy efficiency projects.

A host of projects with a focus on energy efficiency, staff accountability and awareness training, driven by the airport’s ISO14001 certification, have been key contributory factors in achieving carbon neutrality.

Projects have included upgrading to LED lighting across the airport site, which at the airport tower alone saved 15% (13,902kWh) of total electricity consumption in the first two months.

This year, the airport also committed to REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) energy supply, which will see the airport’s annual footprint reduced by a further 2,000 tonnes and help to support the renewable energy sector.

Sustainable travel across the site has also helped to minimize 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. A bicycle fleet is also available for staff to enable footprint-free travel between buildings.

Olivier Jankovec, director general at ACI Europe, added, “We firmly believe that every aspect of aviation needs to try to address its carbon footprint and business aviation is no exception.

“As the first carbon neutral business aviation airport in the world, the team at TAG Farnborough Airport are pioneers in this regard, having engaged in ever-greater efforts in sustainability over the past years, allowing them to rise through the levels of the Airport Carbon Accreditation program, to reach their ultimate goal today.

“I congratulate them on setting what we hope will become a trend among other business aviation airports that become inspired by their example.”

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Kirstie worked full-time on Business Airport International for over two years and is now a freelance journalist. Away from her writing commitments, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or training for her next charity run.

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