The UK’s fifth largest regional airport and the gateway to the South West, Bristol Airport, has taken its carbon management to the next level, by achieving accreditation at the second of four levels on the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

The voluntary scheme is independently administered by the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe and is a widely recognised and highly regarded programme across the industry. Airports are certified at four different levels of accreditation, covering all stages of carbon management: mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality.

The 23rd airport in Europe to achieve accreditation at the mapping level in 2015, Bristol Airport’s accreditation to the scheme entailed measuring energy use over a nine-year period and committing to a Carbon Management Plan to reduce carbon emissions across its 196-hectare site. Initiatives have included installing photovoltaic panels on the terminal building, using air source heat pumps to heat the building, and LED lighting fitted throughout, as well as ongoing engagement with colleagues to encourage energy saving.

“Achieving level two accreditation demonstrates our continued commitment to reducing Bristol Airport’s carbon footprint,” said James Shearman, head of sustainability at Bristol Airport. “It is an important step on the journey towards carbon neutrality, which is our ultimate long-term goal.”

Level two accreditation recognises the results delivered by Bristol Airport so far, which have seen carbon emissions per passenger reduce by an impressive 28% between 2014 and 2017. Despite major developments at the airport, including two terminal extensions, absolute emissions at Bristol have fallen by more than 6%.
Optimisation is the next level in the four-stage process, which requires airports to widen the scope of their carbon footprint to include third-party emissions, such as those generated in the landing and take-off cycle of aircraft. Neutrality is the final stage in the process and Bristol Airport aims to achieve this by 2030.

Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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