Airport International News - August 2012
Finavia Pursues Greener Finnish Airports Plan
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Airport International's Lead Reporter on 10/08/2012 - 06:00:00
Finland's airport operations group Finavia is moving forward with its plans to improve the eco-efficiency of its nation's airports.
In 2011, it managed to achieve a 2,474 tonnes CO2 emissions reduction at Finland's flagship Helsinki Airport. Four years after the launch of Finavia's energy and climate programme, this achievement secured Helsinki Airport a place on the second level of the ACA (Airport Carbon Accreditation) scheme.
Once Helsinki Airport's CO2 drop had been taken into account, the hub's overall carbon output for 2011 totalled 19,895 tons - equivalent to 400 grams for each passenger handled. Several innovations contributed to this impressive emissions drop including the adoption of new energy-efficient lighting and heating systems.
Greener Finnish Airports
According to a statement released by Finavia, this year, Helsinki will continue to implement new greener airport technologies. For example, a single electric vehicle (EV) is currently in use in the airport's operational areas but an entire EV fleet is planned for coming months. Moreover, other Finnish airports including Rovaniemi and Kittilä intend to draw on Finland's geothermal resources for heating purposes.
The Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme represents the carbon standard for airports in Europe. Established in 2009, it is comprised of four levels - Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality.
European airports that reach ACA's Mapping level have successfully demonstrated that they've managed to measure the extent of their carbon emissions. To reach Reduction, they have to show that they've taken steps to reduce them while, to attain the Optimisation level, they must work with external organisations to further reduce them. Finally, to hit ACA Neutrality, they need to offset their CO2 emissions to produce, in effect, a zero carbon output.
At the end of 2011, 46 European airports had climbed the ACA scale to some extent, representing - together - almost 50 per cent of air travel in Europe. More recently, that total has climbed to 59 airports - six of them in Lapland.
Finavia Airports Plan
"Air traffic amounts to 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions", Mikko Viinikainen explained in the Finavia airports plan release. "About 5% of this is caused by airport activities. Even though this is a relatively small share in the entire sector's emissions, Finavia wants to contribute to emissions reduction at its airports.
"This deals with concrete steps: the achieved emissions reduction was implemented by making the airport's energy consumption more efficient, by adjusting the heating system, optimising the lights and by providing the staff with training on economical driving habits."
Helsinki Airport image copyright ‘Aku' - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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