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Manchester Airport and Hyderabad Airport become carbon neutral


14 Dec 2016



·         Manchester Airport – flagship of MAG – becomes the first carbon neutral airport in the UK

·         Hyderabad Airport becomes second carbon neutral airport in India° and wider Asia-Pacific region.

·         37% of air passengers worldwide now travel through airports certified under the 4 levels of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme

Brussels and Hong Kong: Hot on the heels of the recent COP22 climate negotiations, we have the announcement of 2 airports becoming carbon neutral: Manchester Airport and Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport – both have now achieved carbon neutral status (Level 3+), certified by the independent carbon management programme Airport Carbon Accreditation.

Niclas Svenningsen, who heads the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in Bonn, Germany commented «The announcement that Manchester Airport and Hyderabad Airport have achieved carbon neutrality through Airport Carbon Accreditation is great news. The ambitious efforts of a growing number of carbon neutral airports are testament to how serious this industry is about addressing its direct impact on climate change. Our congratulations to the teams in Manchester and Hyderabad – we look forward to other airports following your example.»

This brings the total number of carbon neutral airports around the world to 27, while the overall programme now counts 176 airports across the 4 available levels of certification.

Over the last decade, Manchester Airport has significantly reduced the energy it uses, saving the same amount of energy as used by 10,000 homes each year.  In addition, Manchester Airport has invested more than £7.5 million in energy efficiency projects, working with local and national businesses to develop innovative lighting solutions. The award winning energy management team have now installed more than 25,000 low energy LED lights throughout the airport, including the first on any UK runway.

Collectively, these initiatives have reduced emissions from the energy and fuel used to operate the terminals, runways and facilities at Manchester Airport from 72,000 tonnes CO2e in 2006 to zero in 2016.

Speaking at the certification ceremony in Manchester, Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE commented « Congratulations to all the team at Manchester Airport on this achievement. Becoming carbon neutral is no small feat and today actually serves as a timely reminder of how much work Manchester Airport has put into achieving this goal. They were one of the airports that participated in the pilot phase of the programme and they have worked their way up through the 4 levels of the programme over the intervening years - we actually launched Airport Carbon Accreditation here in Manchester at our Annual Congress in 2009. So, it really is a red-letter day for Manchester Airport, for the programme and for air transport in the UK. »     

Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport commented « At Manchester Airport we are committed to being one of the leading European airports when it comes to environmental management.  We are proud of our track record. After a decade of hard work to reduce the amount of energy we use, I am pleased to be the first UK airport to be recognised by Airport Carbon Accreditation as carbon neutral. »

« As an organisation we recognise that climate change is an important global challenge, with aviation contributing around 2% of international carbon emissions each year.  This achievement demonstrates the lengths we go to ensuring we balance our role as economic generator, alongside caring for the environment, whilst working with our third parties to reduce the wider impact of our industry. »

India’s Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport – which welcomes around 12 million passengers per year – also achieved carbon neutral status.

Commenting on the development, Mr. SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, «The Level 3+, Neutrality status awarded by ACI under its Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is a significant achievement for Hyderabad Airport. This achievement is an outcome of our sustained efforts towards environment by proactive energy conservation measures, generation of renewable energy (Solar), carbon sinking through extensive greenbelt and various other environment protection measures with the active support of the airport’s stakeholders. Through this, GHIAL has demonstrated its commitment to support the Government of India’s resolution on the nation’s carbon footprint and oblige to COP21 Global Climate Agreement with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in April 2016. »     

Patti Chau, Regional Director, ACI Asia-Pacific said «Congratulations to Hyderabad Airport’s team for the excellent achievement in becoming carbon neutral under Airport Carbon Accreditation. We are proud of their accomplishment which is no easy task.  It demonstrates the airport’s continuous commitment to reduce its environmental impacts and reduce and offset emissions.  ACI will continue to work with our airport members in their journey towards carbon neutrality which is crucial for the long-term development of our industry. »

Finally, building on VINCI Airports’ extraordinary engagement of all of its airports in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme (including airports in France, Portugal, Cambodia and Japan), it has just successfully received certification at Level 2 ‘Reduction’ for its CO2 reduction at Osaka and Kansai airports in Japan.

To find out more about Year 7 of the programme (June 2015 to May 2016) including the carbon reduction achieved, visit the programme’s dedicated results microsite:






The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that aviation’s total CO2 emissions account for 2% of global emissions’ impact on climate change. Of that figure, airports’ own operations only account for up to 5%, but airports are keen to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions – several individual airports operators having already committed to becoming carbon neutral in the past few years with some having already achieved this.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme - launched by the airport association ACI EUROPE in 2009 - certifies airports at 4 different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (1. Mapping, 2. Reduction, 3. Optimisation and 3+. Neutrality). It is independently administered, institutionally-endorsed¹ and has the support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the European Union (EU) and others.

° Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport became the first carbon neutral airport in Asia-Pacific, in September 2016.

Airports are at different points on this journey to become cleaner and more efficient. As the centrepoints of a complex web of aircraft movements, technical operations and surface access transport, airports can address their CO2 emissions in a variety of ways. 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 & visitors to use public transport, working with airlines & air traffic management to reduce runway taxiing times and implement green landing processes and much more.

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) and to African airports in June 2013, (in partnership with ACI Africa) and North American airports in September 2014 (in partnership with ACI-NA).

¹The programme is administered by leading consultancy WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and overseen by an independent Advisory Board including representatives from the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change), ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), EUROCONTROL and Manchester Metropolitan University.

As the programme administrator, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff assesses and approves the airports under the programme, provides administrative and secretariat services and advises applicant airports through the accreditation process. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff is one of the world’s leading professional services firms. Amongst others it provides services to transform the built environment and restore the natural one and expertise ranging from environmental / climate remediation to urban and transport planning, to designing and implementing sustainable transport networks and strategies, to airport sustainability carbon management and energy planning and management.


To find out which airports are certified & their level of certification, visit:



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