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ENVIRONMENT Last modified on September 28, 2016

Going green

Juliana Scavuzzi, ACI World’s aviation environment specialist, considers the importance of sustainable development.

The aviation industry evolves quickly; its growing demand must keep up with the latest technology in an environmentally sustainable manner. 

Over the last quarter century, ACI, together with its member airports and World Business Partners have evolved in step with the industry. 

Our environmental initiatives promote aviation and airport sustainable development, limiting or reducing environmental impacts while supporting economic and social benefits. 

ACI works alongside its members and the rest of the aviation industry and international organisations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

ICAO has developed through the work of its Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) and with the collaboration of ACI experts (ACI is an official observer of CAEP), the Airport Planning Manual; Guidance on the Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management; Airport Air Quality Manual; Report on Environmental Management Systems; and standards for both noise and NOx that have become increasingly stringent.

ACI has developed several tools and programmes to promote environmental and sustainable practices. For instance, the Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT) developed in partnership with Transport Canada has been wildly successful in assisting airports to independently manage their Greenhouse Gas Inventory without the need of specialised expertise. 

ACI has recently released ACERT version 3.2, while version 4.0 is currently under development. We are also developing a tutorial to assist member airports to better use ACERT.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, developed by ACI Europe in 2009, certifies airports that are able to monitor and/or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. 

As ACI celebrates its 25th Anniversary, we are proud to report that 161 airports have been accredited worldwide, representing 31.3 % of global air passenger traffic. 

ACA’s sixth year will be responsible for saving 212,460 tonnes of CO2 emissions in Europe alone, which is the equivalent to the annual CO2 sequestered by 1,495 acres of forest.

The ACI World Environment Standing Committee (WESC) alongside with the ACI regional environment committees have worked together to develop ACI environmental policy and best practices on several position briefs concerning various environmental issues, including noise and community engagement, local air quality, water quality and waste management. 

The WESC convenes every nine months and will have its next meeting in Hong Kong at the beginning of 2017 for its 35th meeting since the committee’s inception. 

ACI has also developed a series of publications on environment in order to better assist airport members in dealing with environmental issues, namely the ACI Airport Greenhouse Gas Emission Manual, the Managing the Impacts of Aviation Noise in collaboration with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization and the ACI Wildlife Hazard Management Handbook. 

More publications are planned for the near future. ACI’s Global Training has also been assisting airports through the ACI Developing Nations Assistance (DNA) Programme. 

A specific environmental training using DNA funds is planned for the 25th ACI Africa Annual General Assembly, Regional Conference and Exhibition in Maputo, Mozambique, on October 17–23, 2016.

Last but by no means least, ACI is aligned with the aviation industry through the Air Transport Action Group that has set goals for this industry to become carbon neutral from 2020 and to reduce by 50% its CO2 emissions by 2050, considering 2005 as a baseline. 

These are not small commitments and they certainly come with challenges to face, particularly considering the expected growth of aviation at a 4.3% annually rate in the two decades to come. 

ACI is ready to face these challenges through independent initiatives and through collaboration with our trusted partners. 

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