Its claim is based on its new ‘Decade of Change’ report that tracks the gateway's progress on a series of sustainability targets and reveals that it is using less water, electricity and gas, emits less carbon and gets more passengers to the airport by public transport than ever before.
The ten targets that make up the Decade of Change report are set over a ten year period (2010 to 2020).
This year’s Decade of Change reports on the half way point (2015), with progress achieved so far including:
• Carbon emissions cut by 32.6%
• Energy used cut by 16.6%
• No operational waste sent to landfill, with 49% recycled
• 56% of airport’s 21,000 strong workforce lives in the local community
• In 2015, Gatwick spent £71.4 million with local suppliers
• In 2015, Gatwick sponsored 32 community events, distributed £200,000 among local causes and raised £175,000 for local charities
Annual nitrogen dioxide levels on the airfield also fell from 31 to 28 micrograms per cubic metre in 2015 – almost a third below the legal limit of 40.
Gatwick is also quick to point out tht it has never breached EU and UK annual air quality limits and has enough headroom to remain within legal limits with a second runway.
CEO, Stewart Wingate, says: “Taken together the Decade of Change targets demonstrate the airport’s commitment to the local environment and also our determination to be the best neighbour possible.
“Teams across Gatwick have strived to achieve, and in some cases exceed, these ambitious sustainability targets.
"It is testament to the hard work of our staff that we have come so far so quickly, and remain on track to become the UK’s most sustainable airport.
“Air quality is central to the expansion debate and today’s results show that Gatwick continues to stay well within legal limits.
"The choice is obvious. Choose Gatwick and the UK gets a new runway, or go for Heathrow and illegal levels of pollution stall airport expansion yet again.”
The Decade of Change report comes just weeks after Gatwick became one of just a handful of UK organisations to simultaneously hold triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for achieving ongoing reductions in carbon emissions and water use, and improving waste management.