Riga Airport Sustainability Strategy: Reduced Environmental Impact, Open Governance and Social Responsibility
Riga Airport has developed a corporate Sustainability Strategy, which aims to reduce Airport's environmental impact, improve service quality, ensure an inclusive and safe working environment, promote fair commercial practices, and strengthen cooperation with the local community over the next eight years.
“Understanding and having a clear action plan to embed environmental, economic, governance and social sustainability aspects into everyday work processes is a prerequisite for the development of any business. Being aware of our role and responsibility in the national economy of Latvia, we have set significant goals in the Riga Airport Sustainability Strategy and included almost 200 activities for sustainable and responsible business, infrastructure development and care for our employees. We aim to create new values, including by investing in the well-being of the local community and protecting the environment,” Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport, tells about the necessity of the company's sustainability strategy.
Video about the Sustainability Strategy of Riga Airport is available here:
Environment and climate mitigation
The majority of the tasks in the Sustainability Strategy are measures to mitigate Airport's environmental impact. These include the construction and development of a solar park, work on which has already started, and the replacement of light fittings with LED bulbs in all the areas of the Airport. Airport's vehicle fleet – both passenger buses and other vehicles – are planned to be gradually replaced by CO2 neutral alternatives, at the same time also creating the necessary charging infrastructure. Work has also already started to improve the energy efficiency of Airport's old buildings, built at the end of the last century. Measures are provided to reduce emissions associated with Airport operations that are not under direct control of the Airport.
The Sustainability Strategy also includes plans to renew Airport's water management system, both by promoting water reuse and by introducing a sustainable de-icing wastewater treatment system.
The Airport will continue to monitor the potential impact of aircraft emissions on the forest ecosystem and will continue its reforestation projects and conservation and protection activities for protected bird species in its effort to preserve biodiversity.
Governance and social aspects
Ethical and open governance, environmental noise, local community, and employee engagement, as well as the quality of Airport services and a positive passenger experience are key areas of work to promote Airport governance and social sustainability. The strategy also provides for continuing to identify the needs of the local government and Airport's ability to help, building a social entrepreneurship fund in line with community needs and promoting development of start-ups. The Airport will also continue to participate in various educational projects both in Mārupe Municipality and in cooperation with other Latvian educational institutions.
To ensure a safe and inclusive working environment, Airport's sustainability strategy provides for support to the employee well-being, including promotion of emotional and physical health, with a particular focus on good ergonomics. The relevance of pay policy to the labour market is also an important aspect. In turn, in cooperation with Airport's partners and companies operating at the Airport, Airport's Sustainability Strategy sets out tasks to promote fair commercial practices, respect for human rights, labour rights and principles of business ethics throughout the Airport's supply chain.
While developing the range of destinations accessible from Riga, it is also provided for to continue work on the development of digital solutions providing convenient and modern services for the improvement of the passenger experience.
The growing range of destinations and development of Airport areas will provide an opportunity both to enhance the creation of new businesses and services, as well as expand employment in the surrounding municipalities. Airport's accessibility and multimodality will contribute to the national economy through the development of the Rail Baltica connection, improved cycling infrastructure and cooperation with transport service providers in the use of low- and zero-emission vehicles.
Airport's Sustainability Strategy has been developed through company's impact materiality analysis and involving a wide range of stakeholders and experts. In the course of its development, international guidelines for Airport sustainability were taken into account; the UN Sustainable Development Goals were integrated into the strategy. Objectives of the Sustainability Strategy and the planned works are linked to other Airport development documents, as well as to non-financial reporting standard indicators for measuring progress and communicating with stakeholders.
Riga Airport draws up its annual Sustainability Report, which reflects company's performance in key sustainability aspects since 2020. The reports are drawn up in accordance with the international Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard, which provides a harmonised, comparable and transparent approach to the extraction and analysis of the data included in the report.