Swedavia is the first airport group to achieve net zero CO2 emissions
Airports have always been regarded by eco-warriors as a legitimate target, and before the COVID-19 pandemic the general public had shown signs of reappraising their own needs and wants where airports are concerned, in favour of the environmental and against the hedonistic.
Now, as airports begin at least to contemplate and re-evaluate their role when business starts up again, they are faced with the conundrum posed by encouraging that new business – ensuring a healthy passage through their corridors for their clients and satisfying demands on sustainability that have not gone away. (Akin to balancing on a tightrope on one foot, blinded by a PPE mask, carrying a bottle of duty free in one hand and a gallon of aviation bio-fuel in the other.)
One big airport operator, Swedavia, has made its decision on priorities. Although it has hardly any passengers, it is delighted to tell the world that it has not only achieved complete carbon neutrality, but that it has done so three decades before it was required to.
- Airports face renewed uncertainty over sustainability, on top of pandemic concerns.
- Sweden’s main airport operator completes a 10-year project to become carbon neutral.
- Other airports will feel obliged to up their game to this standard…while they struggle to build up their businesses again.
- 341 airports worldwide now have official carbon ‘accreditation’.
- State aid guidelines in Europe need to be amended in order to cater for the pandemic/environmental impact on airports.
- At least public expectations of airports will not be so high, other than for the way that they perform from health and environmental perspectives.