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Shannon strengthens its environmental contribution by achieving new European standard

26 October 2012

Shannon Airport has strengthened its ‘green’ credentials after achieving a new and improved carbon footprint rating under European aviation standards. 

As part of the DAA’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and managing CO2 emissions from its airport operations, Shannon Airport has recently achieved the ‘Reduction’ accreditation level – the second of four standards under the Europe-wide airport carbon management certification programme.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme is the European standard for carbon management best practice and reduction at airports. It is the only independent and institutionally-endorsed certification programme designed specifically for the airport business. 

The programme was established just three years ago and has four levels of accreditation – ‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’ and ‘Neutrality’.  Meeting the targets set by the two initial levels under this programme has seen the airport achieve a 10% reduction in emissions year on year over the 2010/2011 period alone.

The ‘Reduction’ accreditation is a significant milestone for Shannon in the overall carbon management programme as it means that the Airport has not alone mapped all of the CO2 emissions sources under its direct control but also succeeded in reducing those CO2 emissions on a rolling three year average. 

Welcoming the enhanced accreditation, Shannon Airport Director Mary Considine said:  “Sustainability is very much what we are about at Shannon, not least in the environmental area and achieving the second of four European standards in the space of just three years reaffirms that commitment. 

“The very fact that we have delivered CO2 reductions year on year of 10% over 2010/2011 shows the pace of our progress.  This is down to the dedication of our staff here at the airport to reaching these standards and our colleagues in the DAA’s Health, Safety, Security and Environment department for their support.”

At present, some 67 airports, which account for over 53% of European passenger traffic each year, are participating in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. 

“Airport Carbon Accreditation requires an ongoing commitment to manage energy and improve resource efficiency on a continuous basis,” Ms Considine continued.  “Shannon has in the last few years been working very hard to reduce the amount of energy that we use both for environmental and for cost reasons. Our success in this regard has led to our Level 2 status and we will be looking to build on this success by making further progress in reducing CO2 emissions in the years ahead.”

The IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that the aviation sector produces about 2% of the world’s manmade CO2 emissions. Of that figure, airports only account for up to 5% of the aviation sector’s total emissions. 

During 2010, the three DAA airports were amongst the first wave of European airports to achieve accreditation under the programme. To find out more, click here or go to www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org.

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