Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) is a programme to measure the carbon footprint of airports and assess how they work to reduce their environmental impact. Read more about the organisations behind ACA at the bottom of the page.
Certification at ACA’s highest level (3+) means that the airport can give an account of its own fossil carbon dioxide emissions as well as emission sources that the airport can influence. All emission sources are verified by an independent auditor. The airport must also be able to show reductions in its own emissions and involve other companies and organisations at the airport in reducing their own emissions. Finally, the airport should be climate-neutral in its own operations. That means the airport offsets the emissions it has not yet reduced through its own measures.
Facts about ACA
Requirements for accreditation
How Swedavia works
ACA certification at the highest level requires implementation of a number of practical improvement measures and investments. To manage such extensive work, a great level of commitment and well functioning cooperation throughout the airport are needed. Swedavia has long worked with energy and climate issues and during the period 2005-2014 reduced carbon dioxide emissions from its own operations by over 74%. Since work with ACA began, even greater emphasis has been given to measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. That increases the awareness of everyone at the airport.
Examples of improvements carried out
- Installation of LED light bulbs to replace traditional light bulbs and a switch to low energy light fixtures.
- Replacement of heating systems. From oil-fuelled boilers to heating systems that use wooden pellets, geothermal heat or district heating.
- Replacement of vehicles. In part, through the purchase of hybrid buses, hybrid cars and heavy vehicles such as cleaning equipment with lower carbon dioxide emissions.
- Installation of motion detectors for lighting.
- Optimisation and replacement of ventilation and climate control systems as well as replacement of doors for a better seal and more energy efficiency.
- Introduction of firefighting exercises using ethanol-based and renewable firefighting exercise fuel.
- Replacement of diesel-powered airstairs with an electric version.
- Introduction of car pool systems for employees and training in fuel-efficient driving, such as Eco Driving, car parking facilities with battery chargers for electric cars.
- Purchase of electricity from wind power facilities and carbon dioxide-neutral district heating.
- Increased use of renewable fuel for vehicles, such as biogas, increased percentage of renewable fuel in the diesel mixture.
Influence other companies and organisations
Swedavia’s airports work actively in dialog with government agencies, political leaders, regional stakeholders and companies at the airport. Meetings and workshops are held regularly at the airports with other organisations and companies operating at the airports to reach new agreements on measures to reduce emissions, generate new ideas and develop collaboration. Every airport is keen to improve public transport to the airport, so there are a number of examples of good collaborative efforts between airports and public transport companies.
Requirements for certification
The climate-rating agency ACA assesses and rates the climate work of airports at four levels: Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality. Certification at the highest level, 3+, requires that the airport is completely climate-neutral in terms of emissions from its own operations. When an airport meets all the requirements for the highest level, it means that the requirements for every other step on the scale have also been met.
Level 1 (Mapping): The airport determines the emission sources that the airport has control over, Scope 1 or 2 under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The airport calculates carbon dioxide emissions following ISO14064 and compiles a carbon footprint report. The report is verified by an independent auditor.
Level 2 (Reduction): The airport fulfils all of the above plus provides evidence of effective carbon management procedures and reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Effective carbon dioxide management involves a number of measures, including showing that there is a low energy/low carbon policy, assignment of responsibilities, monitoring of fuel and energy consumption, communication with relevant stakeholders, carbon/energy reduction targets and staff training.
Level 3 (Optimisation): The airport fulfils all of Level 1 and 2 plus involves other companies and organisations at the airport in reducing their own carbon dioxide emissions. This engagement with third parties includes airlines and other service providers such as ground handling, catering and public transport companies as well as others working at the airport. This level widens the scope of what is included in the airport’s carbon footprint, measuring landing and take-off cycle emissions, emissions from travel to and from the airport for passengers and staff, and staff business travel emissions.
Level 3+ (Neutrality): The airport fulfils all of the Level 1-3 requirements plus offsets the emissions over which the airport has control (Scope 1 and 2) and which it has not yet been able to reduce on its own. Offsets are made by investing in projects in developing countries where an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is taken up. All of Swedavia’s airports are certified at this level.
Facts about ACA
The organisations Airport Council International Europe (ACI Europe), ACI Asia-Pacific, ACI Africa and the consulting firm WSP Environment & Energy are behind the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. The programme complies with the World Resources Institute (WRI)’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol. A total of 90 airports, large and small, are certified in Europe, while 116 airports around the world are certified. Among the larger ones are Heathrow Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt Airport and Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. As of February 2015, only 19 airports meet the requirements at the highest level, Neutrality, with as many as 10 of these Swedavia airports.
ACA was started in 2009 following a decision by ACI Europe. At the time of the decision, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had calculated that fossil carbon dioxide emissions from aviation account for 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Airport emissions account for 5% of this 2%. Airports in Europe were firmly resolved to do something together to reduce airports’ greenhouse gases and continue the work begun at the initiative of a number of European airports. Today, the ACA’s task is to involve airports in continuing to work actively on climate issues.