Airport Carbon Accreditation

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Airport Carbon Accreditation

Guidance Document

Issue 5: September 2012


aci europe logo hr cmyk

HELPLINE: +44 845 868 2708


WSP Environment & Energy

The Victoria

150 -182 The Quays

Salford Quays


M50 3SP
Tel: +44 845 868 2708


1Introduction 4

2Overview 6

3How to Participate 12

4Level 1 Requirements 14

5Level 2 Requirements 15

6Level 3 Requirements 17

7Commitment to Carbon Reduction and the Carbon Footprint 20

8Carbon Management – Including Examples 41

9Engaging Stakeholders 49

10Offsetting 53

1Introduction 4

1.1Introduction 4

1.2This Document 4

1.3Admin Doc 1 4

1.4Verification 5

1.5HelpLINE 5


2Overview 6


2.2PROGRAMME Scope 7

Airport Carbon Accreditation was originally developed for members of ACI EUROPE. All members of ACI EUROPE are eligible to participate. Following a memorandum of understanding between ACI EUROPE and ACI ASIA PACFIC in November 2011, members of ACI ASIA PACIFIC may also participate in Airport Carbon Accreditation. 10

. 10

2.3Data Confidentiality 10

2.4Participation Terms and Conditions 11

3How to Participate 12

If an airport wishes to participate, the Administrator will provide help to decide participation levels and to give details of the process that the airport should follow, if required. The Administrator contact details are provided in section 1.5. 12

Whether an airport intends to become accredited for the first time, submit a renewal application, or upgrade to a higher level, the process for becoming accredited remains the same: 12

3.1 Procedure if an Application Does Not Meet Requirements 12

If an application for participation, renewal or upgrade does not meet the minimum requirements at the level applied for, the Administrator will notify the applicant of what is necessary to achieve certification. 12

3.1.1Provision of support to comply 12

The airport will be able to talk to the Administrator to further explore the parts of the application that do not meet the requirements and the Administrator will provide as much advice as reasonably possible within the terms of the Administrator role to ensure that the airport can amend its application or provide the missing information. 12

3.1.2Application revised to apply at a lower level 13

If an airport decides that it wishes to downgrade its application to a lower level the Administrator will credit back the difference between the fee paid for the first application and that due for an application at the lower level, or the difference will be credited to the airport’s renewal fee for the following year. 13

3.1.3Withdrawal of an application 13

If an airport decides that it cannot meet the requirements for any of the levels of the programme it has the right to withdraw its application altogether. In the case of complete withdrawal the Administrator will refund 50% of the application fee, recognising the effort that the Administrator has put into providing support and assessing the application even though it was ultimately withdrawn. 13

3.1.4Dispute resolution 13

If an airport believes that its application fully meets the participation requirements and the Administrator does not, and if the two sides cannot agree, the airport has the right to appeal to the Advisory Board (via the ACI EUROPE offices in Brussels or the ACI ASIA-PACIFIC offices in Hong Kong). In the case of an appeal the application documentation and fee paid will be held by the Administrator without any further work being undertaken by the Administrator in respect of that application, pending the outcome of the appeal process. The outcome of any appeal to the Advisory Board will be final and will be binding upon both the airport and the Administrator. 13

4Level 1 Requirements 14

4.1Requirements For Annual Renewal At Level 1 14

Any changes to the scope of emissions reported, either due to changes in organisational or operational boundaries or through the voluntary incorporation of reporting on Scope 3 emissions, should be described in the renewal application. Footprint data should be reported to the Administrator in such a way that facilitates like for like comparison with the original scope. 15

5Level 2 Requirements 15

5.1Requirements For Annual Renewal At Level 2 15

In order to remain accredited at Level 2 an airport should fulfil the following requirements on an annual basis. 15

5.2 Essential Features Of A Carbon Management Plan 16

6Level 3 Requirements 17

6.1Basic Level 3 Requirements 17

6.2Requirements For Annual Renewal At Level 3 18

In order to remain at Level 3, an airport should fulfil the following requirements on an annual basis. 18

6.3Requirements For three-yearly Renewal At Level 3 18

6.4Basic Level 3+ Requirements 19

6.5Requirements for Annual Renewal at Level 3+ 19

6.6Requirements For three-yearly Renewal At Level 3+ 19

An airport participating at Level 3+ may also move to a three-yearly renewal cycle provided that it can demonstrate that it has fulfilled the criteria specified in section 6.3, with the addition of the following requirement: 19

7Commitment to Carbon Reduction and the Carbon Footprint 20

7.1POLICY Commitment to Carbon Reduction 20

Airport Carbon Accreditation recognises that airports may be preparing carbon footprints and arranging for them to be independently verified for other purposes. In order to minimise duplication of effort and the cost implications of repeat work the programme will accept a footprint which was prepared up to 12 months before the date it was submitted so long as it completely meets the minimum participation requirements as defined in this document. 21

7.2Setting Operational Boundaries 22

7.3Levels 1, 2, 3 & 3+ – Scope 1 & 2 Carbon Footprint Reporting 22

This section provides guidance on calculating and reporting an airport’s scope 1 and 2 emissions over which it has direct control. 22

7.3.1Energy Sold to Third Parties 22

7.3.2Footprint Template 23

7.3.3Emissions Factors 23

Common emissions factors are provided in the simple footprint template referred to in section 7.3.2. In addition, these are replicated in the appendix. 23

7.3.4GHG Protocol Worksheets 23

7.3.5Emissions Factors 25

In a power station, for example, the fuel has carbon content per litre, tonne, etc. A litre or tonne of fuel has a gross calorific value, of which only a proportion is converted into electricity (due to losses in the boiler, steam system and electrical generator). The electricity distribution system from the power station to the airport has further losses and hence there has to be a further adjustment to the emissions factor to reflect that inefficiency as well. The important fundamental is to ensure that the emissions factor used reflects the kg CO2 released at the power station (during the combustion process) per kWh of electricity delivered to the airport. A similar process should be followed whenever an airport wishes to use its own emissions factor – for any energy supply or fuel type. 25

7.4Level 3/3+ – Scope 3 Carbon Footprint Reporting 26

7.4.1Minimum requirements for level 3 reporting of scope 3 emissions 26

7.4.2LTO Cycle 27

7.4.3Surface (Staff and Passenger) Access 27

7.4.4Staff business travel 27

Emissions on staff business travel should be based on the most precise data available. Sources of information include: 27

Calculations should be based on the fuel use method where possible but calculations based on distance are acceptable. Where an airport uses emissions factors other than those provided in the GHG Protocol justification should be provided. 28

7.4.5Worksheets 29

The table below provides information on data reporting requirements for mandatory Scope 3 emissions sources and reference to applicable worksheets which can support emissions calculations. 29

Requirements for Scope 3 Data Reporting 29


When an airport has been accredited for three or more years at Level 3/3+, it may choose to move from an annual to a three-yearly renewal cycle. In order to do so, the airport must be able to demonstrate quantified scope 3 emissions reductions as a result of stakeholder engagement at the airport. The emissions reduction achieved should be reported as follows: 30

On provision of the information above, the airport’s Accreditation will be valid for 3 years, however the airport must also continue to provide carbon footprint data to the Administrator on an annual basis. Failure to do so will lead to the airport’s omission from the Airport Carbon Accreditation Annual Report for that participation year. 30

7.6Other Greenhouse Gases 30

Airport Carbon Accreditation focuses only on carbon dioxide (CO2). This is to keep the carbon accounting simple in the early years of the programme. It is recognised, however, that there are other greenhouse gases (see the footnote in section 2). 30

If a participating airport wishes to calculate its footprint to include more than just carbon dioxide emissions then it should report its overall carbon footprint in terms of tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). 30

Verification provides confidence and credibility to the airport’s claims 31

7.7Why Verify? 31

Verification of the carbon footprint is a requirement for all levels of Airport Carbon Accreditation. 31

Verification is required by an independent third party 31

7.8Verification Process 31

7.9Verification schedule 31

Year 32

Airport A 32

Airport B 32

Airport C 32

Year 1 32

Apply Level 1 32

Verification required for Year 0 footprint 32

Apply Level 1 32

Verification required for Year 0 footprint 32

Renew Level 3/3+ 32

Verification required for Year 0 footprint 32

Year 2 32

Renew Level 1 32

Verification not required for Year 1 footprint 32

Upgrade Level 2 32

Verification required for Year 1 footprint as well as for the chosen base year (at least for Scope 1 & 2). 32

No renewal required 32

Submission of non-verified carbon footprint data to Administrator 32

Year 3 32

Renew Level 1 32

Verification required for Year 2 footprint 32

Year 4 32

Renew Level 1 32

Verification not required for Year 3 footprint 32

Renew Level 2 32

Verification required for Year 3 footprint 32

Renew Level 3/3+ 32

Verification required for Year 3 footprint 32

7.10appointing a verifier 32

7.11The Concept of Materiality 33

7.12Minimum Requirements for Footprint Verification 33

Verification process should be in accordance with ISO 14064:3 34

7.13Introduction 36

Airports at Level 2 and above should: 36

in emissions from Scope 1 & 2 sources in order to attain or remain at Level 2 and above. Airports should decide on the emissions improvement metric – the choice being Absolute or Relative metrics (see section 7.14 below). 36

Once an emissions improvement metric has been chosen, an accredited airport at Level 2 and above should also set a target level of emissions which it will work towards. The target should be a numerical value (tonnes of CO2 if absolute or tonnes of CO2/traffic unit, or similar, if relative) and should have a date associated with it. 36

For example: 36

“The target scope 1 & 2 emissions from airport X is 45,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2015, which represents a 10% reduction on 2007 emissions levels.” 36

The programme strongly encourages airports to publish their emissions reduction targets. This is becoming increasingly common practice amongst the airport sector and the wider economy. However, targets set by airports which are advised to the Administrator when complying with the above requirement to set a target will be held in confidence. As stated in section 2.3, all data submitted to the Administrator will remain confidential. It is up to the airport to publish any performance or target data separately. 36

7.14Absolute vs Relative Emission Improvement Metrics/Targets 36

Both absolute and relative emissions improvement metrics/targets are permitted. 36

7.15existing targets at airports 37

Airport Carbon Accreditation recognises that airports may have existing targets that do not relate directly to the carbon footprint reported for Airport Carbon Accreditation purposes. For example, where airports have already been reporting their carbon emissions for a number of years (e.g. based on government requirements or Corporate Social Responsibility reporting), it may be the case that the organisational boundary of their footprint differs from the minimum requirements for Airport Carbon Accreditation. In addition, airports may have a series of targets relating to specific emissions sources within their carbon footprint. 37

In such cases the targets will generally be accepted by the Administrator as long as suitable evidence of performance against those targets is available. In recognition of the unique circumstances at each airport this will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 37

7.16Use of the Three-Year Rolling Average 37

In addition to setting a target, an airport must demonstrate a reduction in the chosen emissions metric each year. However, it is recognise that normal patterns of business mean that emissions fluctuate year-on-year, even where they show a downward trend. 37

To allow for annual fluctuations the programme requires the emissions performance to improve in relation to a 3-year rolling average. This works as follows: 37

7.16.1Adjusting the 3-year rolling average 38

Disposal/Divestment 38

New Assets 38

From 2016 the airport will be able to compare its performance of T1 + T2 against a full 3 year rolling average again. 38

7.16.2Adjusting the target 38

The longer term target for emissions performance (see section 7.13) will need to be adjusted to account for the addition or divestment of any major assets. 38

Disposal/Divestment 38

For divestments the airport should calculate the emissions from the divested asset for the most recent full year. The target should be adjusted downwards by a proportion of the divested emissions, calculated as follows: 39

Target, set in 2009, is 45,000 tonnes by 2015. Emissions in 2009 were 50,000 tonnes. 39

An asset is divested in 2012. It emitted 2,000 tonnes in 2011 (the last full year of data). 39

The emissions reduction that the target was to deliver was 5,000 tonnes from 2009 to 2015 with a baseline of 50,000 tonnes in 2009. In other words, a 10% reduction over 6 years. 39

By 2011 (the last year of full data for the divested asset) the airport was 2 years into its 6 year reduction period and it should therefore have reduced emissions by 2/6 * 10% = 3.33%. Therefore the programme will expect that, if the airport had kept the asset, it would have made a further 6.66% reduction in that asset’s emissions by 2015. This implies that by 2015 the assets emissions would have been 2,000 * (100-6.66)/100 = 1,867 tonnes. 39

Therefore the airport should adjust its target downwards by 1,867 tonnes from 45,000 tonnes to 43,133 tonnes. 39

New Assets 39

When an asset is added the airport should calculate the remaining % reduction from the date that it is added to the date of the target (as above). This remaining reduction should be applied to the first full year of emissions for the new asset and the result added to the long term target figure. 39

7.17Delivering Real Emissions Reductions 39

7.18RENEWAL with an increase in emissions 39

As detailed in section 6 and section 7, to participate at Level 2 and above airports must demonstrate an on-going reduction in their Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint against a three-year rolling average. However, there may be circumstances beyond an airport’s control under which an airport cannot readily demonstrate a continuous downward trend in emissions. In some cases, an airport may have an increase in one year despite an overall downward trend in emissions. 39

It is recognised that extreme climatic conditions (e.g. cold winters in the North or hot summers in the south) or other unpredictable, force majeure or unique factors (e.g. international sporting events, implementation of complex and costly infrastructure or other projects) may lead to a temporary stabilisation or increase in emissions. 40

An airport contemplating this approach should undertake the following actions: 40

1.Contact the Administrator in the first instance, prior to submitting an application. 40

2.Assess (if relevant) whether it can calculate temperature corrected figures for any or its entire infrastructure and can assess the effect of this on performance. Using established calculation methodologies (for example, those based on the ‘degree days’ at the airport’s location); the airport must demonstrate which factors (climatic or other) are responsible for an increase in emissions. 40

3.The airport must provide the Administrator with documentary evidence to support this claim, including a description of how the airport was / would take steps to get back on track i.e. achieve real and tangible year on year emissions reductions in future. 40

4.The Administrator will then review the material and determine whether there is a case for a limited deviation. 40

5.If so, the Administrator will formulate a recommendation to the Advisory Board, who would take the final decision. 40

6.Depending on the outcome, an airport could appeal the Board’s decision based on the procedures described in Section 3.4.4. 40

Note: If in the following year the airport cannot demonstrate a reduction in emissions, it will not be able to renew its accreditation at Level 2 or above. 40

8Carbon Management – Including Examples 41

8.1An Example of Carbon Management 41

8.2Management Commitment and Organisational Structure 42

8.3Policy Statement 43

8.4Business Case Development and Prioritisation 43

8.5Setting Objectives Demonstrating Continuous Improvement 44

8.6Key Performance Indicators, Benchmarking and Reporting 44

8.7Implementation Plans 44

8.8Communication, Awareness and Training 45

8.9Self Assessment and Auditing 46

8.10Carbon Management Matrix 46

9Engaging Stakeholders 49

An airport is not expected to show that it is delivering emissions reductions from third party (stakeholder) sources. Airport Carbon Accreditation accepts that an airport can guide and influence but cannot control a stakeholder’s operations. At Level 3 the airport should demonstrate that it has ongoing dialogue and facilitates cooperation between stakeholders with the aim of reducing emissions from those major stakeholder operations. 49

Airport Carbon Accreditation does not wish to see additional management committees and meetings established specifically for stakeholder engagement unless absolutely necessary. It should be stressed that in many cases there are existing weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings between the airport and groups of third-party operators (baggage handling companies, retailer, airlines, etc.) at which a new agenda item could be discussed – “emissions reduction efforts”. 49

In the case of stakeholder engagement the airport will be judged on whether it is making the effort and not on whether the outcome is “acceptable”. 49

When considering Stakeholder Engagement for participation at Level 3 an airport should ensure that, as a minimum, the following requirements are met: 49

9.1Identification of Stakeholders 49

9.2example of a stakeholder engagement PLAN 50

9.3Improving Stakeholder Engagement 51

10Offsetting 53

10.1Determining the Emissions to be Offset 53

Airport Carbon Accreditation requires, at Level 3+, that an airport has achieved “carbon neutrality” for the activities within its direct control (i.e. scope 1 and scope 2 emission sources, plus Scope 3 staff business travel emissions). This will require that the airport offset residual emissions through purchase offsets the purchase or generation of carbon credits or offsets to achieve carbon neutrality as defined by the programme. The types of offsets that are permissible are detailed in Section 10.7. 53

Equally, Scope 3 emissions, except those from staff business travel, are generally not under close control or guidance from the airport and the airport should therefore NOT be responsible for offsetting these emissions. 53

10.2Consideration of Other Emissions Control Programmes 53

Within Europe the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) controls the emissions from large scale combustion plants (e.g. on site CHP or large scale boiler plant) through a cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme. However, the current implementation of the EU ETS provides free allowances to participants, which are expected to cover most if not all emissions from the facility. 53

For the purposes of calculating the requirement for offsetting in Airport Carbon Accreditation, emissions allowances that have been allocated to an airport or a contracted airport facility operator free of charge will not be considered as “neutralising” any of the airport’s carbon footprint. 53

10.3Calculating Residual Emissions 53

The calculation of residual emissions for the purposes of offsetting is therefore very simple: 53

Emissions allowances that have been purchased to cover any of the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. (free allowance allocations may not be included) 53

10.4Permissible Offsets 53

10.5Additionality 54

10.6Carbon Offset Instruments 54

10.6.1Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and Emissions Reduction Units (ERUs) 54

10.6.2Proprietary Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) 55

10.6.3Carbon Financial Instrument (CFI) 55

10.6.4European Union Allowance (EUA) 55

10.6.5Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) 55

10.7Permissable Offsets for the Airport 55

Airport Carbon Accreditation permits the use of the following internationally recognised offset instruments. 55

10.7.1Use of Bespoke Project Offsets 55

10.8Types of Carbon Offset Project 56

Appendix AGlossary 59

Appendix BCommon Emissions Factors 60

Liquid & Gaseous Fuels 60

Emissions factors for grid electricity 60

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