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Australian Airport Sustainability Recognised by ACI

Two Australian airports have received high accolades for environmental sustainability as part of the 2019 Green Airports Recognition.

Given annually by Airports Council International (ACI) (Asia-Pacific Region), the award aims to promote environmental best practices to minimise the impact of aviation on the environment. Each year, a specific environmental aspect is chosen as the theme for recognition to account for the different sustainability goals of airports globally.  

Every submission is assessed on several criteria including innovation, stakeholder engagement, cost effectiveness and applicability.

The theme for recognition in 2019 was ‘Green Airport Infrastructure’.

Adelaide Airport was awarded ‘Platinum’ status among airports with less than 10 million passengers per annum. The commendation recognises the airport’s SMART building analytics initiative, aimed at improving building energy efficiency. The airport was awarded Platinum in 2018 for its waste program and Gold in 2017 for its energy management program.

Australian airport sustainability

Pictured: The very green Catalina Airport in the United States.

The Managing Director of Adelaide Airport, Mark Young, said Adelaide Airport strives to be a leader in Australian airport sustainability and always works hard to embed the principles of sustainable business practice throughout its operations to minimise its impact on the environment and create value for its stakeholders.

“We aim to be a top tier airport in our region, and our sustainability initiatives are a key part of that.”, Mr Young said.

Sydney Airport received ‘Gold’ status in the 10 to 45 million passengers per annum category. The award recognises the airport’s Corporate Power Purchase Agreement, which contracts up to 75% of the airport’s electricity load with Grassroots Renewable Energy. In the long term the agreement will be linked to the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm in Central West NSW, due to be completed in late 2019. Once operational, the farm will generate up to 400,000-Megawatt hours annually reducing Australia’s CO2 emissions by around 360,000 tonnes per year.

Meaning of ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’

A central concept to environmental law and policy, it is difficult to ascertain a concrete definition of sustainability and what it means to have sustainable development. However, a good working definition is provided by the 1987 Brundtland Commission to the United Nations which states that:

“sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

In aviation, sustainability is more about just dealing with the environmental effects of air travel (such as noise and consumption of land resources). Australian airport sustainability is also about addressing the social and economic aspects. These three elements form the pillars of sustainable development and must be observed to achieve sustainability in a holistic manner.

Avlaw Aviation Consulting congratulates both Sydney and Adelaide airports on this achievement.