Heathrow becomes first airport to earn four Carbon Trust Standards

Heathrow has become the first airport in the world to simultaneously hold four certifications from the Carbon Trust Standard, after working to reduce key environmental footprints both in-house and across its supply chain.

The airport has become the first in its sector – and only the fifth organisation in the world – to receive the Standard for Supply Chain from the Carbon Trust, which recognises real progress in environmental performance within the supply chain. This standard follows on from certifications received for efforts into carbon emissions, water management and waste reduction.

“Achieving the Carbon Trust’s tough standards recognises the hard work that Heathrow’s team is putting into being environmentally responsible, and being a better business and a better neighbour,” Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said.

“We are very proud to be one of the only companies in the world- and the first airport- to attain four Carbon Trust Standards simultaneously. This confirms Heathrow’s position as a global leader in sustainability.”

Currently, Heathrow’s top 20 suppliers – which account for 76% of total supply chain emissions – are part of forums such as the Heathrow Sustainability Partnership, which aims to deliver and promote practical sustainability solutions that cover the airport’s Energy Code of Practice.

The remaining three certifications were received as the airport reduced overall carbon emissions by 5% in two years after retrofitting 70,000 LED bulbs, reducing water usage per passenger by 3.9% by retiring Terminal 1 and out-of-date pipe systems and reducing waste per passenger by 3.1% by composting 1,800 tonnes of food waste.

The Carbon Trust’s managing director for certification Darran Messem said: “Heathrow’s complexity means the company combines the challenges of several industries, including transportation, retail, property and logistics.

“To achieve four simultaneous certifications is an impressive accomplishment. Everyone working at the airport who has contributed to achieving these certifications deserves to be congratulated.”

Ingredients for success

Heathrow – which was the first airport to sign the Paris Pledge for Action following COP21 – became the first UK airport to propose a series of environmental targets, including energy reduction, recycling and a ‘mystery shopper’ programme, for restaurants and outlets in the airport.

The Ingredients for Success guide, which was launched two months ago, aims to bridge individual sustainability targets set by restaurants with the overarching themes of the Responsible Heathrow 2020 targets.

Heathrow’s pledge to become the most sustainable airport hub in the world saw the airport introduce a new emissions reduction blueprint, which puts an emphasis on tackling freight emissions through an online data portal.

Runway issues

Despite the airports ongoing commitment to sustainability – which has been recognised through the certifications – proposals for a third runway continue to aggravate green campaigners. According to documents obtained by Greenpeace from Transport for London (TfL), the third runway could exacerbate London’s air pollution because of increased traffic levels.

However, the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has argued that the implementation of technological advancements will mitigate the environmental impacts, such as noise and air pollution on the runway.

Heathrow’s procurement category manager Richard Scarlett will be speaking at the edie Sustainable Supply Chain conference (6 July) to talk about how Heathrow airport has embedded a responsible procurement process within its operations.

Matt Mace

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