Heathrow launches Sustainable Innovation Prize to assist expansion aims

UK businesses have been urged to support Heathrow Airport's expansion efforts by applying for a Sustainable Innovation Prize that addresses certain environmental challenges and uses the airport as a "live laboratory".

Heathrow has launched its first Sustainable Innovation Prize a year on from the unveiling of Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s plan for carbon-neutral expansion. In order to assist the expansion, Heathrow Airport is offering £20,000 to businesses to develop solutions covering waste, low-carbon materials and quality of life.

“We’re delighted to launch our sustainable Innovation Prize which will help us to uncover a host of creative ideas to solve business challenges and provide benefit to our passengers and local communities,” Heathrow’s sustainability director Matt Gorman said.

“This prize is an opportunity for us to attract talented organisations that are passionate about improving our environmental footprint and who can push us to think ‘outside the box’.”

The winning idea will become an “integral part” of the 2.0 sustainability strategy, and the airport will be used as a “live laboratory” to test and trial the concept. Specifically, Heathrow is looking for applicants that can provide solutions that treat waste as a resource, reduce the carbon footprint of construction materials and help measure and improve quality of life for local communities.

Applicants, which must be UK based, have until 31 March to apply online via the yourheathrow hub. Six finalists will be selected to give a 10-minute pitch to a judging panel consisting of Heathrow’s senior executives.

One year on from 2.0

The ‘Heathrow 2.0’ strategy lists more than 200 targets across a range of social, environmental and economic issues. The significant growth in flights and infrastructure caused by Heathrow’s expansion will be carbon-neutral under this new strategy, with the airport detailing plans to offset an inevitable increase in emissions through the restoration of peatlands in the UK.

Heathrow is increasing its environmental charges for aircrafts by 7%, as part of a move to incentivise airlines to deploy cleaner and newer aircrafts to lower emissions and noise pollution.

For grounded transportation, the airport worked with Transport for London to install seven rapid charging points for electric taxis, and already operates 50 electric vehicles (EVs).

The Heathrow 2.0 sustainability strategy places a big emphasis on zero-emission transport. The Airport became one of the first ten companies globally to commit to the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, which aims to ensure that all vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes are EVs by 2030.

Matt Mace

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