Responsible Heathrow 2020: Airport sets out sustainability targets

The UK's largest airport has set out 10 steps it will be taking to reduce environmental impact, invest in local communities and support economic growth as part of its 2020 sustainability goals.

Heathrow Airport has today (22 May) released its annual sustainability report for 2013; highlighting a number of key energy and emissions milestones which put the company on track to hit some of the environmental targets within its new ‘Responsible Heathrow 2020’ plan.

The 2020 targets include a 34% reduction in CO2 emissions from energy used in buildings and 70% of operational contract waste being recycled. 

Among other energy-management achievements highlighted in the sustsinability report, last year saw Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 achieve the world’s first BREEAM rating for an airport terminal; for being powered by 20% renewable energy.

“Heathrow’s purpose is to make every journey better, and operating the airport responsibly is an intrinsic part of this,” said the airport’s sustainability and environment director Matt Gorman.

“2013 was a strong year for us as we continue to be a good neighbour to our local communities, to manage our environmental impact and maximise the economic benefits that Heathrow brings. Responsible Heathrow is a clear and compelling plan which sets stretching targets to 2020 and we hope it will encourage our airport community to work with us to improve our performance year on year.”

Heathrow’s key sustainability milestones achieved in 2013 also included the Heathrow Clean Vehicles Partnership, which celebrated 10 years of operating. The partnership of 22 Heathrow companies has reduced emissions from 3,000 vehicles through trials of new, cleaner vehicle types and sharing best practice.

Energy, water, waste

The sustainability report indicates that Heathrow achieved its 2013 target of reduce CO2 emissions from energy consumed in its buildings by 1%, compared to its 2013 CO2 emissions forecast – it actually managed to achieve a 4.4% reduction. 

For water, Heathrow set out to complete at least 90% of the actions contained in its 2013 operational water use reduction plan. Having only partially achieved this last year (81%), the airport is looking to hit the 90% figure this year instead.

And in terms of waste, 58.7% of Heathrow’s operational contract waste was recycled in 2013. The 2014 target is for this to increase to 60%.

Responsible Heathrow 2020 which brings the airport’s existing sustainability efforts together to make more accessible our 2020 goals; to reduce Heathrow’s environmental impacts.

Responsible Heathrow 2020 environmental goals:

  • Climate change – 34% reduction in CO2 emissions from energy used in buildings 
  • Noise – 100% of aircraft are quieter by international standards 
  • Waste & water -70% waste recycled 
  • Local air pollution – At least 5% reduction in ground-based NOx emissions from the airport

Read a summary of Heathrow Airport’s latest sustainability report below.

Luke Nicholls

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie