Carbon Neutral in 2012
East Midlands Airport was the first of any UK airport to make a commitment to achieve carbon neutral ground operations by 2012.
Our carbon neutral commitment relates to those operations under our direct control, namely our buildings, the ground support vehicles we operate and our service partner emissions. Our commitment has only been realised through reducing carbon emissions and focussing on producing renewable energy. In 2011/12, carbon emissions at the airport were reduced by a further 3,578 tonnes through energy reduction and the introduction of renewable energy, such as, the installation of two commercial scale wind turbines and the planting of a 26 hectare willow farm on site.
As a responsible authority, managing the environmental impacts of a large and diverse site, we know first-hand the importance of collaborative working.
To ensure the success of our carbon reduction programmes, we work with a range of stakeholders both at the airport and beyond.
Involving our colleagues
With over 250 people working directly for East Midlands Airport, we have a wealth of energy saving and carbon reduction ideas at our fingertips. Working with colleagues right across our business we not only identify opportunities where efficiencies can be obtained, but also share our success with our people enabling them to take ideas home and reduce the footprint of their home.
Each of our colleagues agrees with their manager a sustainability related objective, which is built into their six-monthly colleague achievement review. These objectives are particularly important for our operational staff, who are our eyes and ears on a 24/7 basis and would respond first hand should an incident occur.
Every autumn we host a Big Green Week, which sees colleagues from the airport and our service partners get involved in a range of green activities. With sessions ranging from waste reduction and recycling to energy conservation workshops and complementary bicycle services, the week enables colleagues to make a difference at both work and home.
Engaging our business partners
As a large site, the airport is home to over 100 companies. Through our programme of environmental audits we gain a thorough understanding of the activities and associated energy demands of our tenants.
As a landlord, we supply electricity and water to many of our tenants. Our recent programme of replacing every supply meter at the airport with one which reports half hourly consumption on a half hourly basis means that tenants can access their energy use online. This facility provides endless opportunities to identify potential energy savings and facilitates more accurate carbon accounting. In addition, we purchase all of our electricity from 100% renewable sources.
Our On Site Network is open to every company on-site. By bringing together these companies at quarterly meetings, we facilitate networking and opportunities to share environmental and energy management best practice.
Sharing best practice within our wider industry
Aviation is a specialist and highly safety dependant industry. As such, we work closely with a wide range of industry stakeholders.
As members of the Airport Operators Association, we talk regularly with other airport operators to understand the approaches taken to carbon reduction at other airports and to share what we have learned in our carbon journey.
Attending regular Airport Carbon Management Group meetings enables the industry to work together at reducing emissions. This platform is particularly important for airports, as it enables us to work with other aviation stakeholders; including the Civil Aviation Authority to challenge barriers to the adoption of, for example, renewable technologies, for example.
Collaborating with our airline partners
We understand the carbon emissions of aircraft operations and work closely with our airline partners to understand how we can aid them to reduce emissions.
Our regular pilot liaison group meetings are hosted by our Air Traffic Control team and are open to any airline operating at the airport. These meetings enable a collaborative approach towards reducing aircraft emissions through more efficient ground handling, the provision where possible of more direct routes and the application of the Continuous Descent Approach technique.
Working with our local community
We understand the need to work together with businesses in our local community. As members of the North West Leicestershire Green Footprints Group, we work proactively to share and adopt best practise. We believe that by hosting like minded local businesses and enabling them to understand how we have developed strong business cases for energy reduction programmes and renewable technologies, other businesses will benefit.
Through our onsite education centre, we work with schools to inspire hundreds of young people each year. Designed specifically with education in mind, the Aerozone is energetic and exciting, providing the perfect location for us to talk with schools and community groups about our environmental policies and our wider business.