The ambitious VINCI Airports environmental programme
1 April 2019 - Sustainable development
Committed to combatting climate change, the VINCI Airports teams drew up an environmental policy in writing in 2016. Called AirPact, the policy sets ambitious targets with respect to energy consumption and CO2 emission reduction.
“Although air transport as a whole accounts for no more than 2 to 3% of overall global CO2 emissions,” says VINCI Airports Environment Manager Joffrey Maï, “we believe that climate change is one of the major CSR challenges we must tackle.”
AirPact – “Air” stands for “Activities Impact Reduction” and “Pact” symbolises the commitment made by the 45 airports forming the VINCI Airports network – is an international programme that goes beyond compliance with locally applicable regulations to proactively help boost environmental protection in each country.
The AirPact targets for the 2020 timeframe are: a 20% reduction in energy intensity compared to 2013 (this objective was met at all network airports by 2017); 100% of airports ISO 14001 certified; a biodiversity audit at each airport to promote biodiversity and reduce endangerment of animals; and finally, Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) for every airport.
Launched in 2009, the ACA is a global programme supported by Airports Council International (ACI) and designed to give airport operators a common framework for active carbon management with measurable goalposts. Accreditations are granted annually following an audit of the data by an independent consultancy.
A RECENT INITIATIVE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
VINCI Airports is taking the programme a step further in the Dominican Republic, where the six airports managed by its subsidiary Aerodom received Level 1 accreditation just over a year after VINCI Airports took over the concession company. Under a cooperation agreement with Dominicana Limpia covering the introduction of a waste management system at Las Américas International Airport, a waste recovery centre will be built within the next few months to store 160 tonnes of waste for recycling.
A NEW LEVEL OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
Because grasslands can account for up to 70% of the total land take of an airport, and because sustainable management can make them a particularly favourable habitat for pollinating insects, VINCI Airports has formed a partnership with UNAF (Union Nationale de l’Apiculture Française – French beekeepers association). “When VINCI Airports approached us, we were obviously interested. In addition to raising awareness among the travelling public, the partnership aims to sharply reduce the use of pesticides over the large grassland acreage at airports.” The first 21 hives have since been set up at airports including Toulon-Hyères, Nantes and Grenoble.