Carbon reduction rewarded at Manchester Airport

24th August 2011

Manchester Airport has been officially certified by Airport Carbon Accreditation, the European carbon standard for airports, to the ‘Optimisation’ level for its strong environmental performance.

Environmental focus has been part of the airport’s history for many years and in 2006, the airport recognised the importance further by committing to make its ground operations carbon neutral by 2015. The airport has made good progress in reducing carbon emissions to date and has already started to implement many projects that will further reduce emissions in the coming years.

Neil Robinson, Director of Sustainability for the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “We have an array of projects in place to reduce emissions and we are extremely proud of our progress so far. Over the next four years, we will be looking to entirely cut the remaining emissions and we hope to be announcing some innovative projects in the near future.“

To achieve the Optimisation level in Airport Carbon Accreditation, the airport must show a year on year reduction in the carbon emissions under its direct control and an accurate carbon footprint, which is independently audited. In addition to this, the airport must show that it has engaged and influenced carbon reduction from other airport sources, which are out of the airport’s direct control; including public travelling to the site, aircraft emissions and businesses based on site. At the recent launch of the airport’s Carbon Challenge, a unique initiative challenging businesses based on site to reduce their carbon footprint, the airport commended seven on site companies on their work.

Brian Simpson (MEP) officially presented the Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate to Manchester Airport Managing Director, Andrew Harrison and the airport’s dedicated energy reduction group. Containing members of the airport’s engineering and environment teams, the Utilities Working Group has been responsible for overseeing more than 14 green projects last year; including the installation of LED lamps in all multi-story car parks on site. The group’s primary aims are to ensure that the airport meets its challenging 2015 target and develops a sustainable business for the future.

Image: Brian Simpson (MEP) presents Andrew Harrison, MD of Manchester Airport, and members of the Utilities Group with their award.

Neil continued: “In 2009, the airport became the first in the UK to achieve the Reduction level of Airport Carbon Accreditation so we are incredibly pleased to have achieved a higher level of accreditation this year. We place a significant importance on engaging with our service partners and we are delighted that this has been recognised.”

“Since 2009, we have developed our skills and knowledge and by sharing this with our partners through the carbon challenge, the wider airport community and the industry, we know we can further cut carbon emissions from our operations and heavily reduce emissions from across the entire site.”

Airport Carbon Accreditation independently assesses and recognises the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions with four levels of award: 'Mapping', 'Reduction', 'Optimisation' & 'Neutrality'. Launched by Airports Council International Europe in June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation is administered by WSP Environment & Energy.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “It’s great to see Manchester Airport’s famously friendly, proactive attitude and dynamic approach in evidence in its environmental activities. Their increased performance within Airport Carbon Accreditation speaks volumes about their commitment to sustainable airport operations, with a host of on-site initiatives that make a real difference not just to its footprint, but to the carbon footprint of others on the airport site as well.”


For more information please contact the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) press office on 0161 489 2700 or


- Manchester Airport has been awarded the Optimisation level of Airport Carbon Accreditation, which requires third party engagement in carbon footprint reduction. Third parties include airlines and various service providers, for example, independent ground handlers, catering companies, air traffic control and others working on the airport site. It also involves engagement on surface access modes (road, rail) with authorities and users

- Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only independent and institutionally-endorsed certification programme designed specifically for the airport business. For more information, including an up to date list of the accredited airports, go to

- Airports must have carbon footprints independently verified in accordance with ISO14064 (Greenhouse Gas Accounting). Evidence of this must be provided to the administrator together with all claims regarding carbon management processes, which must also be independently verified.

- The Manchester Airport Utilities Working Group is a group of colleagues dedicated to energy reduction; this includes looking at areas of the business and creating strategies on how to reduce carbon emissions.

- The Carbon Challenge was launched February 2010 and is aimed at all companies based at Manchester Airport. Its aim is for partners to work together to reduce their carbon emissions. These companies have committed to measure, manage and reduce those carbon dioxide emissions arising from their scope 1 and 2 activities.

Published on: 24/08/2011 12:53:14