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Carbon dioxide emissions declining at Helsinki Airport

Finavia makes its airports more eco-efficient

Finavia is developing the eco-efficient operations of its airports. This also refers to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

Emissions caused by Finavia’s largest airport, Helsinki Airport, clearly declined in 2011. As a result, the airport was accepted into the second level of the international Airport Carbon Accreditation emission reduction programme. The reduction in emissions was achieved by cutting the airport’s energy consumption by replacing terminal heating and lighting systems, for example.

In 2011, Helsinki Airport cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 2,474 tonnes compared to the previous year, and the emissions totalled 19,895 tons. This corresponds to an emissions reduction of 0.4 kg per passenger, or the amount of fuel transported by 23 container trucks.

“Air traffic amounts to two per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. About five per cent of this is caused by airport activities. Even though this is a relatively small share in the entire sector’s emissions, Finavia wants to contribute to emissions reduction at its airports. This deals with concrete steps: the achieved emissions reduction was implemented by making the airport’s energy consumption more efficient, by adjusting the heating system, optimising the lights and by providing the staff with training on economical driving habits,”
says Mikko Viinikainen, SVP Environmental Management at Finavia.

“In 2012, the focus is on improving the efficiency of heating and ventilation control, and on more energy-efficient lighting solutions. The first fully electrically operated vehicle is used by the parking service and more vehicles will be introduced as the technology is further developed. Other airports will continue the introduction of new, environmentally sound heating methods and energy sources and will replace lights and related control systems. In Kittila, for example, the heating fuel has been switched from oil to pellets, and Rovaniemi airport will introduce a geothermal solution for property-specific heating,” says Mr Viinikainen.

Finavia is in the same programme as other European airports

Finavia launched its energy and climate programme in 2008. At the end of 2011, Helsinki Airport and Lapland Airports, which comprise six airports in Lapland, were accepted into the international Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme. It is the Airport Council International’s programme for determining and restraining the carbon dioxide emissions of airports. A total of 59 European airports have been accepted to the programme.

The ACA programme is a concrete tool for reducing airport emissions and for ultimately achieving carbon neutrality. In the first year, Helsinki Airport made the first level (Mapping) of the programme. The level dealt with surveying emissions. Lapland Airports made the second level, i.e. Reduction, where emissions had already been successfully reduced. Through the emission reduction, Helsinki Airport has also made the Reduction level. At the third level (Optimisation) of the programme, other companies operating at the airport must also be committed to contributing to emissions reduction. At the fourth level, i.e. Neutrality, the airport is carbon neutral, which is achieved by participating in publicly accepted emissions reduction projects in developing countries.