London City Airport commits to net zero emissions target by 2050

Today (Wednesday 26th June), as part of an industry wide announcement, London City Airport has confirmed that it will commit to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This commitment, which is consistent with the UK Government’s recent announcement, is central to the airport’s plans to help tackle the climate challenge and operate sustainably.
European airport leaders, including Robert Sinclair from London City Airport, sign up to the commitment at the ACI Europe Annual Congress.

Demonstrating its support for this commitment, London City can also announce today that it has entered into a new green power deal with UK Power Networks Services as part of its £500m airport transformation programme.
Reducing its own emissions and working with its airlines to do the same has been a key priority for London City Airport for many years. Through activities including installation of LED lights on the runway and in the terminal building, and the upgrade of energy efficient boilers, the airport has achieved a 28% reduction in its carbon emissions per passenger since 2013, despite passenger growth of 42% over that period.
The airport has also committed to become carbon neutral by 2020 under the globally recognised ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme. A number of the airport’s major airlines have also recently announced plans to re-fleet to cleaner, quieter new generation aircraft.
Now, as part of the City Airport Development Programme (CADP), the airport will start producing its own green power through a partnership with UK Power Network Services (UKPNS). Within the next three years the airport will install its own microgrid, utilising an innovative combination of solar panels and smart automation software.
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer of London City Airport, said:
“I am delighted to announce this incredibly important commitment today and undersign this major initiative from ACI Europe. Our industry, from global hubs to regional airports, has a long and proud history of innovating to provide better, safer and a more sustainable service for our passengers.
“This commitment is not only the right thing to do for London City Airport, but more importantly it’s the right thing for our environment and our communities. And what we are doing with UK Power Network Services as part of our current development programme, demonstrates how we are putting sustainable practices at the heart of our decision making. We look forward to working with partners and thought leaders in this space as our ambition is to achieve and exceed industry standards on carbon emissions.”
Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, with the ACI Europe resolution
By installing approximately 900 sqm of solar panels, the airport will create its own local energy source, producing approximately 140,000 KWh of energy per year, which is equivalent to energy usage of 37 London homes. This green energy supply covers nearly 6% of the future annual terminal energy usage and will achieve a carbon reduction of 307 tonnes CO2 per year.
London City Airport’s wider energy strategy covers additional areas such as ensuring greener and cleaner vehicles operate at the airport. The airport will ensure that all vehicles and equipment used by staff at the airport will be electric by 2030.
In addition, the airport has an excellent track record of supporting both staff and passenger travel to and from the airport by sustainable modes. Currently nearly 70% of passengers use public transport to get to the airport, which is the highest proportion of any UK airport. In the decade ahead, the airport aims to improve on this best in industry position by building 300 fast chargers for electric vehicles, integrating into the Royal Docks cycle network and encouraging initiatives like the recent introduction of a lift-share service so staff can actively travel sustainably to and from the site.

Notes for editors

  1. London City Airport is undergoing a £500 million development programme that will transform the airport the customer experience, and provide capacity to accommodate the increase in demand to use London’s most central airport. The transformation includes a new passenger terminal extension, eight aircraft stands and a parallel taxiway. The airport is also introducing a digital air traffic control tower in early 2020, which will be a global first for an airport of this size.
  2. On 26th June at ACI Europe’s Annual Congress around 194 airports, operated by 40 airport operators across 24 countries signed a resolution formally committing the industry to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and work to accelerate the decarbonization of aviation as a whole. This marks a significant step change in the climate action ambitions for the airport industry.
  3. The World Resources Institute (WRI) Greenhouse Gas Protocol constitutes the best practice guidance on how organisations can calculate and report the climate change impacts associated with their activity. It is used as technical foundation of Airport Accreditation and classifies emissions into three broad scopes:
  • Scope 1: emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by a company;
  • Scope 2: emissions arising from the generation of energy purchased and consumed by a company;
  • Scope 3: indirect emissions arising from the up and down-stream activities of a company’s value chain.

The net zero commitment covers scope 1 and 2 emissions of airport operators. These emissions relate to the operation of airport terminals, buildings, equipment, landside and airside activities, including vehicles owned by the airport operators.