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What Does COP25 And The European Green Deal Mean For the Aviation Industry?

What Does COP25 And The European Green Deal Mean For the Aviation Industry?

“Time for Action Is Now.”

That was the official slogan of COP25, the UN Climate Change Conference that recently took place in Madrid.

Attended by over 27,000 delegates from almost 200 Governments around the world, the goal was to reach a mutual agreement on how each nation could reduce their emissions. Agreeing on the specifics of Article 6 in the Paris Agreement proved to be tougher than expected. The negotiations failed and the 12 day meeting ended without an agreement. All eyes will be on COP26 which takes place next year in Glasgow.

Failing to reach a broad sweeping agreement did not mean the event was a total failure. In fact, the International Chamber of Commerce, Perlin and AirCarbon formed a partnership to tackle the challenge of reducing the worldwide aviation emissions. This initiative aims to raise “USD $40 billion in funding for climate projects and offset more than 2.6 billion tonnes of C02 emissions between 2021 and 2035.” According to Air Transport Action Group, the aviation industry is responsible for approximately 2% of human induced CO2 emissions.

This comes at the same time as the European Green Deal is being discussed. This legislation aims to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. According to their website, this “should enable European citizens and businesses to benefit from sustainable green transition.” To achieve this goal, there would need to be a 90% reduction in transport emissions by the year 2050.

The need to take climate change action has become important across all industries.

However, it’s important to acknowledge the ongoing commitment and cooperation from the aviation sector towards reducing their carbon footprint and creating a healthier, more sustainable planet.

More than 65 million jobs worldwide are reliant on aviation and related tourism. There are large amounts of economic and social benefits being delivered by the industry, the big decision makers need to be sensitive to the needs of people who rely on the industry for their well-being (and often the well-being of their families too).

Here is how we think the COP25 negotiations and the European Green Deal will change the aviation industry landscape.

Airports will become more efficient

The airports of tomorrow will look more at green eco-friendly solutions to power their operations. Some airports are already implementing full scale initiatives to save and recycle water. Waste separation schemes that separate plastic, glass, cans and bins might be rolled out. Mowed grass could even be used for feed, as it is at Kansai Airports.

 Aircraft will be more environmentally friendly

Planes will continue to become more fuel efficient. There will be more direct flight paths to destinations. Bio-fuel options might be a mainstay. Engineering innovation will also help reduce the surrounding air pollution and noise pollution from take offs and landings.

Initiatives like Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) will increase in size and scope

This initiative group was formed to help airports manage, reduce and neutralise their carbon footprint. There are four levels of certification; mapping, reduction, optimisation and neutrality. An airport must have their carbon footprints independently verified to join. The top level of certification is having an airport that has completely carbon neutral operations by offsetting all of its emissions.

With a large reduction needed in the carbon footprint of domestic and international travel, we foresee more initiatives like this getting rolled out across airports all around the world. Currently, 290+ airports are signed up to this program. We foresee this number increasing markedly between now and 2050.

Envisa is proud to help businesses in the aviation industry become carbon neutral. Formed in 2004, we are a consulting firm specialising in aviation and sustainability.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could work with you,

give us a call today on +33 1 71 19 45 80

or send us a quick email on info@env-isa.com

 

Airport Success Through Community Engagement

Airport Success Through Community Engagement

Future growth of the aviation sector (including necessary new infrastructure) and environmental sustainability are inextricably linked and mutually dependent.

Airports act as engines of social and economic growth and the direct and indirect benefits linked to their operation are considerable and in many cases airport growth is seen as a nationally or regionally vital strategic asset.

The number of flights in Europe has increased between 1990 and 2014 by about 80%[1] and is steadily growing. However, there is a variety of adverse environmental and health impacts associated with the operation of airports that may be considered material especially for residents of communities in the vicinity of airports and the surrounding ecosystems.

The management of an airport’s interface and the relations with local people is of vital importance to each and every aviation stakeholder – and not just the airport operator.

 Gaining wide community support for the benefits that growth would bring is essential in determining an airport’s future. It is in fact widely recognized that the perception of an airport’s surrounding communities can significantly affect an airport’s throughput, capacity-use, growth and operational efficiency and hence the positive sustainability impacts that a successful airport brings.

Some airport operators have actively engaged with surrounding communities over many years – and yet the attitude of the local community can still appear to be generally negative. For example, according to EEA’s NOISE Observation & Information Service for Europe[2], the overall exposure to airport noise in Europe is less than for other transport sources. However, the annoyance experienced by people exposed to noise from this source is greater than for any other.

It is in fact rather easy for an airport to develop a reactive and rather negative relationship with the surrounding communities, despite their best efforts:

  • Denying there is an issue – or relying solely on ‘artificial’ noise metrics to prove low-impact
  • Operating on a ‘them-and-us’ basis or relying on politically appointed intermediaries
  • Building unrealistic public expectations and then losing trust because the solution slightly misses the over-ambitious promised mark
  • Becoming the public apologist and shield between the public and the aviation community instead of sharing the public platform and presenting externally as a united entity
  • Reactively dealing with complaints, making excuses, trying to sell a marginal offset of adverse impacts as a positive step.
  • Not stepping outside the safety of the airport perimeter fence

The above approach, whilst understandable, tends towards a negative character – minimise, reduce, excuse, avoid, constrain, penalise, etc.

Adopting a more holistic and positive approach can strengthen an airport’s position as a good corporate citizen and neighbor and can prove to be mutually beneficial for both the airport and the local community.

 Many successful airports have developed a more proactive approach to dealing effectively with community relations issues, which can include:

  • Jointly establishing collaborative operational/commercial stakeholder processes to develop mitigation and to jointly engage with the wider public.
  • Establishing a community partnership approach bringing local people inside the perimeter fence to see what is going on – and what limitations apply.
  • In partnership with aviation and external stakeholders, establish outreach centres in local communities to enter a dialogue outside of the perimeter fence.
  • Working with amenity groups and public authorities developing a joint approach to optimise the future development of the airport.
  • Fund independent audits (to be supervised externally) to validate sustainability performance and public reporting
  • Conducting social surveys to ensure that the true local attitude is understood by decision makers
  • Funding the independent quantification of the positive contributions of the airport to sustainability and ensuring that local people are aware of these.
  • Targeting the positive impacts on local people to the extent possible:
    • Establish partnerships with academia, business and the airport supply chain to optimise local economic and employment benefits and to enhance the development of local skills
    • Bringing the airport supply chain to local areas in need of economic development
    • Community sponsorship and targeted employment
    • Developing and maintaining public amenities on airport land
  • Funding independently produced educational packs for local schools and colleges to support debate and awareness about aviation.
  • Targeted offers and discounts for local people.

Of course, this is just a small list of the kind of more positive approaches that can help establish a fruitful relationship with external stakeholders. Naturally, adverse impact mitigation should also still proceed in parallel to this approach and it is important to honestly and publicly acknowledge its limitations. People can handle bad news, especially if they know that everything possible is being done.

Progress won’t happen over-night – especially if there is long standing community skepticism. This more balanced “sustainability” oriented approach is however far more effective than simply trying to manage negative impacts.

The enablers for successful engagement with the local communities include:

  • Understanding the complex airport sustainability-operational-cost chains
  • Good research into local community attitudes and perceptions
  • Accurate information on measured, modelled and perceived impacts – both positive and negative
  • Awareness of relevant good practice at other airports.
  • The engagement of the airport operational and commercial community through cost-effective collaborative processes
  • Ensuring that sustainability is part of the culture of every service partner on an airport’s site – each airport employee can help to minimise risk and can be an airport ambassador
  • The trust and engagement of externally supportive entities such as regulators, planning authorities, business leadership entities, tourism businesses and supply chain businesses, etc.
  • And perhaps most importantly, effective and open community communications channels and processes.

The aim is to establish a community perception of the airport as a mutually beneficial asset. One that is seen to be strategically valuable in delivering positive sustainability benefits locally; and, that can be trusted to do all it can to minimise negative airport impacts to the extent possible.

 

ENVISA has the skills and experience to make this a reality for your airport. We conduct independent, transparent and neutral assessments to support airports and communities in establishing relationships based on cooperation and open, fact-based communication and achieving their mutually beneficial goals.

 

[1] European Aviation Environmental Report, EASA, 2016 (https://www.easa.europa.eu/eaer/)

[2] http://noise.eea.europa.eu

International Airport Review speaks about Envisa !

International Airport Review speaks about Envisa !

International Airport ReviewAyce Celikel, President of Envisa, in the latest issue of “International Airport Review”, explains the environmental challenge for small to medium-sized airports to get the Carbon Accreditation.

Envisa is fully-dedicated to reducing the environmental footprint of airports. Environmental issues are a growing concern for airports, especially when designing new airports or terminals – integrating sustainability issues into capital projects is the way to go.
This can guarantee the long-term capacity of airports for future growth and, moreover, reducing emissions also means improving operations, reducing delays, increasing capacity, securing long-term cost savings and optimizing efficiency. Besides, airports need to comply with an increasing number of environmental regulations.

In addition, with an increasing pressure on the aviation industry with respect to climate change, airports need to accurately estimate their current and future emissions. This is already taken into account with voluntary initiatives such as ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA). For small and medium-sized airports, the first hurdle in passing from Level 1 to Level 2 or 3 is to calculate third party emissions. This includes emissions resulting from aircraft operations, as well as staff and passengers commuting to airports: the two biggest contributors.

The second challenge is to implement an efficient Carbon Management plan, including an action plan for third parties’ emissions reduction.

The largest challenges in this are collecting data from third parties to calculate emissions and engaging the stakeholders.
Despite these challenges, small and medium-sized airports are already getting involved in the ACA process and – with Envisa’s recent environmental dashboard ‘Aerogenie’ – more small airports are expected to join ACA.

Environmental modeling and development of databases on behalf of Eurocontrol

Environmental modeling and development of databases on behalf of Eurocontrol

alaqsEnvisa, as part of its long term relationship with Eurocontrol, is honored to support them in their contributions to the next ICAO Committee on Environmental Protection (CAEP) Modeling and Databases Group (MDG) meeting, that will be held in April 2016.

The MDG group carries out modeling efforts in support to the activities of the other CAEP groups and maintains various databases such as movements, fleet, and population databases.

Envisa will be presenting the newest version of Open-ALAQS with dispersion modeling capabilities on behalf of Eurocontrol.

 

AIRPORT CARBON FOOTPRINTS: FINDING BENCHMARKS TO GUIDE EMISSION REDUCTIONS

AIRPORT CARBON FOOTPRINTS: FINDING BENCHMARKS TO GUIDE EMISSION REDUCTIONS

ENVISA is happy to share with you the summary of “Refort”. This was a 10 months long project sponsored by BPI France to define an innovative airport carbon footprint benchmark methodology. Benchmark values were defined for different airport sizes considering different factors an airport cannot control but which do have an influence on emissions.

airport1-sOur approach complements the efforts that some airports have committed to, such as the ACA process (Airport Carbon Accreditation), by providing realistic benchmark values. Benchmark values allow an airport to better understand and evaluate its performance. The attached White Paper presents the main findings of the project.

If you want to learn more about this study please contact us at: info@env-isa.com.

 

Envisa delivers successful first 6Reen Aviation Conference

Envisa delivers successful first 6Reen Aviation Conference

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November 14, 2014

This month, we proudly marked our first ever sustainable aviation conference at Le Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget, home to the Paris Airshow, and host to next year’s UN Climate Action Summit. Conference delegates gathered from all over the world to listen in on topics cutting across all phases of an aircraft’s life.

The conference theme was 6Reen Aviation. The 6R concept stems from Professor I.S Jawahir in 2006, when he defined a new paradigm for sustainable manufacturing: moving from the traditional 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to adding additional 3Rs (Recover, Redesign, and Remanufacture. By doing this, the full life-cycle of the product (Pre-manufacturing, Manufacturing, Use, Post-use) is embraced. The adoption of the 6R concept is vital for the aviation industry if it wants to be seen as a truly sustainable business. It is no longer good enough to plan and develop under “cradle to grave” concepts, but rather “cradle to cradle.” Also influential to our conference theme was the European Commission’s quest to move towards a circular economy .
The conference spanned 2 days, with a wide array of presentations pertaining to the 6R concept including:
• Boeing’s Approach to Materials: Design for Environment
• Mastermelt’s Recovery of precious metals from Aerospace Scrap
• MIRTEC’s Recovery & Utilization of End of Life Aircraft Insulation Materials for the Development of Products for the Construction Sector
• Altran’s methodology to design the framework for sustainability evaluation of Carbon fibers reinforced polymer recycling industries
• DLR’s results from REACT4C – a study on climate change optimized air traffic routing

The quality of the presentations was truly outstanding, promoting both debate and extensive dialogue between delegates, so much so that we plan to host this conference again next year. At the end of the day, this is our inspiration for hosting such events as this, bringing together all stakeholders, to share views and exchange ideas to further improve the sustainability record of the Industry.