Seoul’s Incheon International Airport has become the first South Korean airport to achieve level three certification in Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme.
There are four levels of certification. Level one is measuring the carbon footprint, level two is practising carbon management procedures to show emissions reductions and level three must involve others at the airport, such as ground handlers and catering companies, to further reduce emissions. Level three also involves local authorities and users on surface access to and from the airport. Level four is paying other organisations to reduce their carbon emissions.
Launched by ACI Europe in June 2009, the voluntary ACC programme now has about 80 airports on three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia. In order to reach level three, Incheon says it has, “developed a clear strategy based on far-reaching environmental efforts, which included the establishment and implementation of action to reduce carbon.”
It plans to maintain its annual level three certification through renewable energy, such as solar cells, and high efficiency equipment. Incheon says it sees itself, “as one of a new breed of low-carbon, eco-efficient and environmentally aware airports.”
The airport corporation said it would promote energy efficiency to other Korean airports and aimed to play a major role in implementing a national strategy to create a clean and sustainable environment.
It joins Hong Kong, Delhi, Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Hyderabad airports as level three certified airports in the Asia-Pacific region. No airport in the region has yet reached level four.
Airports receiving certificates for other levels include, Kaohsiung International Airport, Chinese Taipei, Macau International Airport, Macau, Suvarnabumi Airport, Thailand for level two, and, Sharjah International Airport, United Arab Emirates and Sydney Airport, Australia for level one. By May 2013 the ACI claims the collective carbon reduction by airports was more than 170,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, enough energy to power 71,000 households for a year.