Worldwide Flight Services’ (WFS) cargo operations in Denmark will have the capacity to generate 100% of their power requirements through renewable energy after entering a partnership with NRGreen to create the largest solar plant in Greater Copenhagen.
The sustainability initiative is NRGreen’s first Climate Agreement in the aviation industry and involves positioning 3,500 high efficiency solar panels across the existing 10,000 sq m roof area of WFS’ cargo facilities at Copenhagen Airport. The establishment of the 1.4 MW solar power system will provide an annual CO2 saving of up to 240 tons, the equivalent of a passenger car driving 57 times around the world.
Energy generated by the solar panels will power WFS’ all-electric forklift and vehicle fleets and the LED lighting systems of each cargo terminal, as well as the company’s GDP-certified Pharma Center. Surplus energy will be made available to the power network. The project follows over 18 months of consultation and development work between WFS and NRGreen, which finds the best sustainability solutions for companies and the climate to build long-term collaboration. Its Climate Agreements typically run between five and 20 years.
As part of the cargo expansion project, the solar panels will also be fitted to the entire roof area of WFS’ new 3,700 sq m warehouse at Copenhagen Airport, which is due to open in late 2022. This expansion supports WFS’ position as the largest cargo handler in Copenhagen, supporting 31 airlines with flights to and from the Danish capital as well as more than 125 offline carriers.
“This is an important sustainability milestone for WFS in support of ‘Our Sustainable Flight Path’ and will make our energy consumption in Denmark as green as possible. We also hope that the surplus energy we will have can be used to support local areas at the airport, so that others can benefit from our solar plant. Our investment is also cost-neutral because we expect it to be covered by our monthly energy savings. We believe this is a model for WFS to adopt at other locations across our global network and we will be welcoming colleagues from across our organization to learn from this project with our partners, NRGreen,” said WFS’ managing director Scandinavia, Thomas Egeland.
Simon Borbiconi, partner in NRGreen, added: “It is incredibly enriching to work with a group like Worldwide Flight Services, as it is clearly deeply rooted in their DNA to have an ambitious sustainable profile. They have always given us a clear message that they want to be 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy from solar cells, and that makes our work as a consulting solar cell contractor incredibly easy. We help facilitate this through a very favorable financing plan for companies that want to invest in green energy. It simply means that the company pays with its savings, and therefore the investment will not be felt on the wallet. Our vision is to open the eyes of companies to the huge potential that lies in energy generated from flat roof surfaces. In addition, it is also an incredibly good way for companies to contribute to Denmark’s climate goals and get away from the sky-high energy prices we are currently seeing.”
In May 2022, WFS’ CEO, Craig Smyth, launched the company’s ‘Our Sustainable Flight Path’ program to steer the next level of WFS’ Environmental, Social & Government (ESG) strategy, and to support the responsible growth of its global air logistics operations.
Developed with the support of PwC’s Sustainability team, it aims to coordinate, build upon, and accelerate the numerous WFS sustainability projects across the company’s network spanning stations at 168 major airports in 17 countries and five continents. It will also become the sustainability focal point for WFS’ 30,000-strong international workforce.
In locations across its global network, WFS has already invested in various initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and lessening its impact on the planet. These range from building sustainability solutions into new-build cargo terminals to the implementation of LED lighting in over 30 warehouse operations, the introduction of nearly 1,000 electric ramp and warehouse vehicles and the introduction of biodegradable plastics to wrap airfreight pallets.