Geneva Airport Earns Highest Carbon-Neutral Designation

March 7, 2018

Geneva Airport (GVA), the site of the static display of aircraft at the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), was “carbon neutral” in 2017, earning the highest level (3+) in the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) campaign created by Airports Council International Europe.

The third busiest business aviation airport in Europe, GVA is the 37th airport in the world to achieve carbon neutrality.

The ACA 3+ designation applies to greenhouse gas emissions under the direct responsibility of the airport operator. The airport’s carbon footprint is independently verified in accordance with the ISO14064 Greenhouse Gas Accounting standard.

Geneva Airport (GVA)

“First, you reduce your emissions, and for that you take measures on site,” explained Marc Mounier, head of environment and sustainable development for GVA. “When you have reduced them as much as possible, you can compensate for the remaining CO2 emissions. In our assessment, the next big step that we can take to reduce our carbon footprint is to change our heating plant to heat the buildings.”

This plant is slated to be replaced in 2022 with an innovative renewable heating solution based on heat pumps operating with water pumped from the depths of nearby Lac Leman. GVA also is planning to extend the surface of photovoltaic solar panels on the airport site to 50,000 square meters, the equivalent of about eight football fields.

To compensate for emissions that cannot be eliminated, airports use “carbon offsetting,” providing funds or resources to projects that reduce carbon dioxide. In GVA’s case, they are supporting two initiatives. One provides efficient Hifadhi cook stoves to rural households in Kenya; the stoves reduce the amount of wood fuel required to cook. The other initiative uses waste agricultural biomass, such as cotton stalks, to provide energy in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

The environmentally conscious Geneva airport also is pursuing a project to include 1 percent of renewable Jet A1-certified aviation fuel produced from waste materials in the aviation fuel distributed at the airport, starting by the end of 2018, with the objective of being cost neutral for all users.

Read more about GVA’s environmental efforts.