Helsinki airport achieves carbon neutrality

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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Helsinki airport has received the international Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) certificate for achieving a carbon footprint of zero.

The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to zero has been achieved through various efforts that have spanned several years. In July, Finavia started using renewable diesel fuel in vehicles operating at the airport, while the buses travelling between the terminal and aircraft are fuelled by biodiesel produced entirely from waste and residue. The use of renewable energy is being increased by relying more on bioenergy and geothermal heat, with the installation of solar panels also currently underway at the airport.

“The largest airport solar power plant in the Nordic area is under construction at Helsinki airport”, explains Mikko Viinikainen, Finavia's sustainable development director. The solar panels are expected to be up and running by late summer and, when operational, will have a total capacity of more than 500 kWp. The plant will supply almost 10% of all the electricity required by the new terminal extensions at Helsinki airport.

Finavia is also making determined efforts to reduce emissions at its other airports, with the aim of making all Finavia airports carbon-neutral by the year 2020. This is part of the much bigger objective of the global aviation industry to halve the emissions generated by international air traffic by the year 2050.

The ACA certificate for carbon neutrality is a globally recognised achievement that was launched in 2009. Its aim is to support airports in their efforts to meet the environmental efficiency targets set for the aviation industry. Helsinki airport and the airports in Lapland joined the programme in 2011 and acquiring the certificate has required extensive reviews, continuous improvement in Finavia's emissions efficiency and offsetting of residual emissions, according to Viinikainen.

“The ACA certificate awarded to Helsinki airport is an important milestone in the implementation of Finavia’s accelerated climate programme at our airports. Our climate programme comprises a number of different measures, but Helsinki airport plays a key role in the reduction of emissions”, he explains.

With its ACA certificate, Helsinki Airport is now the 34th fully carbon neutral airport in the world.

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