Sydney Airport Commits to Net Zero Emissions by 2030

Sydney Airport Commits to Net Zero Emissions by 2030

Management at Sydney Airport has confirmed a new environmental plan that commits to net zero emissions by 2030 while outlining the preliminary steps that will help the airport reach its net zero emissions goals. 

Sydney Airport, a publicly listed company, has said that by 2030, its operations will be net carbon neutral, which includes both scope one and two emissions considerations. 

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Scope one takes into consideration the emissions generated by Sydney Airport’s fleet of vehicles, as well as use of natural gas, while Scope two covers how the airport will meet its energy generation targets without the need for fossil fuel based electricity generation. 

Sydney Airport says that its operational scope two emissions, which account for more than 93% of the emissions under its authority, will be “eliminated by reducing electricity use and switching to 100% renewable energy.” 

Scope one emissions, on the other hand, which account for 7% of its overall emissions, are set to meet the new net zero emissions target by 2030 by reducing its overall reliance on natural gas. 

Sydney Airport says that “by moderating reliance on natural gas, transitioning vehicles to low or no-emissions technology, and phasing out fuel-powered equipment like diesel generators,” the company can get its scope one emissions under control. 

“If there is a small, residual proportion of scope one emissions that cannot be eliminated by alternative technologies or management practices, these can be offset by the purchase of credits from carbon removal projects, for example, reforestation programs,” says the release. 

After getting its scope one and two targets for the overall net zero emissions goal, Sydney Airport will then maintain its focus on meeting its scope three emissions targets. 

Sydney Airport Commits to Net Zero Emissions by 2030

Sydney Airport Commits to Net Zero Emissions by 2030

These include emissions that are created outside of its direct operational control, but remain on its premises. Examples include the carbon emissions of ground transportation to and from the Airport and Sydney’s metropolitan areas, as well as emissions from commercial and freight jets taking off and landing. 

Initiatives in this space include “offering the Airport’s retail and commercial tenants renewable energy to facilitate the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels,” says Sydney Airport.

“In October 2020, the Airport acquired the on-site jet fuel infrastructure assets in an $85 million transaction driven partly by the ambition to influence the introduction of sustainable aviation fuels in the future.” 

The company also points out that it will continue its investments in new power units and pre-conditioned air which will allow parked airplanes to plug into electricity mains and can turn off their engines while still powering on board lights, instruments and air conditioning, 

Sydney Airport’s CEO, Geoff Culbert has said that “the aviation industry has a critical role to play in combating climate change, and we are making this commitment with a clear line of sight to the outcome, and definite actions to get there.” 

“Sydney Airport is proud of the leadership position we’ve taken on sustainability,” he added. “We’ve put our money where our mouth is through initiatives like our sustainability-linked loan and bond, which ensure our sustainability commitments have genuine financial imperatives.” 

Culbert concluded that “we are always on the lookout for ways we can do more and our commitment to achieve net zero by 2030 expends our leadership on sustainability.” 

Sydney Airport’s Head of Sustainability, Alicia Burgmann has said in a statement that “climate change is a global challenge that requires a collective response. The aviation industry is alive to the challenge, and we are really proud to be playing our part.” 

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