How Green Are Our Airports

Think of sustainable aviation and the first thing that comes to mind is jet fuel and CO2 emissions. But it is more than that – it is about reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, using sustainable materials in manufacturing and design, and technology that enables greater efficiency. Since air travel picked up pace, it is becoming increasingly important for the aviation industry to adopt sustainable practices as it generates an enormous amount of greenhouse gases, noise pollution, and waste.

With growing awareness about the environment, we have witnessed a rise in green airports – smart infrastructure designed to benefit both users and the environment. Globally, airports are focusing more and more on sustainability – most importantly on how to generate energy through renewable sources and manage it. With technology overtaking almost every aspect of our lives, it becomes imperative for these facilities to adopt digitalization for better and efficient functioning. Many of them have eyes set on reaching the target of zero carbon emissions or net zero by 2050.

In 2022, India’s civil aviation ministry advised all airports to include measures and necessary infrastructure for 100% green energy use in their development plan and prepare a roadmap for achieving the same within a definite timeframe. In line with the Government of India’s vision, the Adani Group and its airport business have come up with their own goals to promote green energy. Committed to creating a greener world, the Group is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality at all airports by 2025 and is targeting achieving operational net zero by 2029.

Sustainability is crucial to survive in today’s world. It is essential that we adopt eco-friendly practices that make life livable on this planet. Since airports are vital to our economy, they must operate in such a way as not to adversely impact the environment. To ensure airports are strengthening their green energy capabilities, one way is to recognise and award their efforts.

The Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, which is a global standard for carbon management, helps airports to assess their emissions, develop a management plan for the same and reduce their carbon footprint. Delhi and Mumbai airports, the top two in the country, have achieved the highest Level 4+ Carbon Accreditation of ACI. The certification lauds their efforts in building a climate change strategy, which provides a comprehensive framework for managing their carbon footprint.

Green Airports Recognition 2023 recognised 12 airports in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East for their outstanding achievements in mitigating the use of single-use plastic, the ACI said. In the ’35 million passengers per annum’ category, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai – run by the Adani Group – was honoured with the platinum award for being a single use plastic-free airport.

From installing solar roof panels for clean energy to using electric vehicles for all airside purposes to reduce emissions and from adopting water conservation methods, like rainwater harvesting, and energy efficient measures like installing chillers, cooling towers, and pumps to optimize energy use and reduce electricity consumption, Adani airports boast of necessary green infrastructure.

The group operates seven airports and has one under construction in Navi Mumbai. In the next five years, the group plans to invest ₹30,000 crore in enhancing airport terminals and airside facilities at airports. By incorporating sustainable measures and strategies, Adani airports aim to lead the aviation industry in environmental responsibility and operational efficiency.