Auckland and Christchurch Airports sign up to global commitment on climate change

24 April 2008

Yesterday, Auckland Airport and Christchurch International Airport Ltd joined the global aviation industry in a declaration on climate change that was signed by industry leaders at the Aviation & Environment Summit in Geneva, Switzerland.

Over 300 of the world's airports have also signed up to the declaration.

Although aviation only accounts for two percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, yesterday's declaration was designed to demonstrate and strengthen the industry's commitment to introducing technological, operational and efficiency advances to reduce its impact.

"This declaration shows that the New Zealand aviation industry is committed to meeting the climate change challenge in a responsible manner, and that Auckland Airport takes its environmental responsibilities as an industry leader very seriously," Auckland Airport Chief Executive Don Huse said. "Together with our colleagues at Christchurch Airport, we are committed to the development of the aviation industry in a responsible and sustainable manner and we are therefore pleased to sign up to the 2008 Aviation & Environment Summit declaration."

Rene Bakx, CIAL's Chief Executive, says "In signing up to this joint declaration, Christchurch Airport has reaffirmed its commitment to the environment, following the achievement of our carbon neutral status earlier this year. We will work with all players across the industry to target carbon-neutral growth as a step towards a carbon-free future for aviation."

Robert J Aaronson, Director General of the global trade association of airport executives, Airports Council International, says "Airports around the world are already implementing energy efficient operations; this declaration further demonstrates aviation's coordinated efforts in tackling environmental challenges. All sectors of society, business, governments and individuals have a role to play in addressing climate change. This declaration confirms aviation's intention to grow and contribute to economies, in a sustainable way."

CIAL's certification process through Landcare Research has seen the airport company measuring, managing, reducing and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions arising from its operational business activities. "We believe that CIAL is the first airport company in the Southern Hemisphere to attain certified carbon neutral status, through the reduction and offsetting of the greenhouse gas emissions directly generated by our airport company operations", says Mr Bakx. "We are the gateway for the best of the South Island, and, with an agreed focus on tourism and sustainability, the decisions to work towards this goal and to sign the ACI Declaration were straightforward for the Company to make".

Auckland Airport is continually looking at how to be more sustainable, with its new international arrivals area boasting several significant 'green' features, including, the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar array in New Zealand used to power the arrivals corridor lights and solar panels for pre-heating water in the hot water system. Large storage tanks have also been installed to store rainwater for use in the building's largest water user - the air-conditioning cooling towers.