16 April 2010

A city within a city, Auckland Airport generates billions of dollars for the economy, creates thousands of jobs, helps grow New Zealand’s trade and tourism and provides visitors with their first impression of a country that has a 100% Pure brand image. Now it’s taken that responsibility a step further, by joining the EarthCheck Program.

Over 70 per cent of visitors enter or leave New Zealand via Auckland Airport, resulting in an amount of passengers that’s equivalent to three times the country’s entire population passing through its gates. More than 30 international airlines service the airport, which has grown to become Australasia’s second busiest, right after Sydney’s Kingsford Smith. In the last two years, Auckland Airport has been recognised as one of the top 10 airports in the world in the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards, voted on by more than 9.8 million passengers globally.

Auckland Airport developed its first sustainability policy in 2008 and has been working hard on its implementation ever since. The philosophy has been that sustainable business practice should be very much considered as ‘business as usual’. The EarthCheck Program will be measuring the success of this initiative and helping to improve operational efficiencies even further. It’s been used successfully by the likes of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its science is at the forefront of sustainability management solutions.

Auckland Airport is already three years into a companywide five year action plan, but needed a program that would add value and help promote achievements to stakeholders in a verifiable and credible manner. That’s where EarthCheck stepped in, as it’s already trusted by more than a thousand travel and tourism organisations in 60 countries.

"Auckland Airport looked at many programs and certification schemes all of which have their merits," explained Martin Fryer, Sustainability Advisor "However, as the gateway into New Zealand, Auckland Airport is part of a global tourism business and Earthcheck is the only truly global sustainable tourism program."

"Earthcheck requires a commitment from participants over the long-term, a commitment that extends beyond being green to being a responsible corporate citizen, this mirrored Auckland Airport’s own approach to sustainable business practice."

"Airport-related activities account for up to 5% of total aviation emissions," said Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global, who manage the EarthCheck Program. "In the shadow of climate change, a raft of new initiatives are

underway that will put a very real cost on carbon and so they have a part to play in minimising their impacts on every level."

Many international airports around the world, Auckland Airport included, signed the Airports Council International (ACI) declaration on climate change two years ago, on the 23rd April 2008, a declaration that signifies a desire to work towards carbon neutrality.

The sector’s activities will continue to focus on ways to reduce its consumption of natural resources linked to airport operations; where emissions from energy use in buildings and infrastructure, transport to/from airports, airside vehicles, aircraft ground movements, energy consumption and refrigerants, water use and waste outputs all require careful and accurate management.

Any further savings measures in these sectors will lead to direct (positive) impacts on the bottom line. For Auckland Airport shareholders then, this latest alliance is likely to see them celebrating success yet again.

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About Auckland Airport:

Auckland International Airport Limited (Auckland Airport) was formed in 1988, when the New Zealand Government corporatised the management of Auckland International Airport. In 1998, the Government sold down its shareholding, and AIAL became the fifth airport company in the world to be publicly listed. Auckland Airport's ordinary shares trade on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).