Managing energy and carbon

Auckland Airport recognises that the travel industry contributes to climate change. The impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels and temperatures, and unpredictable weather patterns will impact our company, the local community, New Zealand and the planet. We seek to take a leading-practice approach to managing and reducing our carbon emissions. We are also committed to supporting others, particularly in the aviation sector, to reduce carbon emissions.

AKL: Destination Net Zero

Our pathway to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030 will see us reduce direct (scope 1 and 2) emissions by 90% from a 2019 baseline. This pathway is aligned with a best practice 1.5°C trajectory, which if achieved globally, will avoid the worst impacts of climate change on people and the environment.

This means that Auckland Airport is changing how we operate, including:

  • Phasing out the use of natural gas in the terminal through the incremental replacement of natural gas boilers with electric alternatives.
  • Electrifying our vehicle fleet
  • Using refrigerants with the lowest global warming potential (GWP) possible
  • Using electricity generated from a mix of on- and off-site renewable generation, likely from 2024.

We expect that approximately 10% of our 2019 scope 1 and 2 emissions will remain in 2030. These residual emissions will be neutralised by the purchase of permanent carbon removals.

Auckland Airport's scope 1 and 2 decarbonisation pathway

Reducing our indirect (scope 3) emissions

We are working with our airline, ground handling and air navigation partners to increase operational efficiency and reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.

This includes:

  • Provision of EV chargers on the airfield to enable ground handlers to adopt low-emissions ground support equipment
  • Supplying ground power units (GPUs) and pre-conditioned air (PCA) at all international gates so aircraft can connect to New Zealand’s low carbon electricity supply instead of burning jet fuel while at the gate. GPUs will be installed at all gates in our new domestic jet facility
  • Ongoing work with Airways and airlines to reduce aircraft fuel burn by setting fuel-saving flight paths, allocating taxiways to minimise aircraft taxi time and just-in-time pushback allowing aircraft to delay engine use.

The most important role an airport can play in the decarbonisation of the wider aviation sector is to ensure the right ground infrastructure is in place to enable the adoption of future aircraft technologies and fuels as they become widely available, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft. So-called ‘drop-in’ SAF is already able to be delivered to aircraft via Auckland Airport’s refuelling hydrant system, and we are engaging with our airline partners to understand their future requirements for alternative aircraft fuels and technologies.

We have ensured our 30-year masterplan anticipates and makes provision for these future needs.

Similarly, we are future-proofing our transport network to enhance connectivity and provide for low emission transport modes. Our 30-year masterplan accommodates a variety of transport options, including active modes such as cycling and walking, mass rapid transit (bus and light rail), and the anticipated increase in EVs.

We are also actively addressing our construction emissions in the design of our development projects. The Transport Hub will be targeting 5-Star Green certification for the office building and a Gold Parksmart rating for the car park, the first parking building expected to achieve the Parksmart rating in New Zealand. Mānawa Bay is also targeting a 5-Star Green rating for its design and build with a number of other key sustainability initiatives underway including: optimising resources, reducing carbon emissions, supporting local communities and enhancing the environment.

Our greenhouse gas footprint

Auckland Airport is committed to achieving long-term energy and carbon reductions across its operations.

1In the 2023 financial year Auckland Airport introduced a wider range of scope 3 emissions sources in an aim to align disclosure with the international Airport Carbon Accreditation framework. This includes aircraft full flight emissions as well as contractor vehicles, airside vehicles and tenant electricity usage.

2In the 2023 financial year we have updated our GHG scope 3 inventory to include full flight emissions, replacing the previous calculation of aircraft landing and take-off in FY22.

For Auckland Airport’s full 2023 financial year emissions profile refer to our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report.

Information within the greenhouse gas inventory report has been assured by Deloitte in accordance with Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (2004).

Climate Leaders Coalition

In 2017 Auckland Airport was among the first wave of New Zealand businesses to join the Climate Leaders Coalition. The Coalition commits the signatory organisations (now comprising over 100) to take voluntary action on climate change and to work together to help New Zealand transition to a low carbon economy.

We have now signed the most recent Statement of Ambition published in 2022, committing to:

  • Set short- and long-term science-aligned scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions reduction targets
  • Assess and disclose climate-related risks and opportunities
  • Prepare a climate action plan that details how we are contributing to New Zealand’s decarbonisation, adaptation journey and the restoration of nature
  • Support stakeholders, including employees, suppliers and customers to reduce their emissions.

Understanding and mitigating the impacts of climate change

As New Zealand’s largest airport, Auckland Airport is an important economic engine for New Zealand, making a significant contribution to the Auckland community and helping to grow the country’s success in travel, trade and tourism. Our operations deliver high levels of availability, reliability and resilience, and we recognise climate change has the potential to affect our business, both through physical impacts and in the transition to a low-carbon economy. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, improving our operational resilience and adapting to the predicted effects of a changing climate now and into the future. We are also committed to supporting others, particularly in the aviation sector, to reduce carbon emissions.

Auckland Airport’s 2023 Climate Change Disclosure Report is compliant with the New Zealand External Reporting Board’s Climate-related Disclosure standards.