Heathrow Airport is one of the world’s first major aviation hubs to become carbon neutral for its infrastructure, and the first to set a zero-carbon target for the mid-2030s.
After spending over £100m on improving its energy efficiency and purchasing renewable energy, Heathrow Airport claims it has reduced carbon emissions from airport buildings and infrastructure by 93% over the last 30 years. The airport will offset the remaining 7% of infrastructure emissions through tree-planting projects in Mexico and Indonesia, all of which will be certified through the Verified Carbon Standard. Offsetting stands as a temporary measure while the airport works towards reducing its carbon emissions to zero by the mid-2030s. Contributing to further carbon savings, Heathrow Airport will focus its efforts on improving sustainable transport links and transitioning all its cars to electric and plug-in hybrid models. The airport has also announced a further £1.8m investment to kick-start carbon-saving projects across the UK, aimed at restoring natural UK carbon sinks. The Committee on Climate Change estimates that restoration of natural carbon sinks could save 43 megatons of carbon annually by 2050. To support UK aviation industry’s wider commitment to become a net-zero sector by 2050, Heathrow Airport encourages other airports and aviation companies to invest in similar initiatives across the country. According to Heathrow Airport representatives, ‘with the right support and incentives from the industry and government, Britain will be able to become a world leader in green aviation technologies, benefiting both the environments and the economy.’