Cape Town - Four of South Africa's international airports have met the necessary international requirements to achieve Level 1 Airport Carbon Accreditation – an achievement to be proud of as the world makes greater effort to attain carbon neutrality.
In light of this local accomplishment, we take a look around the world at other airports that adopt eco-friendly practices, be it water resource management, energy conservation or waste management.
Cochin International Airport in India is the world’s first fully solar-powered airport.
The busiest and largest airport in the state of Kerala - ranking as 7th busiest in India – it has been dubbed aviation’s first venture owned by the public, under a public-private partnership funded by non-resident Indians residing in over 30 different countries.
SEE: #EcoTravels: SA's 4 main international airports mapped for carbon neutrality plan
Cochin operates on full solar power and plans to expand its capacity by doubling the solar production with 3 major projects currently in construction.
Zurich Airport in Switzerland adopts an airport-wide waste management concept “based on the principles of avoidance, reuse and environmentally friendly disposal.”
Recyclable materials are collected and transported to external disposal companies where waste is burned to create thermal energy that is used in district heating systems and to generate power.
Also, according to Tourism Review, the airport uses cooling and heating run on geothermal energy, flushes in toilets use rainwater, and the airport collects solar power.
Denver International Airport in Colorado, the largest airport in the United States by total land area, boasts the largest solar power system in the US.
The four solar photovoltaic arrays on the airport’s property produce approximately 6% of the airport's total power requirements.
SEE: PICS: SA launches third solar powered airport
The airport also features a ‘green’ parking lot by offering 36 electric vehicle charging stations available on Level 1 of the parking garages. The spaces have designated “Electric Vehicle Station” signs and there is no charge to use the stations.
Indira Gandhi Airport in India used recycled materials during the construction of the airport and was awarded the LEED New Construction Gold Certification by the Indian Green Building Council.
It uses only natural light during the day, energy efficient LED screens and a water recycling system.
Munich International Airport in Germany – which is one of the greenest countries in the world – has been designed mostly from glass.
The airport uses lighting machinery and air supply technology to reduce its carbon footprint and says “by 2030 Munich Airport will become Germany's first climate-neutral airport. That means we are going to reduce our attributable co2 emission by 60% and compensate the remaining 40%.”
To achieve this, the airport plans investing “about 150 million euros between now and 2030” through “many different projects and measures”, the airport says.
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