Sunshine Coast Airport joins world’s best at managing carbon emissions
  • Wednesday 22 June 2016
Aerial photograph of Sunshine Coast Airport

Sunshine Coast Airport has joined an elite number of international airports leading the way in carbon reduction, gaining accreditation under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program at Level 3 Optimisation.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation program recognises airports around the globe for managing their carbon emissions and reducing carbon footprints. 

Sunshine Coast Airport now ranks alongside the likes of Hong Kong, Gatwick and San Francisco International Airports, in being certified at Optimisation Level under the program.

Sunshine Coast Airport achieved Level 1 Mapping in 2013, Level 2 Reduction in 2014 and this month, Level 3 Optimisation. 

Acting Mayor Tim Dwyer said this was an important step in achieving the fourth and ultimate level of accreditation – Level 3+ Neutrality.

“Sunshine Coast Airport is playing a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions on the Sunshine Coast and we are very proud of this achievement,” Cr Dwyer said

“Sunshine Coast Council’s vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – vibrant, green, and diverse – is well supported by Sunshine Coast Airport and their leading example in Airport Carbon Accreditation.”

Regional Director, Airports Council International Asia-Pacific Mrs Patti Chau congratulated Sunshine Coast Airport on its achievement in upgrading to Level 3 Optimisation under Airport Carbon Accreditation

“This is a testament of Sunshine Coast Airport’s commitment to minimising its impact on the environment.  I look forward to seeing the airport achieving the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality,” Mrs Chau said.

Since mapping its carbon usage in 2013, Sunshine Coast Airport has continued to work on its carbon footprint reduction program through a series of low energy initiatives including investments in low energy lighting and air conditioning, the implementation of waste reduction, recycling programs, the use of water sensitive urban design, water usage reduction and water harvesting.

The airport has also invested in Smart Tracking technology.  Smart Tracking, or Required Navigation Performance, guides aircraft along precise flight paths using flight management systems and satellites.  Using a more direct flight path helps reduce the distance travelled and, in turn, fuel consumption.

Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said the airport had focused on engaging with stakeholders to encourage them to reduce their carbon footprints, increasing the amount of recycling at the airport, and reducing the amount of waste that is going to landfill.

“Around 44% of recyclables generated at the airport in the past were lost to landfill and 50.7% of our waste going to landfill was compostable,” Mr Pallot said.

“By introducing new bins with three waste streams we have made it much easier for our guests to recognise where their waste belongs

“By separating our compostable waste from recycling and rubbish we will save around 482kg of waste from going to landfill each week. That’s 25.1 tonnes per year.”

In May this year Sunshine Coast Airport became the first airport in Australia to install a Sunshine Coast manufactured OSCA (On-site composting apparatus).  OSCA is an automated, aerobic composting technology designed for on-site management of organic waste, and is the first solar powered system of its type.

The OSCA uses minimal energy to process food waste, compostable packaging, paper and cardboard, and green waste into safe, stable, high quality compost. 

Airport Carbon Accreditation, a program of Airports Council International, is the only institutionally-endorsed carbon management certification program for airports and is the only airport specific carbon standard which relies on internationally recognised methodologies. 

Airport Carbon Accreditation was introduced into the Asia-Pacific region in November 2011, in partnership with ACI Europe and with the support of ACI WORLD.  To date, there are 11 Asia Pacific airports accredited to Level 3 Optimisation.