Kaunas and Palanga air gates join the international Airport Carbon Accreditation programme for the management of airport greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, whereas Vilnius Airport has been officially invited to enter already the second stage of this programme. By participating in this programme three airports of our country calculate the annual quantity of GHG emissions expressed in carbo dioxide equivalents (CO2e), the so-called carbon footprint, and look for measures how to reduce as much as possible the quantity of gas emitted into the environment and contribute to environmental protection on the international scale.
Kaunas and Palanga Airports that have joined the first level of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme since now undertake to calculate the carbon footprint associated with their activity. On its own turn, the capital’s airport has carried out these actions since 2016, and has foreseen to reduce the quantity of CO2e per passenger by 35 percent by 2021, as compared with the period of 2017.
“By joining the second level of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme the capital’s gates will seek since now to manage the carbon footprint it has left and reduce by specific ways. In order to receive such accreditation, our team prepared a management plan consisting of the three main parts”, comments the head of the Lithuanian Airports Marius Gelžinis.
According to the company’s manager, Vilnius Airport will also have to make the measurements of CO2e emissions and consumed energy, as well as to ensure that this data would be collected regularly and precisely. Another environmental commitment of the company – to take care of the reduction in CO2e emissions directly. The team of Lithuanian airports intends to achieve this in the near future by installing a building management system that will allow controlling the energy consumption depending on the need and continuing the works of renewing the building lighting systems. The renewed vehicle fleet of Vilnius Airport, after replacing polluting cars with less polluting, will also contribute to the endeavours to reduce CO2e emissions.
“Eventually we will encourage an involvement of each our employee. We have foreseen to create an internal page for employees in which we will talk about effective energy consumption and ways to reduce GHG emission in both, the company and daily activity. Constant trips by plane and the development of airports are an integral part of the fast changing and global world, however next to it we find the ways how to work in the field of environmental protection, and the company’s successful participation in the aforementioned programme proves this”, states Mr. Gelžinis.
The capital’s air gates currently have two Airport Carbon Accreditations out of the four possible. The environmental protection strategy of Lithuanian Airports lays down that in 2021 also Kaunas and Palanga Airports will seek to get the second level of the programme accreditation, whereas Vilnius Airport – to pass to the third level. At this level, GHG emissions management and reduction will cover all the stakeholders operating at the airport, and such operations as aircraft take-off and landing cycle, engine testing, operation of auxiliary power plants, passenger ground transportation to the airport, etc.
Vilnius Airport is currently the only one in the Baltic States participating in the second level of the programme. Riga Airport has received the first accreditation level. Tallinn Airport currently does not participate in this programme. 246 airports participate in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme world-wide, of which 136 are European airports”.
The participation in the GHG reduction programme is considered a priority environmental task. The environmental protection strategy has also more steps that are implemented by Lithuanian Airports. Among them, particular importance is attached to noise reduction, conservation of natural resources, preservation of wildlife and biodiversity, waste management, development of renewable energy, and other environmental issues.
About Lithuanian Airports
The Lithuanian network of airports includes three airports in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. During 2018, they served 6.3 million passengers and 61 thousand flights. During the winter season, 14 airline companies organize flights in 86 directions to 67 cities in 27 countries. Based on data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian airports contribute to the Lithuania’s GDP by 2.5 percent.