Further reducing emissions
To play its part in cutting global greenhouse gas emissions, Flughafen Zürich AG wishes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040. To this end, it is committed to a reduction path, which involves reducing energy consumption, increasing efficiency, and moving away from fossil fuels.
Flughafen Zürich AG has been proactively tackling the issue of climate protection since the 1990s, and its successes in the areas of climate and environmental protection at Zurich Airport have placed it in global demand as an expert on the matter. Since 1991, the company has reduced its direct CO2 emissions by 30%, which were 50,000 tonnes at that time – and it continues to reduce them further.
How we protect the climate
In line with its function as an infrastructure operator, Flughafen Zürich AG sees the greatest potential for reducing CO2 emissions in buildings and their energy consumption.
To reduce energy consumption, Flughafen Zürich AG is focusing on building renovations and the related thermal insulation, as has been implemented in Terminal 2 for example. Furthermore, high energy standards have been and continue to be implemented in new-builds – such as Dock E and the Circle.
«Exemplary Energy and Climate» initiative
Flughafen Zürich AG is part of the "Exemplary Energy and Climate" initiative. The initiative brings together 15 participants who serve as an example of how the Federal Government's "Energy Strategy 2050" can be implemented.
Partnership with «Synhelion»
In 2020, Flughafen Zürich AG entered into a cooperation with high-tech company Synhelion SA, which is conducting research into producing almost CO2-neutral synthetic fuel from air and sunlight on a large scale. The agreement stipulates that Flughafen Zürich AG will likely purchase the fuel at cost from a test facility in Switzerland from 2023 onwards and use it for its vehicles and machinery.
Airport Carbon Accreditation
The European airport association "ACI Europe" recognised early on that reducing greenhouse gases is of great importance for the industry. As such, it launched the "Airport Carbon Accreditation" (ACA) programme in 2009. ACA is an accreditation system that communicates and evaluates an airport's reduction efforts.
Flughafen Zürich AG has been participating in the ACA for over ten years and is accredited at level three out of six. This means that Flughafen Zürich AG can demonstrate a steady reduction in CO2 emissions and at the same time helps its airport partners to reduce their emissions, too.
Climate impact of air traffic
Global air traffic is responsible for around 1.5% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (according to IPCC, 2014). In a national context, the proportion of global air traffic departing from Switzerland amounts to 10% of all Swiss greenhouse gas emissions (FOEN, 2017). Carbon dioxide is the only greenhouse gas emitted directly by aircraft, which is also listed in the Kyoto Protocol, which is crucial for climate protection. If you include other climate-relevant processes in the atmosphere, such as cloud formation or the emission of nitrogen oxides, this results in air traffic contributing around 5% towards global radiative forcing.