Customers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of air travel. In many ways, typically “carbon-intensive” industries such as aviation – and even Formula 1 – are driving the carbon-reduction revolution. Three years ago, Edinburgh Airport’s leadership team realised it needed to take further action in order to futureproof the business in response to climate change, resulting in the publication of its Greater Good strategy in 2021.
The airport’s leaders knew that, while aviation has an uphill climb when it comes to mitigating carbon emissions, it had to start making proactive steps.
“Our view is that carbon is the enemy, not aviation,” says finance director Graeme Gibson. “Our approach is to do everything that we can in the meantime with the activities that are within our control to reduce emissions and support the industry more broadly in terms of its efforts to introduce new technology and fuels.”
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This year, the airport has built a solar farm on its grounds to help reduce its energy footprint and provide 25% of the airport’s electricity. Bristol Airport is also following suit. “It was important to make a strong business case for this, which we did by creating a ‘cost of carbon’ calculation,” says Graeme.
This calculation was critical for making the business case for the adoption of green gas, which is more expensive than regular gas. Looking at it through the “cost of carbon” lens, the team could demonstrate the quantifiable positive impact on emissions. “The argument comes a little clearer and simpler,” says Graeme.
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