New sustainability strategy guides airports towards enhanced societal value

26 June 2019
This morning at the 29th ACI EUROPE Annual Congress in Cyprus, ACI EUROPE launched the first ever comprehensive Sustainability Strategy¹ for the airport industry.
As society increasingly demands more inclusive business models and corporate culture, the concept of sustainability has gone beyond a purely environmental focus to include wider social and economic aspects as well. Airports are a key interface between a wide range of aviation and non-aviation stakeholders - providing essential connectivity services to their communities. They are also the ambassadors of aviation on the ground, and often on the frontline of aviation’s externalities. This gives them the opportunity to be role models and encourage transformational change beyond their own remits.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “Times have changed. Economic disruption, rising inequality, depleted resources, new societal values and political dynamics mean that airport operators are facing a new imperative: putting their societal purpose at the heart of their business strategy. This is about embracing a new Business-to-People paradigm. This comes with the need for airports to maximise the added value they provide to society – including through enhanced engagement with their communities and other stakeholders.”
He added “This strategy is about scoping what sustainability means and involve for airports, identifying pathways for progress as well as defining metrics and enablers. In doing so, ACI EUROPE is providing airports with concrete guidance on how to move towards more sustainable operations. Our ambition is for this strategy to drive positive change over time - and we look forward to seeing how it is interpreted and implemented in the years to come.”
The ACI EUROPE Sustainability Strategy is based on the following shared vision of the sustainable airport of the future: “Every airport builds local and global partnerships to accelerate the journey towards fair, prosperous and environmentally responsible societies”. It also relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Reporting Initiative. ACI EUROPE will regularly review and update it, to ensure continued relevance and credibility.
The launch of the ACI EUROPE Sustainability Strategy today builds on a decade of work on climate action, which began with the establishment of the independent, institutionally endorsed Airport Carbon Accreditation* programme in June 2009.
In 2017, the European airport industry committed to have 100 carbon neutral airports by 2030. In a further step change in their climate actions ambitions, this morning Europe’s airports also formally committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Front cover Sustainability Strategy
  • Note to editors

    ¹ ACI EUROPE’s Sustainability Strategy for Airports is available to download here: link
    * For details of climate action undertaken to date by airports – including case studies and results, visit