Heathrow powers down to win award

Heathrow Airport has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard after saving enough energy over the last three years to power more than 6,300 home for a year.

The UK’s hub airport improved its carbon efficiency by nearly 12%, despite turnover growth of 31%. This means that for every pound in income, 12% less carbon was emitted.

Heathrow joins over 350 UK organisations who have gained the Carbon Trust Standard – the world’s first award that recognises real carbon reduction. It’s a rigorous, independent assessment which certifies that organisations have measured, managed and improved carbon efficiency.

Heathrow is on track to make further savings this year, having already cut energy use through smart operation of lifts, escalators and baggage conveyors. Large savings also came through careful management of heating, cooling and ventilation, as well as modernised lighting systems and more efficient waste recycling. Major renewable energy investments such as biomass and combined heat and power plant are also leading the way in greening the airport’s energy supply.

With complex and near constant operation – particularly around its unique security requirements – improving the carbon efficiency of Heathrow’s operations is a complex and difficult task. And with over 77,000 workers on site (the majority of whom are not employed by Heathrow) much of the success is down to close collaboration and the commitment of those on the ground.

Colin Matthews, Chief Executive of BAA, said: “There is no silver bullet to improving carbon efficiency, but through a great team effort we are delighted to have obtained recognition for the progress we have made. This is the first step on a long road to helping the government meet the strict environmental targets which also form a core part of Heathrow’s strategy. Despite the major challenges ahead, we are confident that our investments in people and infrastructure will secure real long-term success in reducing our carbon footprint.”

Jonathon Counsell, Head of Environment for British Airways, said: “This is another good example of how Heathrow is striving to reduce its impact on the environment. We have been proud to play our part in supporting the airport to achieve this reduction. At the main Terminal 5 building alone we have managed to reduce energy consumption by 19% since it opened in March 2008 and have already identified another 3% in potential savings. Through working together we will be able to bring significant improvements to the way Heathrow operates.

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