Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport has become the first international airport in Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve carbon neutral status. The airport operator, Corporación Quiport joined the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, initiated by Airport Council International (ACI) World in 2015. The programme is technically endorsed by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization, the World Bank and the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Quiport said the airport’s emissions for 2018 gave a calculated carbon footprint of 3,273 tons of CO2 emissions, a 41% reduction compared to 2014 as the base year (5,534 tons of CO2). The airport operator offsets its direct emissions by buying certified carbon credits in sustainable projects. It chose the MANOA REDD+ Project which works to preserve 182,858 acres (74,000ha) of forest in Rondônia State, Brazil, which faces threats to its biodiversity from deforestation and illegal logging.
The accreditation certificate will be officially awarded at the ACI-LAC Annual Assembly this October in Bogotá.
Andrew O’Brian, President and CEO of Quiport, commented: “Corporación Quiport is one of the pioneers of this programne. We joined ACA in 2015 and today we have completed the four levels of the programme. Corporación Quiport’s initiatives to achieve this important accomplishment have included concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fuel consumption, increase energy efficiency, improve water management, maintain conservation areas for flora and fauna and more.” He added that it is important to note that once carbon neutrality has been achieved, a plan must be set in place to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to stay at this level of the ACA programme. Quiport said it will recalculate the airport’s carbon footprint each year to ensure its reduced emission levels are at least maintained or, hopefully, further reduced.
“We continue to work so that our efforts go beyond Quiport’s operations; to date we have amplified our impact by getting 26 companies at the airport, from airlines to commercial operators, to start their own initiatives to reduce their carbon footprints”, said Mr O’Brian.