Climate protection is of the highest priority
Climate protection and air transport are being reconciled at Cologne Bonn Airport – for many years now, the airport has been pushing ahead with projects to allow the company to develop in an environmentally-friendly way. The third edition of the Sustainability Report has now been published, summarising the activities and successes of the airport in the areas of ecology, economics and social responsibility. Measures aimed at protecting the climate and the environment play an important role in this. At the same time, the airport has set itself new climate protection goals so that it can continue to push ahead with measures to reduce its environmental footprint.
“The debate in society on the theme of climate protection is the prevailing theme of our times. And rightly so. At Cologne/Bonn Airport too, the use of environmentally-friendly technologies is of the highest priority – we are well aware of our responsibility as part of the air transport industry. It is our task to reconcile people's fundamental need for mobility with active climate protection”, says Johan Vanneste, chair of the management board of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.
Halving emissions by 2030
A first step in this direction has already been taken by Cologne Bonn Airport – ten years ago, it was resolved that the airport's growth will be carbon-neutral by 2020. This goal will be reached. As with all German airports, we have also made a voluntarily commitment to halve the CO2 emissions of the airport by 2030 (based on 2010). This means that our annual CO2 emissions are to be brought down to around 21,000 tonnes. In order to be able to reach this ambitious goal, we will be investing around EUR 5 million in the next few years alone into various different measures, for example in energy-saving terminal lighting and in fitting out the apron areas with LED technology. And by 2050, the airport aims to be carbon-neutral.
Solar panels and LED lighting
With these measures, the airline is continuing down the path that it has already successfully established in the past few years – as is explained in the Sustainability Report, the airport has for many years been committed to the use of innovative building technology. As the first German airport to do so, Cologne/Bonn introduced the forward-looking Bauer system in 2008 – an energy-efficient room ventilation technology that reduces the usage of heat, cold and electricity in a building by more than 30 percent. In Terminal 2, which is equipped with this technology, and in the Cargo Centre, 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions are prevented in this way every year.
In addition to this, Cologne/Bonn also makes good use of the sun – the seven solar panel complexes at the airport, which have more than 12,000 modules, are one of the biggest complexes in Germany. The airport also has its own combined heat and power plant which provides the airport with energy in an efficient and environmentally-friendly way. Around 44,000 MWh of power is generated in this way every year.
The use of energy-saving LED light fittings on the airport premises is being continuously expanded – they are already in use in the buildings, in the exterior light fittings, on the information boards and as landing guides. The large take-off and landing runway was also equipped with the latest LED technology in the course of its overhaul during the past year. “As a matter of principle, all new features and investments at the airport are examined for compliance with our high standards in terms of sustainability and environmental performance”, says Johan Vanneste.
Growing E-fleet at the airport, two new Ford hybrids
The use of forward-looking technologies is also a fixed component in the management of our fleets. A range of different environmentally-friendly vehicles and items of equipment are in use in our daily airport operations. In total, there are now almost
100 of these – as well as cars, this includes ground operations equipment such as luggage tow tractors, passenger staircases and conveyor belts. Since last year we have even been using two aircraft tow tractors that are completely powered by electricity.
And we are still making further progress – this Tuesday afternoon, the E-fleet at the airport is being expanded through the addition of two Ford Transit plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). These two vans have an electric drive system which has the capacity to provide an emissions-free range of around 50 kilometres. This means that they are ideally suited to the short distances in an airport setting.
Ford has a total of ten Ford Transits with plug-in hybrid drive systems which are in use at various different companies in Cologne. The project is receiving support from the City of Cologne authorities. The goal is to establish the extent to which hybrid drive systems can contribute towards the achievement of the city's clean air goals.
Information on the Sustainability Report:
The 46-page brochure, which is entitled "Wir: einfach nachhaltig" (“Us - simply sustainable”), is a condensed continuation of the first Sustainability Report of 2015 and of the new edition of 2017. This time it is once again based on the guidelines of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), the international set of standards for sustainablity reporting. The reporting period is the year 2018. The report is broken down into three main chapters: "Sustainable business management", "Climate and environment" and "Employees". The themes covered range from noise and environmental protection and the completion of the runway refurbishment programme as one of the largest infrastructure projects in the history of the airport, through to the introduction of a new corporate culture with common values that are intended to provide guidance for the daily activities of all employees.