The Board of Riga Airport has approved the Airport's operational plan for achieving zero CO2 emissions by 2050, the so-called Net Zero 2050 Roadmap.
"Riga Airport is ready to contribute to the achievement of global climate goals and to consider the necessary business transformation in advance. The Net Zero Roadmap is an essential complement to our sustainability strategy: we continue the dedicated work to reduce harmful emissions from Airport operations, including the possibility of becoming certified to a higher level of the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme in a few years," says Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of the Board of the company.
Achieving zero CO2 emissions at airports involves two main elements: firstly, reducing the airport's own emissions from electricity, heat, and fuel consumption to as close to zero as possible and, secondly, neutralising emissions that cannot be reduced through CO2 sequestration.
Electricity, fuel, and heat consumption, as well as surface de-icing, are the main sources of emissions at the Airport that the company can directly influence. Consequently, the Airport plans to achieve the largest reduction in CO2 emissions by switching to alternative energy sources, including the development of a solar panel park, switching to alternative fuel transport, generating heat from renewable energy sources, modernising the electricity grid, replacing apron and runway lighting with efficient LED lighting, and improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings.
However, a significant part of CO2 emissions is not under the direct control of the Airport but is associated with companies and organisations operating at the Airport. It consists of aircraft fuel consumption, energy and fuel consumption by ground handlers and Airport tenants, aircraft de-icing, wastewater treatment, and carriage of passengers and Airport staff to and from the Airport. That is why the Net Zero Airport Roadmap also specifically highlights cooperation with stakeholders, including both cooperation in the construction of Rail Baltica, the development of suitable charging infrastructure to facilitate the use of electric vehicles, cooperation with local authorities to develop suitable micro-mobility infrastructure and other measures to jointly tackle the impacts of climate change.
Riga Airport joined the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe) Net Zero 2050 initiative less than two years ago, in the summer of 2021, thereby demonstrating its commitment to achieve, by 2050, zero CO2 emissions from its operations or emissions that cannot be avoided or compensated by the appropriate disposal of an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases. In 2020, Riga Airport became internationally certified at Level 2 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, planning to achieve the highest level, Level 4+, by 2050.