CPH focuses on climate

In the year of the Climate Summit in Copenhagen (COP15), Copenhagen Airport is currently turning an extra spotlight on climate and environmental issues with the opening of its new environmental site. Copenhagen Airport is one of the international airports that has come farthest in terms of environmental work. One of CPH’s environmental targets is to have reduced power consumption by at least 10% between 2007 and 2012.  

Improved aircraft stand lighting: 1,500,000 kilowatt hours saved annually. Optimisation of ceiling lighting in Terminal 2: an annual saving of 1,000,000 kilowatt hours. Total: 2,500,000 kilowatt hours saved.

This is the reduction in power consumption already achieved in the past few years alone. And even more reductions will be added over the next four years, when Copenhagen Airports dedicates its efforts to cutting power consumption even further. However, this targeted work on environmental issues is not just a recent project. 

“Our efforts to become a more environmentally correct operation are long term. We have been focusing on environmental issues for decades: last year our Supervisory Board resolved that we must comply with the Kyoto Protocol by 2012 and cut our CO2 emissions by 21%. We have to be totally committed to our environmental protection work, so we've decided to include environmental considerations in all our decisions and to invite an open dialogue on the environmental aspects of our operation,” said Brian Petersen, president and CEO of Copenhagen Airports.

Making environmental activities visible
CPH has decided to mark the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009 by launching a dedicated environmental site at www.cph.dk to spotlight the airport’s environmental activities.

“We're not changing our environmental activities, but we're changing the way we communicate about them. We will be making our improvements and progressive thoughts in the environmental field visible in a new way: at the end of the day, this will lead to an even better environment,” said Erik Nielsen, CPH’s environmental manager for 18 years and in charge of implementing CPH’s environmental policy.

Focus on power consumption
If you read the statistics closely, you can see right away that power consumption, amounting as it does to 81% of CPH's total energy consumption, is responsible for the largest part by far of CPH’s CO2 emissions. The rest is distributed almost equally among fuel, district heating and natural gas.

“If you look out over the airport on a dark winter's day, you will quickly see why power consumption accounts for such a large proportion of our total CO2 emissions. We need light – lots of light.”

"But that makes it even more important to think about how we can optimise lighting as much as possible,” said Petersen.

Lots of light
Both the terminal facilities and especially the runways require lots of light. Energy is used for lighting and installations in buildings, on aprons, at aircraft stands, on runways and on taxiways, as well as for ventilation, space heating and air conditioning in the terminal buildings. Although legislative and security requirements stipulate that the runways must be lit round the clock, the terminals still account for the largest share of the power consumed by the airport.

International collaboration
CPH is also part of international collaborative efforts to improve the environment and climate. For example, CPH is a member of the Airports Council International (ACI), with Environmental Manager Erik Nielsen representing the airport in this international body.
“Our membership of the ACI gives us an idea of what the problems are internationally. It's quite clear that the regulatory authorities are focusing on the CO2 emissions of the aviation industry as a whole, and in that connection the first thing one thinks of, naturally, is aircraft. Nonetheless, as an airport, we have to focus on how we operate our business in the most environmentally friendly way,” said Nielsen.

New environmental site
In addition to its spotlight on energy consumption and CO2 emissions, CPH focuses on noise, air quality, water, soil and waste. You can read more about all these topics at CPH’s new environmental site.