June 14, 2019

Today, virtually all airports are expected to respond to the environmental footprint they cause in society and actively contribute to a reduction of the CO2 emissions. This means that the airports also impose green requirements on their business partners: the ground handlers and
airlines. As a business partner and responsible supplier, it is only natural that Vestergaard wants to help our customers through the green transition.

Typically, the important work on a green transition in the airports takes its starting point in a reduction of own direct emissions, e.g., from heating- or electricity-related energy consumption. Next, airports need to consider how to reduce emissions from transports to and from the airport (e.g. air traffic) as well as from ground handlers and shops. This is where Vestergaard may be an important factor.

The final phase of the green transition involves a CO2 compensation for the air traffic itself. As a supplier of ground handling equipment, Vestergaard has already noticed how the airports increasingly incite ground handlers and other operators to work with equipment that is electrically driven or use environmentally friendly fuel.

If we consider the internationally recognized CO2 airport certification program, the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA), it is obvious that European airports, in particular, are among the front-runners in terms of achieving CO2 reduct ions. At Vestergaard, we invited some of
the geographically closest airports to tell us how they are managing the green transition, so that we may learn how to be a part of this process.

Copenhagen Airport, our home country’s largest airport which served more than 30 million passengers in 2018, has set ambitious climate objectives meaning that the airport will be CO2 neutral by 2050.

As of 2020, the airport will be compensating for the domestic air traffic, and by 2030, all in-house operations and transports to and from the airport must be emission-free. This also includes vehicles within the airport area, and next year already, the share of ultra-green vehicles must constitute 65 %. CPH’s requires that ultra-green equipment must be either electric driven or a hybrid plug-in.

The Swedish, state-owned airport operator, Swedavia operates ten Swedish airports serving a total of 42 million passengers in 2018. These are already among the world’s leading environmentally friendly airports according to ACA, and it is obvious that their objectives are ambitious. As of 2030, all Swedavia-operated domestic air traffic will be based on fossil free fuels, and by 2045, this will also include all international air traffic.

When it comes to vehicles and handling equipment, some things are about to change in the very near future. As of 2020, Swedavia will have zero emission from fossil fuels as for what concerns its own operation. For GSE equipment, this means that the airport operator will be purchasing electric and alternative biogas or biodiesel vehicles, primarily. For instance, Swedavia has already changed their bus fleet to consist entirely of electric vehicles.

Partner of the future: Vestergaard, CO2 neutral by 2030
The common point of these Scandinavian airports is that they are managing the green transition in collaboration with their stakeholders. In other words, they wish to involve all operators, be it authorities, airlines, trade unions, and, of course, ground handlers and
suppliers of GSE equipment, because, as the airports emphasise, no one can achieve a complete green transition on their own. This is where Vestergaard, as manufacturer of the world’s most environmentally friendly deicer, sees ourselves as part of the solution.

Our equipment already provides the industry’s longest service life and lowest diesel and deicing fluid consumption. In addition, the goal is that all our equipment shall be CO2 neutral
by 2030. This includes a fully electric product portfolio. However, relevant development measures are already underway:

• Plug-in hybrid deicer
• Glycol recovery vehicle for cleaning up after deicing. Fluid is swept and collected for recycling
• Electric chassis for water and lavatory service vehicles

The big picture
If we look at the rest of the world, the airports on Vestergaard’s home continent are strongly represented among the most climate-conscious ones. In Europe, 40 of them have already been assigned the best CO2 neutral status, including the Nordic airport operators Avinor, Swedavia, and Finavia, whereas the North American airports lag behind with Dallas Fort Worth as the only one having been categorised as CO2 neutral. In Asia, the airports are keeping up, and many of the largest ones have been assigned the same certification as CPH.

This shows us that our customers demonstrate a very clear tendency towards a green transition within their operating environment. Vestergaard feels well positioned to help with the green transition.