European airport trade association Airports Council International (ACI) Europe has partnered with RE-Source to accelerate sustainable strategies at European airports and help them achieve the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, it announced today.

Founded by SolarPower Europe, WindEurope, RE100 and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the RE-Source platform is a network of clean energy buyers and suppliers who aim to promote corporate energy sourcing. This collaboration will facilitate ACI Europe’s target to source 32% of energy in European airports from renewables by 2030, ACI Europe said in a statement.

The RE-Source platform launched a toolkit which will provide airports with template contractual terms, information on methods of procuring renewable energy, and business models for renewable energy sourcing and their availabilities across the continent.

Commenting on the benefits of switching to renewable energy, director general of ACI Europe, Olivier Jankovec noted that the transition “offers the potential to reduce an airport’s own carbon footprint by -60%.”

He added: “This means that access to renewable energy at competitive prices and under a stable regulatory and contractual framework is of paramount importance for the European airport industry to deliver on its NetZero2050 commitment.”

Alongside promoting new business models, RE-Source is focused on supporting the development of renewable energy sources by improving policies and regulations. Jankovec said that this collaboration would “allow us to play our part in pushing for the removal of administrative and regulatory hurdles to the development of renewable energy and its sourcing by corporates.”

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He added: “To succeed, we need strategic partnerships – and this is what ACI EUROPE’s involvement in RE-Source is about.”

As part of its aim to achieve the NetZero2050 commitment, ACI Europe announced that it will organise a training session in 2020 for airports with members of the RE-Source Platform, SolarPower Europe and WindEurope focussing on what the next steps must be.

Aside from ACI Europe’s initiative towards sustainability, the German Energy Agency (Dena) has urged the member states of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization to prioritise strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

It highlighted the importance of blending ‘powerfuels’ – raw materials produced with the help of electricity from renewable energies such as wind or solar power – and deemed it as key to climate protection in aviation.

It said aviation companies must set a 2% quota for electricity-based fuels in order to advance climate protection in air traffic. Dena said in a statement that doing so would save around 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Airports around the world are implementing necessary procedures to reduce carbon emissions. Cardiff Airport recently announced its Environmental Flight Path framework which detailed its initiatives to become a carbon-neutral airport by 2040.