Airports Council International World (ACI World) has selected Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) and aviation consultancy company To70 to lead the creation of a new global framework for the improvement of ESG reporting for airports.

Building on ACI World’s ESG Management Best Practice document, the standardised framework will support the trade association’s Airport Carbon Accreditation and provide airports with an outline for the governance, compliance and stewardship needed to further ESG goals.

ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “This project offers airports a useful tool as they consider ESG reporting. We are happy to have trusted industry experts working on the consolidation and synthesis of reporting mechanisms used across regions who will, with the support of our members and key actors in the finance community, develop a comprehensive, enduring framework for the sector.”

Partly driven by an increased focus on reaching net zero goals, with the wider aviation industry aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, airports have been furthering their focus on ESG reporting in recent years, both to meet air travel demand and to ensure new developments are constructed and operated with the environment in mind.

This focus on environmental impact was highlighted by To70 director Ruud Ummels, who said that airport decarbonisation “must be tackled in synergy with leading ESG frameworks”. 

The development of the idea by NACO and To70 will continue with the creation of an ESG framework for Hamad International Airport in Qatar and Kigali International Airport in Rwanda to serve as a pilot for the further refinement of a framework that could be published for the rest of the industry.

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NACO director Esther Kromhout said: “ESG has rightly become a key agenda item for airports and institutions around the world. We’re proud to have been appointed to lead the development of this framework, which will give all airports the guidance they need to implement, review and monitor ESG meaningfully within their operations.”

Earlier this year, a Reuters conference saw industry leaders highlight the need for standards and tools to aid companies in their response to climate issues and the addressing of ESG challenges.