Sharjah International Airport in the UAE has received the Level 3+ Neutrality accreditation as part of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme from Airports Council International (ACI).

The airport is said to be the first carbon-neutral airport in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the second in the Middle East to receive the award.

The accreditation is awarded when net carbon dioxide emissions at an airport are zero for a full year. The airport stated that this is a reflection of the implementation of different measures that apply the ‘highest standards of sustainability’.

Sharjah Airport Authority chairman Ali Salim Al Midfa said: “Sharjah Airport’s attainment of the highest level of carbon neutrality reflects the efforts made by the airport in the field of environmental practices, which translate the directions of the rational leadership into the need to preserve and protect the environment.

“The airport has adopted many green initiatives and programmes, in line with the commitment of the UAE towards reducing carbon emissions that fall under the UAE Green Growth Strategy and to support the national agenda to attain the UAE vision 2021.”

Sharjah Airport has implemented different environmental and sustainability projects such as energy conservation initiatives, clean energy projects and circular economic initiatives.

It has also adopted measures to monitor electricity and water consumption, along with a waste management system.

ACI Asia-Pacific director-general Stefano Baronci added: “By reaching carbon-neutral status, the highest status currently, in the internationally recognised Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, Sharjah Airport is firmly positioning itself as an environmental leader in the region and beyond.

“We are grateful to the management team at Sharjah Airport for their continued commitment and active participation in ACI Asia-Pacific environmental initiatives and in support of working towards a new societal value.”

Last year, Sharjah Airport Authority started issuing tenders for the $408m Sharjah International Airport expansion project.