Gatwick is the first UK airport to join more than 80 of the world's most influential companies in a programme designed to generate a massive increase in the demand for renewable electricity - the airport said - as it also announced that it will be carbon neutral by the spring.
The private sector accounts for around half the world's electricity consumption and by working towards their 100% renewable electricity targets, the 87 companies in the RE100 alliance are creating demand for around 107 TWh of renewable electricity annually - almost equalling Holland's yearly demand in 2015 (109 TWh). RE100 is led by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP.
Gatwick has been purchasing 100% renewable electricity since 2013 and is one of three new companies to join the RE100 alliance in an announcement made during the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. By joining the corporate leadership programme the airport aims to play its part accelerating the UK's move toward a low carbon economy.
To this end, Gatwick's use of 100% renewable electricity is a key part of the airport becoming carbon neutral later this year, as electricity comprises 80% of the airport's operational carbon footprint. The remaining emissions will be offset through investments in international, national and local renewable energy programmes, in addition to continued investment in energy and fuel efficiency.
Gatwick's CEO, Stewart Wingate, said: "The initiatives announced today are important milestones in Gatwick's journey to become the UK's most sustainable airport and one of the greenest in the world. We are serious about growing sustainably and we have some ambitious plans to develop in the most environmentally responsible way possible. We expect to see our world first waste plant generating heat for our North Terminal this year and we are introducing an electric car sharing service, the first of its kind for a UK airport. A set of rigorous environmental targets is driving our overall environmental performance and, despite a dramatic increase in our passenger numbers, I'm delighted to say that our environmental footprint is the same or better today than it was in the early 1990s despite our passenger numbers doubling."
Damian Ryan, Acting CEO, The Climate Group, said: "It is really encouraging to see companies such as Gatwick committing to bold climate action, helping us move towards a net zero-emissions economy. But we need to see faster progress. In order to deliver on the Paris Agreement and keep global warming well below two degrees, we need governments to remove policy barriers and create investment incentives that can provide easier access to renewable energy. And we need more business leaders to influence the usage of renewable power right along their supply chains."
RE100 is a global, collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for - and delivery of - renewable energy. This will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and aid the transition to a low carbon economy. RE100 shares the compelling business case for renewables and showcases business action, while working with others to address barriers and develop transparent reporting mechanisms. RE100 members have operations around the world and span a wide range of sectors from telecommunications and financial services to vehicle and cement manufacturing. RE100 is brought to you by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP and We Mean Business.
To certify its carbon neutrality, Gatwick will undertake Airport Carbon Initiative accreditation at Level 3+, having achieved Level 3 for the past three years. Airport Carbon Accreditationis an independent, voluntary programme administered by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, an international consultancy appointed by ACI EUROPE to manage the accreditation criteria for airports on an annual basis. The administration of the programme is overseen by an Advisory Board.
In Autumn last year, Gatwick announced that it would be the first airport in the world able to dispose of Category 1 waste on site - and convert it into energy to heat the North Terminal.
Source and top image: Gatwick Airport
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Energy Independent Electric Vehicles 2017 on 27 - 28 Sep 2017 in TU Delft, Delft, Netherlands hosted by IDTechEx.