Edmonton airport recognized for sustainability initiatives

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by Emily Atkins

Edmonton International Airport (YEG) has won the The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) 2022 Air Cargo Sustainability Award – Corporate, for its Airport City Sustainability Campus, and will be the launch airport in a new IATA sustainability certification program.

YEG’s Airport City Sustainability Campus is a growing hub of transportation, cargo logistics, manufacturing, sustainability, technology development and tourism. Development of Airport City has attracted $1.3B in investment between 2015-2021.

Initiatives at the airport include the development of the world’s largest on-airport solar farm, a 627 acre, 120 MW facility. A cogeneration facility onsite will lower the airport’s annual Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by up to 20 percent from its 2014 baseline.

The airport also boasts the first LEED Gold terminal and airport office tower in Canada, with a nearly 50 percent reduction in energy intensity in the terminal between 1997 – 2020. A total of 18,293 LED bulbs have been installed in the terminal since the start of the LED Replacement Program.

EIA ia also a member of the internationally recognized Airport Carbon Accreditation level 1, and is working towards developing a hydrogen fuel node.

It is also capturing 46 percent of used deicing fluid for recycling and reuse, for a total of 1.7 million litres so far.

“We congratulate Edmonton International Airport for winning the 4th Air Cargo Sustainability Awards. We are thrilled to see the progress that has been made in the industry on the path towards sustainability,” said Steven Polmans, TIACA chair.

“The winners truly show a spirit of those who strive to do better not just for themselves but to create a sustainable future for the industry and our next generation.”

IATA environmental assessment

The airport has also been selected as the first participant in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Environmental Assessment for Airports and Ground Service Providers (IEnvA for Airports and GSPs). IEnvA for Airports and GSPs is an expansion of the successful IEnvA for Airlines. IEnvA programs enable participants to build robust environmental management plans with continual performance improvements. Some 50 airlines are part of the IEnvA program, with 34 of them fully certified while the others are in the process.

IEnvA is based on standards and best practices that were built in collaboration with airlines, airports, ground service providers, IATA and sustainability experts. It complies with ISO14001 (Environmental Management) requirements, and uses IATA’s decade’s long expertise with safety auditing (IOSA) for oversight, governance and quality control. IEnvA for Airports and GSPs will make use of tried-and-tested IEnvA oversight, governance, and quality control processes and will include provision of standards and recommended practices, training access, readiness workshops and external assessment. As the pioneer airport in the IEnvA for Airports and GSPs, YEG will work with IATA to establish the IEnvA Standards for Airports and guidance material to broadly improve performance in areas such as emissions, waste, water, noise, energy, and biodiversity. As with IEnvA for Airlines, upon a successful independent assessment, YEG and other successful entities will be included in the IEnvA Certification Registry.

“This is a significant milestone for airports around the world, and we are proud to be a part of the movement towards a sustainable future for aviation. IATA’s Environmental Assessment Program has supported the sustainability narrative across the aviation industry, and we are excited to be the first airport involved in expanding this program as we continue to prioritize ESG, innovation and forward-thinking solutions to airport operations and strategic partnerships,” said Myron Keehn, VP, air service, business development, ESG and stakeholder relations, Edmonton International Airport.