Fraport sets new CO2 emission reduction targets for Frankfurt Airport
Fraport has set itself the ambitious new target of aiming to reduce the carbon emissions directly under its control at Frankfurt Airport to 50,000 tonnes by 2030.
The new total is 25,000 tonnes less than the previous target announced by Germany’s largest aviation hub.
“Aviation needs to make a significant contribution towards protecting our planet’s climate, and we need to act faster than in years gone by,” admitted Fraport’s CEO, Dr.Stefan Schulte.
“That’s our responsibility. For this reason, we’ve once again revised our masterplan for climate action, intensifying our measures wherever possible.”
Green electricity the most important lever for cutting CO2
The centrepiece of the decarbonisation efforts will be the future electricity mix used at Frankfurt Airport, which will largely consist of renewable sources from 2026.
By then, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with German energy company EnBW should see around 85% of Fraport’s electricity needs being met by wind energy from the North Sea.
Moreover, large photovoltaic systems (PV) at the airport will provide another significant proportion of required energy needs.
“In every sector, green electricity is the key to a sustainable, climate-friendly approach. We’ve set the pace in Frankfurt by opting for a high-quality PPA and modern photovoltaic systems at an early stage and by consistently pursuing these two approaches,” explained CEO Schulte.
Along with changes to the electricity mix and the expansion of alternative propulsion methods, Fraport is also pursuing numerous measures to make Frankfurt Airport’s infrastructure more climate-friendly. These include the installation of smart, needs-driven building technology for air conditioning and lighting, in addition to continuing the switchover to LEDs.
Climate protection will only be successful with a global approach
By 2045, Fraport states that it will be CO2-free, not just at its FRA home-base, but at all fully-consolidated Group airports around the world.
Schulte said: “Zero carbon means we will achieve this target without offsetting our emissions. We’re not going to rely on compensatory measures and their impact in the distant future. We’re taking the direct route.”
Along with the Group’s home-base Frankfurt Airport, Fraport’s climate protection target for 2045 will also apply to its companies and subsidiaries in Lima (Peru), Burgas and Varna (Bulgaria), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Fortaleza and Porto Alegre (Brazil), as well as to the Group’s 14 airports in Greece.
By 2030, Fraport will cut CO2 emissions at its global subsidiaries to 95,000 tonnes, explained Schulte. He said: “We see climate change as a central challenge for our international business. We need ideas and approaches that are tailored to each location, while taking their natural environment into account.”
For example, Fraport’s South American airports are already well positioned in terms of their electricity mix, with much of their energy coming from renewables, especially hydroelectric generation, while in Greece, its initial priority when taking over the management of the 14 regional airports was largely to secure their operational capabilities.
“We’ve only just started rolling out our climate protection measures in Greece, but we’re going to be taking an even more focused approach in the years to come,” said Schulte.
Sector-wide efforts to protect the planet’s climate
Fraport has direct responsibility for around 10% of CO2 emissions that are made at its home-base airport in Frankfurt.
The current decarbonisation masterplan is focused on emissions that fall under Fraport’s immediate control, in other words emissions from Scope 1 and 2.
Above and beyond this, Fraport is working within the aviation industry and the airlines, as well as the Deutsche Bahn railroad company, and other industry partners and local companies to implement joint climate measures under Scope 3.
In this vein, Schulte has a plea for policymakers. He remarked: “As a general rule, we welcome any political initiative to protect the planet’s climate. However, we cannot allow unfair competition to be the end result, which will ultimately cause climate protection measures to miss their mark.
“That’s because if flying becomes more expensive only within Europe, passengers will simply switch to other routings. A safe journey – our promise to our passengers at all our airports – should also involve a sustainable future.
“We want to make sure this happens with our versatile climate protection strategy. And we will continue to seek an integral approach to greener aviation across our industry.”