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Heathrow reports “a year of progress” in its sustainability efforts


A year on from the launch of its refreshed sustainability strategy, Heathrow 2.0: Connecting People and Planet, Heathrow’s 2022 Sustainability report updates on the airport’s progress.

Over half of the commitments towards net zero aviation and making Heathrow a great place to live and work have been marked as “on track” or “progressing”.

In 2022, Heathrow’s world leading SAF incentive scheme was launched. Airlines representing 76% flights at the airport have made a commitment to at least 10% SAF usage by 2030. This year, Heathrow’s SAF incentive is expected to save over 81,000 tonnes of CO2.

Causeway Nature Reserve, close to Heathrow Airport, Eastern balancing reservoir, October 2011.

On the ground, numbers of passengers using public transport to get to the airport has steadily improved to 43% in Q4 2022. The upward trend should be supported by completion of the Elizabeth Line with direct services from East London during 2023.

Heathrow 2.0 is an umbrella strategy that brings together sustainability goals from across the airport, aiming to reduce emissions in the air and on the ground, while delivering for the local community as a responsible neighbour.

Focus in the community continues to be on sharing the benefits of living close to the UK’s largest single site employer. Over 100 local SMEs attended Heathrow’s annual Business Summit, already delivering against the target of over 50% of the local supply chain being small or medium businesses.

Heathrow states that it is pleased to have achieved science-based validation from the SBTi for its 2030 carbon reduction goals, confirming they are consistent with a 1.5 degree carbon reduction trajectory. Heathrow is the first airport to achieve this status with SBTi’s updated 1.5 degrees standard.

This year, it reveals that it will be focused on developing nature positive and zero waste strategies.

The progress made in 2022 on Heathrow 2.0 demonstrates the incremental change required to reach its overarching carbon goals – 15% cut in carbon from flights and at least 45% carbon cut on the ground by 2030, whilst remaining a responsible neighbour.

Becky Coffin, Heathrow’s director of sustainability and communities said: “I am pleased with the achievements we have made during 2022, launching the Giving Back Programme, pledging to support one million people by 2030 whilst bringing more local businesses into our multi-million-pound supply chain.

“The progress achieved gives us a strong platform to build on as we deliver on our promise to do right by our neighbours.”

While the airport’s director of carbon, Matt Gorman, enthused: “A year on from the launch of Heathrow 2.0. I am thrilled our 2030 carbon reduction goals have achieved SBTi validation and are consistent with a 1.5 degree carbon reduction trajectory.

“We still have a long way to go, but our world-leading SAF incentive programme demonstrates that greener, cleaner flying is possible.”

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