The environmental policy of Liege Airport
LIEGE AIRPORT ensures the sustainable development of Liege Airport as a centre for regional economic development and a centre of excellence in the field of transport and logistics.
LIEGE AIRPORT is aware of the need for continuous improvement of its environmental management to ensure the development of its activities while respecting the natural environment and local communities.
Since 2013, LIEGE AIRPORT has incorporated environmental protection into its business strategy, in compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations.
Over and above legal and regulatory requirements, LIEGE AIRPORT seeks to reduce the environmental impacts of its activities permanently and has established an Environmental Management System that meets the requirements of the ISO 14001:2015 standard. Liege Airport is also involved in the Airport Carbon Accreditation initiated by ACI Europe and supported by the European Commission, as well as in the Lean & Green approach supported by Logistics in Wallonia.
In concrete terms, LIEGE AIRPORT is continuing to limit its environmental footprint by focussing on the following aspects:
Legal and regulatory watch
LIEGE AIRPORT carries out continuous monitoring of environmental obligations via a subscription to a regulatory watch. All obligations applicable to the company are reviewed each year to ensure optimal compliance.
Rational use of energy
After setting up an authentic energy accounting system, Liege Airport is continuing to reduce its consumption of electricity and fuels.
This rational use of energy involves investments in lighting, heating, air conditioning and insulation of buildings and infrastructure.
For older buildings, an energy audit will be carried out in order to establish an investment plan to improve energy efficiency. For each building, a pre-feasibility study will determine which actions should be implemented as a priority in order to optimise energy savings.
Replacement of halogen runway beacons with LEDs, intelligent LED lighting in buildings and installation of automatic shutters for freight-handling halls will be continued.
Liege Airport has also integrated photovoltaic units into the roofs of certain buildings. For new constructions, the possibility of installing solar panels is studied from the project phase. The possibility of incorporating other renewable energy sources (hydrogen, geothermal energy etc.) into the energy mix is also integrated into development projects.
Liege Airport is committed to reducing its electricity consumption from the distribution network by 35% between 2014 and 2022. From 2020, 30% of the electricity consumed will be self-produced via photovoltaic units and one natural gas cogeneration unit combined with a heating network and a cooling unit (a “chiller”). These investments will improve energy efficiency and limit energy consumption throughout the year.
Greenhouse gas emissions
The aviation sector is making a significant contribution to climate change: in 2016 it represented 3.6% of EU carbon dioxide emissions and 13% of transport-related carbon dioxide. Tackling climate challenge is not only essential for airport development, it must also be integrated into their daily operations.
Commitment to the Airport Carbon Accreditation system, a recognised approach to controlling greenhouse gas emissions initiated by ACI Europe and supported by the European Commission, makes it possible to identify, limit and ultimately neutralise greenhouse gas emissions under the control of Liege Airport or those over which the company has influence. Liege Airport is currently accredited to “Level 2 – reduction”, which indicates that its annual carbon dioxide emissions are constantly decreasing.
The supply of electricity to Liege Airport via the distribution network on the basis of “100% green energy” contracts contributes to this objective.
Beyond this result, Liege Airport wishes to reach “Level 3 – optimisation” by 2023 through the involvement of its partners (passengers, suppliers, airlines etc.) in a common approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular through the establishment of a “Collaborative Environmental Management” (CEM). This concept was developed by Eurocontrol to meet the needs expressed by stakeholders in order to find common solutions to the environmental challenges they face.
Reducing the carbon footprint of airports is important, but not enough. For this reason, Liege Airport endorses the commitments of the “Sustainability Strategy for Airports” approved by the Board of the ACI (Airport Council International) Europe and undertakes to:
- reduce its own carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050, without resorting to existing offset systems;
- promote and support the global evolution of the aviation sector towards carbon dioxide neutrality.
In order to avoid passing on the bulk of this effort to future generations, Liege Airport undertakes to:
- reduce its carbon dioxide emissions between 2017 and 2030 by at least 75%;
- offset the remaining emissions via sustainable projects involving local communities.
In compliance with the applicable rules governing aviation safety, Liege Airport will seek to integrate respect for biodiversity into its activities, in close partnership with the Service Public de Wallonie (Wallonia Public Service) and SOWAER.
To do this, an inventory will be carried out in order to show the current situation of biodiversity on the Liege Airport site and to identify a series of improvement projects that are compatible with the development of the airport and the safety of aviation activity.
Protection of surface water and groundwater
In order to conserve groundwater resources, Liege Airport is working to maximise recovery and storage of rainwater for its various buildings. This water is then used for sanitation and cleaning to reduce consumption of drinking water.
As far as possible, Liege Airport gives priority to use of products that are not harmful to the environment in the management and maintenance of airport infrastructure. The various departments keep up-to-date with the developments in relevant technologies, in order to be able to integrate these improvements in their daily management and their investments.
Liege Airport also undertakes to seek solutions constantly with its partners (handlers, cargo operators and passengers, etc.) in order to reduce, as much as possible, the negative impact of their activities on groundwater and surface water. In particular, innovative solutions must be implemented that prevent the residues from de-icing, maintenance and cleaning of aircraft from ending up in the waterways close to the airport.
Liege Airport constantly monitors ambient air quality via its measurement station located on the edge of the runway and managed by the Institut Scientifique de Service Public (ISSEP) (Scientific Institute of Public Service). The results of the readings from this station are studied in partnership with the ISSEP in order to ensure low impact of the activities of the airport and its partners on air quality.
Without waiting for new regulatory obligations, Liege Airport is committed to conducting a follow-up study on organic pollutants from the combustion of kerosene by aircraft reactors.
Liege Airport also undertakes to make public the results of these studies and the reports of the air quality measurement station located on the airport site.
As part of the Plan de Développement à Long Terme (PDLT) (Long Term Development Plan) and the Plan d’Exposition au Bruit (PEB) (Noise Exposure Plan), Liege Airport supports the missions assigned to Sowaer in terms of noise reduction. In particular, it will continue to provide it with the information necessary to enable it to carry out these missions.
Liege Airport will continue to participate in the meetings of the Support Committee set up by the Walloon Region and in the three-yearly review of the Noise Exposure Plan. It will continue its collaboration with the Service Public de Wallonie and with the Autorité de Contrôle des Nuisances Aéroportuaires de Wallonie (ACNAW) (Airport Nuisance Control Authority) in the framework of the administrative sanctions mechanism when infringements are committed against noise regulations.
By increasing the quality and availability of public transport and by promoting more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, Liege Airport wishes to help reduce road traffic congestion and improve air quality.
In partnership with the Walloon Region and the Opérateur de transport de Wallonie (OTW) (Wallonia Transport Operator), Liege Airport will seek implementation of alternative mobility solutions on the site through the creation of a real express link between the city and Liege Airport and shuttle services for all the companies working on the site, from a central point.
In addition, in order to encourage electric mobility, Liege Airport will continue to install charging stations in its car parks, to meet its own needs and the demand of its customers, staff and visitors.
Liege Airport is also committed to integrating “clean” mobility technologies (electricity, hydrogen, hybrid systems etc.) into its vehicle renewal programme according to the possibilities offered by the market.
Legal and regulatory watch
Continuous monitoring of environmental obligations is carried out by LIEGE AIRPORT via a subscription to a regulatory watch. All obligations applicable to the company are reviewed each year to ensure optimal compliance.
Awareness, information and partnerships
Awareness of the environmental impact of human activities is increasing rapidly. However, awareness and information must address the long term. Both Liege Airport staff and suppliers, passengers and customers are therefore made aware of the environmental policy of Liege Airport through regular information and appropriate training.
Liege Airport is committed to increasing the involvement of its customers and suppliers in the environmental approach by inserting and strengthening contractual clauses:
- as regards customers who own their building, so that they integrate this environmental approach into the design and construction of their facilities;
- as regards suppliers, via contractual clauses in the consultation files, specifications and framework contracts (waste recovery, commitment to recycle waste, carbon footprint, commitment to greening the fleet of vehicles used on the site on behalf of subcontractors etc.).
As part of this environmental policy, Liege Airport staff are involved in preserving nature and the environment, and management is committed to maintaining this citizens’ environmental policy over the long term.