The Liege Airport environmental policy
As stated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO): “The three pillars of sustainable development are especially relevant to the international aviation sector that, by offering a safe and efficient means of mass transportation, is universally recognized as an essential component of the global economy and universal social progress”.
Liege Airport’s primary objectives are the marketing and development of the Liege airport zone and its surroundings, attracting investors and industrial operators, and the commercial management of the airport. Liege Airport is responsible for managing the Liege airport facilities.
Liege Airport is committed to the sustainable development of the airport as a hub for economic renewal, and logistical and transport excellence.
Liege Airport is aware of the need for continuous improvement of its environmental management to ensure that as it expands its activities, it is respectful of natural environments and local communities.
Since 2003, Liege Airport has integrated environmental protection into its business strategy, in keeping with current environmental legislation and regulations including pollution prevention.
Liege Airport has continuously sought to prevent and to reduce the environmental impact of its activities beyond the legal regulatory requirements. Liege Airport has adopted an Environmental Management System to meet the ISO 14001:2015 standard. Liege Airport has also signed up to both the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme launched by ACI Europe and supported by the European Commission, and to the Lean & Green programme of Logistics in Wallonia.
Liege Airport has made real efforts to reduce its environmental footprint by focusing on the following issues:
Ensuring legal and regulatory compliance
Liege Airport continuously stays up to date with environmental obligations via a regulatory compliance subscription service. Every year, all obligations relevant to the business are reviewed to ensure compliance.
Efficient use of energy
After establishing a fully-fledged energy accounting system, Liege Airport has continued making efforts to reduce its electricity and fuel consumption.
Efficient use of energy is made possible through investments in lighting, heating, air conditioning, and building and infrastructure insulation.
The oldest buildings will undergo an energy audit in order to draw up an investment plan for increasing energy efficiency. Each building will be subjected to a pre-feasibility study, which will determine the best actions for optimising energy usage.
Liege Airport is replacing halogen runway lights with LEDs, using intelligent LED lighting inside buildings and installing automatic blinds in the halls.
Liege Airport has also installed photovoltaic cells on the roofs of some buildings. The feasibility of installing solar panels is considered at the project stage of new constructions. The feasibility of including other renewable energy sources (hydrogen, geothermal etc.) in the energy mix is also incorporated into development projects.
Liege Airport is committed to reducing its electricity consumption from the grid by 35% between 2014 and 2022. From 2021 onwards, 30% of the electricity used is self-produced using the photovoltaic cells and the natural gas-powered cogeneration unit couple with a heat network and a cooling unit (“chiller”). Thanks to these investments, energy efficiency is increased and energy consumption is reduced all year round.
Greenhouse gas emissions
The aviation sector has a considerable impact on climate change: in 2016, it was responsible for 3.6% of the EU’s CO2 emissions and 13% of transport CO2 emissions. Tackling the challenge of climate change is essential not just at the airport development stage: it should also be incorporated into the day-to-day running of the airport.
Through its involvement in the “Airport Carbon Accreditation”, which is the recognised approach for greenhouse gas monitoring launched by ACI Europe and supported by the European Commission, Liege Airport can identify, reduce and eventually eliminate its own greenhouse gas emissions and others involved with it. Liege Airport is currently accredited at “Level 2 – reduction” which means that its annual CO2 emissions are constantly diminishing.
Liege Airport’s electricity supply contributes to this goal, as it is sourced from a distribution network based on “100% green energy” contracts.
Looking ahead, Liege Airport aims to achieve “Level 3 – optimisation” by 2023, through the involvement of its partners (passengers, suppliers, aviation companies etc.) in a communal approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to the implementation of “Collaborative Environmental Management” (CEM). CEM was developed by Eurocontrol to meet the needs expressed by stakeholders, who wanted common solutions to the environmental challenges they face.
Reducing the carbon footprints of airports is important, but it is not enough. This is why Liege Airport supports the pledges of the “Sustainability Strategy for Airports”, approved by the ACI (Airport Council International) Europe Board, and is committed to:
- Reducing its own CO2 emissions to 0 by 2050, without resorting to current compensation systems;
- Promoting and supporting the global push in the aviation sector towards CO2
In order to avoid leaving future generations with the biggest share of the burden, Liege Airport is committed to:
- Reducing its CO2 emissions by at least 75% between 2017 and 2030.
- Offsetting the remaining emissions through sustainable projects involving the local communities.
EASA Source: European Aviation Environmental Report 2019 (https://www.easa.europa.eu/eaer/)
While complying with the relevant regulations regarding aviation safety, Liege Airport will seek to integrate respect and preservation for biodiversity into the framework of its activities, in close partnership with the Public Services Department of the Walloon Government (SPW)and SOWAER.
In order to accomplish this, a survey will be conducted to establish the current biodiversity situation at Liege Airport site and to set out a series of improvements compatible with the development of the airport and aviation security.
Conservation of surface water and ground water
In order to conserve ground water resources, Liege Airport is making efforts to maximise rainwater recovery and storage across its various buildings. This water is then used for sanitation and cleaning in order to reduce the consumption of drinking water.
Liege Airport tries to use as many environmentally friendly products as possible when managing and maintaining the airport infrastructure. All departments stay up to date with the latest relevant technologies so that they can integrate them into their day-to-day management systems and their investments.
Liege Airport is always working with its partners (handlers, cargo operators, passengers etc.) to find ways of reducing the negative impact of its activities on ground water and surface waters. Specifically, an innovative solution has been found to stop the run-off from aircraft de-icing, maintenance and cleaning processes from entering nearby rivers.
Liege Airport constantly monitors the ambient air quality thanks to a measuring station which is located next to the runway and is managed by the Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Service (ISSeP). The results of the station’s surveys are studied in partnership with ISSeP in order to confirm the low impact of the activities of the airport and its partners on air quality.
Without waiting for new regulatory requirements, Liege Airport decided to commission a tracking study of the organic pollutants caused by kerosene combustion inside jet engines.
Liege Airport is also committed to publishing the results of these studies and the measuring station reports on air quality at the airport.
Combating noise pollution
As part of the Long-Term Development Plan (PDLT) and the Noise Exposure Plan (PEB), Liege Airport supports the SOWAER missions on combating noise pollution. Liege Airport will continue to provide SOWAER with the information necessary to carry out these missions.
Liege Airport will continue to participate in meetings of the Support Committee created by the Walloon Region and in the triennial reviews of the Noise Exposure Plan (PEB). Liege Airport will continue to work alongside the Public Services Department of the Walloon Government (SPW) and with the Airport Noise Pollution Control Authority in the Walloon Region (ACNAW) as part of the framework of administrative sanctions for noise pollution infractions.
By improving the quality and availability of public transport and supporting the most environmentally friendly modes of transport, Liege Airport aims to help reduce road traffic and improve air quality.
Liege Airport, in partnership with the Walloon Region and the OTW, is researching the implementation of alternative transport solutions on the site, such as the creation of an express line between Liege Airport and Liege itself, and a shuttle bus service between the various on-site businesses and a central location.
In order to encourage electric transport, Liege Airport will install recharging stations in its car parks to meet the needs and demands of clients, staff and visitors.
Liege Airport is also committed to integrating clean transport technologies (electric, hydrogen, hybrid etc.) into its vehicle renewal programme, depending on the possibilities available on the market.
Awareness, information and partnerships
People are becoming more and more aware of the impact their activities are having on the environment. However, awareness and information must be long-term goals. Liege Airport staff, suppliers, passengers and clients are all made aware of the airport’s environmental policy through regular updates and proper training.
Liege Airport is dedicated to strengthening the involvement of clients and suppliers in the environmental strategy by including and strengthening contract clauses:
- Clients who own their building must integrate the strategy in the design and construction of their facilities;
- Suppliers must follow contractual clauses in the consultation documents, design specifications and framework contracts (waste collection and commitment to recycling of this waste, carbon footprint, greening of the subcontractor parking area, etc.).
As part of the environmental policy, Liege Airport staff are stakeholders in the preservation of nature and the environment, and management is committed to upholding this civil environmental policy.