Christchurch International Airport – 2021 Awards finalist

Christchurch International Airport – 2021 Awards finalist

Climate Action Leader   

Christchurch International Airport is playing a leading role to help airports reduce emissions. In 2020 it became the first airport in the world to be awarded the highest standard of Airport Carbon Accreditation. Since then it has run decarbonisation workshops for airports around the globe, including USA, Europe, Asia, Pacific and Australia, as well as assisting local regional airports.

The company says decarbonising the aviation industry is critical to the future prosperity of primary produce exports, the tourism and health sectors and is intertwined in the supply chains of almost every business in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Airport plans to get its own operations to zero emissions by 2050. It is currently tracking 52% ahead of its science-based target for Scope 1 emission reductions (direct emissions from sources controlled by the company). Initiatives include switching to electric vehicles,  ground source heating to replace diesel generators, sustainable procurement guidelines, LED lighting, waste minimisation and internal carbon budgets to drive behavioural change.

Climate Action Innovator 

A project by Christchurch International Airport to switch to clean energy for industrial heating and cooling has dramatically reduced its energy consumption, emissions and operational costs.

The Airport has replaced its diesel-powered generators with ground source heat systems that harness artesian water flowing underneath the Canterbury plains to both heat and cool its buildings. This has been the single biggest carbon reduction project undertaken by the airport.

The technology was first created for its Integrated Terminal Building in 2014 and later introduced into the International Terminal where it has been fully operational for more than 18 months.

In just 12 months, the system eliminated about 1,000 tonnes of emissions. That means the airport has reduce its Scope 1 emissions (direct emissions from sources it controls) by 87% – a target it has hit 15 years ahead of schedule.

Various Christchurch projects are following the airport’s example and are now incorporating artesian-based heating and cooling systems.