AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen International, Glasgow and Southampton airports, has committed to achieving net zero for its direct emissions by the mid-2030s. The commitment is contained in its new sustainability strategy which details the achievements of the three airports to date, and their aims for the future.
As with other businesses, and using the most widely-used international accounting tool, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, AGS calculates its GHG emissions by categorising them into three groups or ‘Scopes’
- Scope 1 – direct emissions from fuel combusted in company-owned or controlled facilities and vehicles.
- Scope 2 – indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity by the reporting company.
- Scope 3 – all other upstream and downstream emissions in a company’s value chain.
All three AGS airports achieved carbon neutrality status in 2020 by offsetting emissions from Scope 1 and Scope 2. The group has now set a roadmap for its transition to net zero which will involve the decarbonisation of AGS’ infrastructure, with net zero carbon for direct emissions by the mid-2030s and net zero carbon emissions (Scopes 1 to 3) by 2045.
The new sustainability strategy sets commitments against a wide range of material issues including decarbonisation, biodiversity, modern slavery, circular economy, community support and how AGS will support its people.
AGS is supporting Sustainable Aviation’s Decarbonisation Road-Map which includes the promotion of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), hydrogen and electric flight. It calls on the UK government to:
- commit to £500m of Government funding to support the commercialisation of SAF, including £429m in Government-backed loan guarantees for the initial first-of-its-kind SAF production facilities;
- £50m in grants and development support for new SAF technologies; and 21m to establish a UK clearinghouse to enable SAF testing and approval.
The aviation industry is pinning its hopes particularly on SAF. Independent work conducted by E4tech on behalf of Sustainable Aviation has found that by 2037 there could be up to 14 SAF production facilities in the UK which would create 6,500 direct jobs and contribute £929 million annually to the UK economy. With export and overseas opportunities included, this grows to 13,600 jobs and £1.9 billion.
The airport will also transition its fleet of vehicles to ultra-low emission vehicles and will continue the roll-out of electric charging infrastructure.
AGS Airports Limited is the second largest airport group in the UK. It is jointly held by Ferrovial (via Faero UK Limited) and AGS Airports International Sarl (a Luxembourg company that is majority owned by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 and managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Limited).