Munich airport has announced a target of reaching net zero by 2035, 15 years earlier than previously planned.

The target involves reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions (ie: those the airport can directly influence) by a minimum of 90 per cent.

The remaining 10 per cent of emissions will be removed from the atmosphere through measures including turning a commercial forest into a ‘climate forest’, enabling “carbon dioxide to be removed from the atmosphere and subsequently captured for the long term when the timber is used in construction or furniture”.

The airport said measures were planned in four areas:

  • Energy supply – including the use of renewable natural gas (biomethane) for its in-house cogeneration plant, the expansion of photovoltaics, the purchase of electricity from renewable sources, and the establishment of an additional power grid to ensure the airport has access to the green electricity it needs in the future
  • Airport-technical facilities – including the replacement of runway lighting with LED technology, and the installation of more efficient motors in baggage transportation systems and passenger boarding bridges
  • Construction – a focus on sustainable, climate-friendly properties with low energy consumption for new construction projects, and the optimisation of existing buildings’ energy performance through innovative ventilation technology, efficient lighting, and the use of air conditioning and heating systems
  • Mobility – the airport already has over 500 electric vehicles in its fleet, and intends to convert the rest of the fleet. Where this is not possible (for instance in the case of the airport fire department) it will make use of alternative fuels

Munich airport said it was also committed to minimizing climate-damaging CO2 emissions for which it is not directly responsible (ie: Scope 3 emission), for example with the use of preconditioned air systems at the aircraft parking positions, making it possible for airlines to dispense with the use of their aircrafts’ own auxiliary power units for power supply and air conditioning.

The airport also recently signed a Letter of Intent with organisations including Airbus and Lufthansa for “a broad-based research collaboration on Power-to-Liquid (PtL) aviation fuels”.

Lufthansa partners with Airbus and Munich airport for Power-To-Liquid fuel research

Commenting on the news Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich airport, said:

“Achieving the corporate goal of Net Zero by 2035 is challenging and requires a great effort in many different areas. However, we are taking on this task because, as a green mobility hub, we want to do our part for decarbonized aviation.”