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Gatwick becomes first airport to secure ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ accreditation

Initiatives include installing 100% energy efficient LED lights on the runway, saving a million litres of water in car washes and introducing incentives for quieter aircraft.



Paul Leonard, Airfield Engineering Manager, who led the completion of upgrade ensuring that 100% of Gatwick’s runway lights are now energy efficient LED fittings.

Gatwick has just become the first airport to achieve a Zero Waste to Landfill accreditation from the Carbon Trust – the airport announced yesterday (18 June) – as it published its annual Decade of Change report, which monitors its progress against ten sustainability targets.

The new Carbon Trust standard was established to provide a robust framework for verifying zero waste to landfill claims and recognises Gatwick for actively diverting its non-hazardous waste streams from landfill. Gatwick does this through a combination of:

  • Reducing waste and finding ways to reuse materials
  • Increasing recycling including sending all empty coffee cups and plastic bottles for specialist recycling
  • Turning waste into energy by building the world’s first on-airport plant able to convert aircraft cabin waste on site into energy

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Gatwick has also been recertified as a Carbon Neutral airport through measures including using 100% renewable electricity and Gold Standard carbon credits.

The airport also retained the accreditations it secured in 2016 for achieving ongoing reductions in carbon emissions, water use and improving waste management.

The airport’s progress report against ten ambitious environmental and community-focused targets set over the ten years (2010 to 2020) was also published yesterday.

Results in the Decade of Change report for 2017 – compared to the previous year – include:

  • 10% reduction in GAL’s annual carbon emissions from fuel and energy
  • 5% drop in annual energy consumption per passenger
  • Continued operation well below annual mean air quality limits for both NO2 and PM10
  • 56% of Gatwick employees from local area and £132.8 million spent with local suppliers
  • 40 community events sponsored and 173 local causes funded

Innovations helping Gatwick to grow sustainably, include installing 100% LED lights on the runway to improve energy efficiency, saving one million litres of water last year in the airport’s valet parking car wash, and introducing financial incentives for airlines that use quieter aircraft.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, Gatwick Airport, said:

 “As an airport we recognise the importance of a sustainable operation which is why exceeding our ambitious environmental and community-focused targets has been a priority for us ever since new ownership in 2009.

 I would like to thank every member of staff and our wider Gatwick Family who have all helped us to achieve both our targets and also secure four Carbon Trust standards and carbon neutral status.

 “We will continue to strive to improve our sustainability performance even further and will be announcing some more exciting initiatives in coming months.”

Hugh Jones, Managing Director, Carbon Trust Business Services, said:

 “Over the past two years Gatwick has made impressive progress on environmental performance to retain triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for continuing to reduce carbon emissions, water use and waste output.

 “We are also delighted to be able to recognise its achievement of zero waste to landfill status for the first time. Gatwick is setting an excellent example, showing how a business can improve its operational efficiency and its environmental results at the same time, as well as encouraging higher levels of action elsewhere by positively influencing other companies that operate at the airport site.”

 Olivier Jankovec, Director General, Airports Council International Europe said:

 “I warmly congratulate Gatwick on its ongoing sustainability drive. It was the first London airport to become Airport Carbon Accredited as carbon neutral and Stewart and his team have remained motivated to make further efficiencies, clearly embracing climate action as part of the company culture. Their 3 year renewal at the highest level of the Airport Carbon Accreditation, combined with their 360° strategy to lower their broader environmental impact is something that other airports and companies beyond air transport can learn from.”

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Gatwick launches UK’s first electric car sharing service

The 100% electric vehicles produce zero emissions which supports Gatwick’s carbon neutral status.



Ten 'Blue City' electric cars on Gatwick's airfield.

In a UK airport first, passengers, staff and local residents can now reserve and pick up a 100% electric car at Gatwick – and return it to any of 300 compatible pick up/ drop off points across London or back at Gatwick – the airport announced yesterday.

The service – similar to schemes popular in other parts of the world – is being rolled out in partnership with Bluecity, the only company to operate a pan-London electric vehicle car sharing service with 100 cars currently available in total.

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Discussions are also ongoing with local authorities and business groups about expanding the network further in London and in areas surrounding the airport.

Operating in a similar way to existing cycle schemes across the capital, ten cars and charging points are currently available on Gatwick’s South Terminal forecourt. This is Bluecity’s first airport hub and discussions are in progress to increase capacity.

The new point to point service gives people using the airport a convenient, zero emissions travel option for getting directly on and off the airport and is purposely designed to be easy to locate and use, with customers able to reserve a car in seconds via the Bluecity app.

Local residents are also encouraged to use the service and Gatwick staff have also been offered the opportunity to trial the service for free.

A standard journey in a Bluecity car from central London is also an affordable travel option to the airport. The four-seater’s drive from Central London to the very front of the airport will cost around £15 in moderate traffic.

The service is also flexible and works both ways, so that those travelling to Gatwick from the capital can pick up a car at any of the London-based charging points and drop it off at the airport.

Car sharing is also growing in popularity in the UK and this new partnership represents another first in Gatwick’s journey to be the UK’s most sustainable airport. Gatwick is accredited as a carbon neutral airport, uses 100% renewable electricity and 44% of passengers currently get to the airport by public transport.

The 24,000 staff on Gatwick’s airport campus and local residents are also being encouraged to use the new electric car sharing service.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Guy Stephenson said:

“Gatwick leads the way on airport innovation and this UK airport first not only offers a new, flexible option for getting on and off the airport, it also improves air quality.

“When it comes to electric car sharing schemes, few companies have experienced the success of Bluecity and its parent company. Given the popular demand for similar electric car sharing services in other parts of the world, this new service has the potential to take off in the UK and we are proud to be at the forefront of this transport revolution.”

Bluecity’s Managing Director Christophe Arnaud said:

“We are particularly proud of this milestone agreement with Gatwick Airport and look forward to our collaboration for years to come. We believe this new service is a fantastic solution for travellers. Our cars are powered exclusively with 100% renewable energy making the service the greenest and most affordable transport option to and from Central London.”

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