When Gatwick Airport once again renewed its contract with Haven Power, in 2017, it was in recognition of the supplier’s ability to manage their complex billing and support day-to-day operations.
In addition, the energy company’s renewable electricity continues to play a role in helping the UK’s second largest airport achieve 100% carbon neutrality.
Gatwick Airport is among the world’s first airports to achieve 100% carbon neutrality – and the first London airport to attain this status.
Airports Council International (ACI) Europe provided Gatwick with carbon neutral certification in 2017. This was possible because of the airport’s use of 100% renewable electricity to run the airport and the Gold Standard carbon credits that offset its ground fuel emissions.
This significant outcome springs from Gatwick’s Decade of Change programme of ambitious environmental and community-focused targets. A key factor underpinning the achievement is the airport’s decision, in 2013, to start purchasing renewable electricity supplied by Haven Power.
Choosing renewable electricity Gatwick is confident of achieving its goals in relation to reducing carbon emissions. Rachel Thompson, Sustainability Manager, Gatwick Airport says, “Some of our early actions, including the purchase of renewable electricity from Haven Power since 2013, have been important to staying on track with our goals for 2020.”
“We were early,” continues the Sustainability Manager. “We believe that Gatwick was among the first airports in the world to go for 100% certified renewable electricity. And that’s credit to our Engineering (Utilities) and Procurement departments for having the vision to choose this option, and to Haven Power for being able to provide it.”
Martin Bilton, Engineering Manager (Utilities) at Gatwick Airport explains the decision to continue and renew a partnership with Haven Power: “We followed quite a detailed tendering process and found that Haven Power had a strong commercial offer and was able to supply what we were looking for: renewable electricity. Haven Power also helps us with day-to-day billing and budgeting. Since then, we’ve renewed twice because they manage the basics – including the complexities of our billing – very well, and support our day-to-day operations.”
The ACI Europe certification means that Gatwick completed Airport Carbon Accreditation at Level 3+ in 2016 for all ground operation emissions that the airport controls – including fuels, electricity and business travel. This came after the airport had achieved Level 3 for the preceding three years.
The Kar-Demir Bozyaka wind farm project near Izmir, Turkey, provides Gatwick’s Gold Standard carbon credits and Haven Power delivers REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) figures each year. Both the carbon credits and REGOs allow Gatwick to confirm the traceability of its electricity.
The airport’s latest electricity supply deal involves a power purchase agreement through Haven Power, for 50% biomass and 50% wind generated electricity. Rachel Thompson, Sustainability Manager, Gatwick Airport explains the decision to purchase certified renewable electricity as “one way we can contribute to the diversification of the UK energy system. It’s decarbonisation as well as diversification, which is important for resilience in the system.”
Gatwick Airport’s membership of RE100 – a global, collaborative initiative of businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity – is another indication of its commitment. The first UK airport to join this corporate leadership programme, Gatwick is playing a significant part in accelerating the UK’s move towards a low carbon economy.
“Electricity accounts for 75% of the airport’s ground operations carbon footprint,” Rachel Thompson continues. “Our Decade of Change target for renewable energy is 25% by 2020, so with our electricity supply coming from a renewable source, we are achieving this target.
Paul Sheffield, Chief Operating Officer at Haven Power, adds: “Businesses are more aware than ever about environmental impacts and sustainability targets, and how these can influence reputation and financial performance. As a result, an increasing number of organisations, across all sectors, are looking deeper into the benefits that renewable electricity can offer. We hope to see more businesses following the lead of Gatwick Airport.”
Paul Sheffield concludes: “We hope to continue supplying renewable electricity to Gatwick Airport and helping it achieve its ambitious carbon and sustainability targets. Our partnership is a shining example for businesses, especially those with large ground operations; it shows sustainability isn’t out of reach.”
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