Climate change is challenging various aspects of our lives. For aviation, airports are amongst the most energy-intensive buildings that could generate a considerable volume of waste. In addition, issues like noise, carbon emissions, surface access impacts, air quality, and so on are what the airport has fought for a long time. Are you an enthusiast of green travelling? Then you will discover some of the earth-friendly airports in the world which represent their efforts to save our planet.
Green expansion Scandinavia has always been known for its emphasis on environmental protection. Oslo Airport exemplifies Scandinavian eco-friendly design and construction. In 2018, the airport was expanded using renewable and natural materials, including reusable steel, environmentally friendly concrete mixed with vocal ash, and timber sourced from Scandinavia forests.
White energy Who would ever think that snow could also be a natural energy source? Oslo Airport collects snow from runways in winter and stores it in a warehouse. During summertime, the reserved snow turns into coolant for the internal building in the airport. This practice earned the airport an 'Excellent' sustainability rating according to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method standard.
The first carbon neutrality airport Norway isn't the only country in Scandinavia that's greening its airports. Sweden is also taking strides towards a sustainable airport. It is the only airport that owns an environmental permit that limits its carbon dioxide emission into the world.
Unique biofuel system Arlanda Airport has its unique biofuels heating system that takes advantage of the water collected by an underground aquifer to enable eco-friendly energy serving in different seasons. The water is used for various purposes, such as running air conditioning in the summer period. While in wintertime, it is used for heating and clearing ice from the runway. Through this energy-efficient system, Arlanda Airport not only saves money and energy, but also is less detrimental to the environment.
Utilization of rainwater and wastewater Apart from reducing water consumption, Zurich Airport put a lot of effort into the utilization of rainwater and wastewater. For example, rainwater is collected for toilet flushing. For wastewater, Zurich Airport employs a special natural process, which deploys the micro-organisms to break down the de-icing residues contained in the wastewater to purify the wastewater from de-icing operations.
Waste management Since 1992 the airport has established the waste management concept, which is based on avoidance, reuse, recycling, and eco-conscious incineration. Zurich Airport handles waste disposal for many local companies. The airport collects recyclables separately and disposes of residual waste in an environmentally responsible manner. During this process, wood, metal, paper, cardboard, plastics, and PET items can all be recycled for future use. Another waste is burned, and the heat produced is used to generate electricity and supply a district heating network.
Long approach ecosystem Other than recycling and energy-saving actions, Changi Airport showcases its long approach to achieving sustainability. 'Because the destination is a shared future' is Changi Airport's spirit, which always motivates the airport to continue pushing the boundaries and setting the standards for the 'World's Best Airport' and air hub; sustainability remains an integral part of its business. The airport's ecosystem operations are built upon six sustainability thrusts, including fulfilling careers, safeguarding lives, invigorating travels, enriching communities, thriving economy, and flourishing the planet.
Nature vibes Changi Airport, like Singapore, the world-renowned 'city in a garden', offers large green spaces and lush gardens for travelers to relax and unwind after a long journey. Travelers can enjoy the Butterfly Garden, Cactus Garden, Sunflower Garden, and Green Wall bedecked with more than 20,000 plant species, which aims to reduce the airport's surrounding temperature and improve air quality. People are always in a hurry at the airport, but here you can always stop and feel the beauty of nature.
The most extensive solar energy program Denver International Airport owns one of the world's largest and most diversified solar energy programs. This program allows the solar energy to be directly connected to the airport's electric meters to generate electricity that accounts for 8% of Denver Airport's annual use.
Impact-free public areas Denver Airport also works hard on building impact-free public areas. Single-stream recycling bins are installed in all public areas of the airport. In addition, liquid dumping stations are available before security, as well as water bottle filling stations are available post-security to reduce the need for single-use water bottles. Passenger boarding areas are also equipped with plug-in energy sources. Also, pre-conditioned air equipment prevents aircraft engine idling and noise pollution to improve air quality.
After introducing so many airports, there is one aiming to be the world's most sustainable airport in the future. Schiphol has been making the airport more eco-friendly and responsible in the past few years.
Positive energy Who has not suffered from the strong wind in the Netherlands? What is intriguing about Schiphol is that it has applied 100% Dutch wind power as the new energy. All light vehicles will be replaced by electric vehicles in the coming years; regarding heavy vehicles, the airport is monitoring developments in powertrains and clean fuel.
Low-waste strategies Schiphol has developed zero-waste principles and is gaining experience applying them during the design and construction of new buildings and the renovation of existing assets. Moreover, the airport utilizes waste hierarchy to help in visualizing the best future application of a material to reduce its eco-impact and create more value. What's more, in the terminals, you will be surrounded by many sustainable brands, such as restaurants.