Munich Airport is intensifying its existing climate targets and now intends to achieve Net Zero by 2035 instead of 2050 as previously.
Achieving Net Zero means reducing the emissions that the airport itself can influence – known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions – by a minimum of 90%. The remaining around 10% of emissions must be actively and permanently removed from the atmosphere.
“With the goal of Net Zero by 2035, the five-star airport is once again demonstrating its ambitions in terms of its climate strategy. Climate protection and sustainability are taken very seriously at Munich Airport and implemented in the best possible way,” emphasizes the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Minister of State Albert Füracker.
“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,” says Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport.
To achieve Net Zero, measures are planned in four major areas: energy supply, airport-specific facilities and technical infrastructure, buildings, and the vehicle fleet. In all, the CO2 emissions of the base year 2016 that can be influenced by the airport will be reduced by over 90,000 tons.
With regard to its energy supply, Munich Airport is focusing, among other things, on measures including the use of renewable natural gas (biomethane) for its in-house cogeneration plant, the wide-scale expansion of photovoltaics, the purchase of electricity from renewable sources, and the establishment of an additional power grid to ensure it has access to the green electricity it needs in the future.
In the area of airport-technical facilities, all of the apron lighting has already been switched to LED technology and the next step involves replacing the runway lighting. Additional measures include installing more efficient motors in baggage transportation systems and passenger boarding bridges.
When it comes to new construction, Munich Airport is focusing on sustainable, climate-friendly properties with low energy consumption. The energy performance of existing buildings is being optimized. This includes innovative ventilation technology, efficient lighting, and the optimized control of air conditioning and heating systems based on temperatures and weather forecasts.
Finally, in the area of mobility, Munich Airport intends to convert its vehicle fleet to electric drives. Where this is not possible, e.g. in the case of the airport fire department, it will make use of alternative fuels. The airport currently has over 500 electric vehicles in its vehicle fleet.
In order to permanently remove the remaining around ten percent of CO2 emissions, Munich Airport began turning a commercial forest into a resilient “climate forest” in 2021. This enables additional carbon dioxide to be removed from the atmosphere and subsequently captured for the long term when the timber is used in construction or furniture, for example. Other carbon removal projects are currently being examined.
As Munich Airport wants to make a general contribution to environmentally friendly aviation, it is pursuing a dual climate strategy and is also committed to minimizing climate-damaging CO2 emissions for which it is not directly responsible. This includes, for example, a measure that supports airlines in avoiding the emission of CO2 and air pollutants during the downtime of their aircraft: the airport already has preconditioned air systems (PCA) at the aircraft parking positions, which make it possible to dispense with the use of the aircraft’s own auxiliary power units for power supply and air conditioning. A range of additional measures and projects are being implemented to support the companies based at Munich Airport – especially airlines – to lower their own carbon emissions. The reduction in these Scope 3 emissions will also be supported through joint research and development projects.