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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol strives for responsible energy and water management and aims to improve air quality. The objectives have been recorded in the environmental policy plan. This plan encompasses air, energy, water, waste, soil, noise, hazardous substances and nature and landscape. Duties, responsibilities, authorities and work agreements relating to the control of environmental risks are set out in the environmental management system.


In 2012, energy consumption was lower both in relative and absolute terms, despite the increase in the number of passengers and air transport movements and the higher occupancy of our real estate. This was due to the implementation of a range of energy saving measures as well as the mild weather during the summer and therefore less cooling.

The objective is to realise an annual increase in energy efficiency by 2% until the year 2020. The result for 2012 was a 4.5% decrease in energy consumption. This was achieved by means of 158 new efficiency measures with a total savings of 100 terajoules. This includes the sustainably generated energy. The reduction corresponds to the annual gas and electricity consumption of 1,280 households.

At the end of 2012, we made a start with the replacement of the illuminated yellow signs in the terminal. The efficiency of the lighting of the billboards has been improved due to the use of LED-lighting and the installation of better time switches. We call this smart switching. Furthermore, LED-lighting was installed at employee parking lot P40.

The efficiency of our climate systems is improving as a result of the installation and improvement of electric motors and frequency control switches, and better tuning of our installations. We use presence detection sensors that enable us to only ventilate gates when passengers are present. The doors of cargo warehouses and fire stations are increasingly closed automatically. We have also paid attention to improving efficiency with regard to the use of baggage belts, security systems, telecommunication and information technology.

In 2012, we prepared our new energy-saving plan for the next four years (2013-2016) in collaboration with the government: we have committed ourselves to realise an 8% efficiency increase during this period.

Electricity consumption
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (x1,000 kWh / operating year)











Natural gas consumption
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (x1,000 m3 / operating year)











Air quality

The government sets standards for aircraft emissions. In 2012, emissions complied with these standards. In addition to these standards, legal limits apply with regard to local air quality concerning the concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10). All locations on and around the airport amply meet the legal limits that will apply as of 2015.

The Airport Traffic Ruling stipulates that increasingly less use will be made of the Auxiliary Power Units (APU) and Ground Power Units (GPU). The emissions of both types of units contain NOx and soot. To ensure continued future compliance with the legal limits, we will install fixed electrical ground power supplies (FEGPs) and preconditioned air connections (PCA) at 61 aircraft stands during the period 2010-2013. These facilities eliminate the need for kerosene and diesel at these stands.

In 2012, the abovementioned power supplies were installed at fifteen aircraft stands. Another sixteen will follow in 2013. An additional advantage of handling aircraft without the use of APUs and GPUs is the significant reduction of noise at the aircraft stand.

Surface water quality

The quality of the surface water is affected by the de-icing of aircraft and clearing of ice and snow from runways, taxiways and platforms. In general, the winter months of 2012 were mild, with short periods with snowfall and ice in January, February and December.

The ice prevention and control agents potassium formate and glycol are biodegradable but do, however, extract oxygen from the surface water. During the cold period in February, the water quality recovery plan was activated to restore the oxygen levels in the water. The plan was effective and could be discontinued after two weeks. The percentage of days in 2012 on which the average oxygen content exceeded 3 mg/l at the three enforcement points was 98.2%. At a few locations, the oxygen level was insufficient. This is partly due to the intensive use of potassium formate and glycol. In some cases the water could not be refreshed with oxygen due to frozen ditches.