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Climate-friendly aviation

Reducing CO2 emissions and generating sustainable energy

CO2 emissions

We make an effort to reduce our CO2 emissions because we wish to contribute to the fight against climate change. CO2 results from the use of electricity, gas, other fuels and business travel related transport. Our gross CO2 emissions amounted to 112,830 tonnes in 2012 (compared to 116,015 tonnes in 2011). As of 2012, we apply emission factors that are based on the those of the Foundation for Climate Friendly Procurement and Business (Stichting Klimaatvriendelijk Aanbesteden en Ondernemen, SKAO). The CO2 emissions for 2011 have been recalculated and are now also based on these emission factors.

We participate in the Airport Carbon Accreditation benchmark of our trade association Airports Council International. In March 2012, the CO2 reduction measures taken by Schiphol were awarded Airport Carbon Accreditation level 3, which is the second highest level. This means that Schiphol has reduced CO2 emissions at the airport and has succeeded in persuading other relevant parties, such as aviation and handling companies, to reduce their own CO2 emissions.

Objective achieved

Schiphol had set itself the objective that its own activities at the Schiphol location would be CO2 neutral in 2012. In 2012, we have reduced our CO2 emissions (112,830 tonnes compared with 116,015 tonnes in 2011), but in order to be CO2-neutral, we need to compensate emissions. In 2012, we opted for a combination of reducing emissions from electricity by means of guarantees of origin and CO2 compensation for the remaining emissions. Guarantees of origin to the amount of 189 GWh have been purchased for the compensation of electricity. The energy related to these green certificates is generated using Norwegian hydropower. The remaining emissions have been compensated by means of 35,337 tonnes of CER emission rights (Certified Emission Reduction). These rights are obtained through projects that are part of the Clean Develoment Mechanism (CDM). For 2012, a CDM project in China was selected: the CER emission rights are created there by means of the generation of wind energy. The purchase of all the emission rights took place before 1 February 2013. As a result, the net CO2 emissions for the whole of 2012 were reduced to 0 tonnes. Consequently, we have realised our objective to be CO2-neutral with respect to our own activities at the Schiphol location.

CO2 emissions for own operating activities
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (tonnes / operating year)











Flying on biofuel

On 19 June, a KLM aircraft departed from Schiphol to Rio de Janeiro. Part of the fuel used by this aircraft consisted of processed frying fat. It was the longest flight ever on biofuel. KLM and Schiphol are collaborating with companies such as Ahold, DSM, Philips, Heineken, Sky NRG and Accenture on reaching a break-through with regard to the use of biofuel in aviation. By initiating the demand for biofuel and stimulating innovation, these parties jointly aim to boost the market for biofuel.

Scope: Schiphol CO2 neutral

Schiphol had set itself the objective that its own activities at the Schiphol location would be CO2 neutral in 2012 

Our main sources of CO2 emissions within our own business operations are energy (heating, cooling, lighting) and mobility (vehicle fleet, employees travelling to and from work and business trips). We actively contribute to the reduction of the greenhouse effect by reducing our energy and fuel consumption, by more efficient use and by using renewable energy and fuels. The remaining CO2 emissions are compensated.

The CO2 emissions at Schiphol resulting from the activities of stakeholders (for example aircraft and taxis) are not compensated by Schiphol. Consequently, not the entire airport location is CO2 neutral. However, we do aim to guide and influence stakeholders that operate at the airport, thereby working towards meeting the objective of a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions at the location by 2020 compared with the level in 1990.

Own energy generation

In 2020, we aim to generate 20% of the energy that we require in a sustainable manner. We already use various sustainable generation methods that are most suitable for our airport, such as small-scale application of heat and cold storage in the ground and in the concrete of buildings.

In 2012, we started an extensive test with solar energy in collaboration with knowledge centre theGROUNDS. A test field with 3,000 m2 of solar panels has been installed at Schiphol Northwest that will be used to investigate whether large-scale and structural generation and use of solar energy at Schiphol is possible and cost effective. We will be investigating potential effects of solar panels on radar systems of Air Traffic Control the Netherlands as flight safety must be guaranteed at all times. In 2012, our own energy generation capacity increased from 1.5% to 1.75%.

Two central heat and cold storage facilities have been realised at Rotterdam The Hague Airport that can supply the required heating and cooling for several buildings in the area in a sustainable manner. Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of the terminal and the fire brigade garage at Lelystad Airport.