Melbourne Airport has announced its goal to reach net zero emissions by 2025, revealing plans for a new organic waste recycling stream.
The plans aim to reach net zero for Scope 1 emissions (direct emissions from owned sources) and Scope 2 emissions (indirect emissions from purchased energy).
Key to the emissions reduction target is a recently commissioned 12MW solar farm under the approach to the north-south runway that can produce enough electricity to power all four terminals.
Melbourne Airport Chief of Infrastructure, Simon Gandy, said that the net zero target is among the most ambitious carbon emissions reduction plans of any capital city airport in Australia.
“While our primary job is to move passengers and freight safely and efficiently around Australia and the world, we are committed to doing so in a way that is environmentally responsible,” Mr Gandy said.
“We know that achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025 is ambitious, but we also recognise that we need to take big steps to tackle the challenges we face as a global society.
“We will achieve our target by reducing our energy footprint through operational and technology efficiencies and sourcing our future energy demands through renewable energy generation.
“This means that by 2030, we expect to have more than 50 per cent of our energy needs met by expanding our on-site solar generation facilities, with the remainder of our energy requirements procured through dedicated power purchasing agreements directly linked to high quality solar and wind farm developments in Victoria.”
Mr Gandy said the airport has plans to further reduce its environmental impact beyond Scope 1 and 2 emissions in the future.
“In addition to Scope 1 and 2, we are developing a strategy for Scope 3 emissions, working closely with our airline and ground transport partners, airport tenants and broader supply chain to reduce emissions across the aviation industry,” Mr Gandy said.
“The introduction of an organic waste stream is expected to further reduce our environmental footprint and contribute to the airport’s goal of diverting 60 per cent of terminal waste from landfill by the end of 2024.
“It follows a ban on single-use plastics in the airport’s terminals that came into force at the end of 2021.
“Outside of our terminals, we continue to practice circular economy principles, by reusing soil, water, concrete and asphalt as part of infrastructure construction projects.”
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “I congratulate Melbourne Airport for taking action to improve the environmental sustainability of its operations and helping us meet our renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions and waste reduction targets.”