Climate protection is a top priority for Flughafen Zürich AG. It has set itself concrete goals to significantly reduce its own CO2 emissions.
Impact of aviation on the climate
Based on today's scientific knowledge, aviation influences the climate mainly through emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Other significant emission products which can cause changes in the atmosphere are nitrogen oxides, water vapour and particulate matter. Aviation accounts for 1.5% of all global man-made CO2 emissions (according to the IPCC-Report). When combined with other effects created by aircraft, such as cloud formation and soot particles, it contributes 3.5% towards global warming (with a 1-10% range of uncertainty).
Successful reduction at the airport
Flughafen Zürich AG as the airport operator is part of the aviation system and acknowledges the increasing importance of long-term climate protection, even though it is only responsible for approximately 10% of the CO2 emissions of the airport system. We are committed to ensuring that aviation evolves in an environmentally-friendly manner.
All CO2 emissions have been calculated in detail since 1991 according to the GHG protocol (Greenhouse Gas). Flughafen Zürich AG has been able to reduce the applicable emissions (scopes 1 and 2) through various measures by approximately 50% since 1991. In 2018, Flughafen Zürich AG's CO2 emissions amounted to approximately 26,800 tonnes in scopes 1 and 2. Further information can be found in the Annual Report.
We decided to voluntarily reduce our CO2 emissions to 20,000 tonnes by 2030 and to 10,000 tonnes by 2040. We further ultimately aim towards Zero-Emissions in 2050.
The climate protection programme has been accredited at level 3 of the independent Airport Carbon Accreditation of the Airport Council International EUROPE. This means that not only has our airport mapped and reduced the CO2 emissions under its direct control, but also that we have engaged other stakeholders on the airport site to reduce their CO2 emissions as well.
Flughafen Zürich AG's key objectives include using energy efficiently and keeping consumption as low as possible.
2030 energy strategy
Flughafen Zürich AG has taken a careful look at its energy future. With the energy strategy it approved in 2013, it is aiming for a secure, economical and environmentally sound energy supply by 2030. Key successes have already been achieved. The consumption of energy for heating purposes has been significantly reduced since 1994. More renovation and replacement projects are planned over the next few years, and these should serve to further reduce energy consumption. Stabilising electricity requirements remains a challenge.
Alternative energies are an important pillar in achieving the objectives of the 2030 energy strategy. Since 2003, a photovoltaic system located on the roof of Dock E has been producing electricity, and energy piles located underground have been producing energy for heating and cooling.
A second photovoltaic system on car park P6 was commissioned in 2014, and this is expected to produce an annual output of 720 MWh. In 2018, another system with modules on the roof of P1 and A11 was connected to the grid. This produces an annual output of 580 MWh. Further systems for alternative sources of energy are currently being planned.
You can find interesting information and facts on the photovoltaic system in the right-hand column.
Technical reports and tools
Flughafen Zurich AG has produced a large number of studies, reports and tools which are available here.
- Cargo Carbon Calculator (pdf, 0.46 MB)Cargo Carbon Calculator Zurich Airport
- Airport PV-Analyzer (xlsx, 0.12 MB)Analyzes the Potential for Phovoltaic Systems