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Aviation – Climate change & sustainability strategies for a changing world

Climate change & sustainability strategies for a changing world


‘Sustainable Aviation’ is essential to the future success of airport development. Aviation must meet increasingly stringent regulatory and stakeholder expectations on climate change and environmental issues, whilst reducing operating costs. At WSP, we’re helping airports across the world understand the implications and opportunities from the sustainability agenda. We’re helping them move to a position of improved performance. As a major global provider of specialist sustainability and carbon and climate change services, it’s an area we have a wealth of experience in.


Mineta International Airport, San Jose, California

Advanced mechanical and electrical engineering techniques have solved issues relating to energy efficiency during the design phase of the North Concourse at San Jose Airport, which included expansion of the central chilled and heating water plant, electrical substations and building management systems. The new 37,100 sq m concourse is designed to attain a LEED Silver rating.



Airport Carbon Accreditation

Launched by ACI Europe in June 2009, WSP has co-authored this ground-breaking new voluntary performance standard for ACI Europe’s 440 airport members. It enables airports to implement carbon

management processes and gain public recognition for their efforts through the attainment of accreditation at different levels. WSP also acts as the administrator of this programme.


Environmental, carbon & energy management training

We are delivering a 3-year worldwide programme of environmental management training on behalf of the ACI Global Training Hub. Courses include carbon and energy management modules developed exclusively for ACI members. We also deliver environmental management and compliance training to BAA and their contractors to help achieve environmental targets and ISO 14001 certification.


Fraport, Frankfurt Airport

During the planning phase to expand Frankfurt Airport, WSP delivered the methodology and scope for the development of a strategic sustainability masterplan. We benchmarked global best practice for Fraport, advised on legislative impacts, and reviewed air quality and airport emissions and associated impacts from an expansion to cater for an additional 30 million passengers per annum.


Our service offering

In relation to climate change and sustainability, our delivery to the aviation industry can be categorised as follows:


Improving efficiencies for airports

We identify operational efficiencies and we address stakeholder concerns by:

·          Benchmarking performance – understanding your targets and the organisations you want to be measured against.

·          Environmental, carbon and energy auditing – assessing your impacts, processes, internal behaviours and exposure to various reporting standards and legislation.

·          Energy efficiency strategies – identifying opportunities for savings and looking at energy reduction solutions from both equipment and behavioural culture.

·          Establishing Environmental Management Systems – providing you with an appropriate framework to manage, audit and track your performance and objectives.

·          Delivery of training to airport and contractor staff – builds capacity and enables you to manage and develop environmental systems and influence behaviour towards good operational practice.

·          Advice on emissions trading – assessing risks and opportunities from aviation-specific and other emissions trading schemes.


WSP’s Energy Bureau

This will remotely monitor your energy consumption. It will identify unusual patterns of use that result in higher utility charging and operational inefficiencies, and leads to direct cost savings. Experience to date confirms a ten-fold return on costs.


Helping airports minimise their impact

Our end-to-end carbon footprint methodology provides a highly effective and visual approach to identifying and quantifying the areas of greatest impact. We focus on:

·          Direct impacts – issues that you have direct influence over, for example: the energy efficiency of your buildings; the types of vehicle on site and their use; the travel of your staff etc.

·          Indirect impacts – areas that you need to guide or influence that are outside your direct control, for example: the impacts of the airlines and the contractors on site; the travel of customers to and from the airport; the requirements from other businesses operating on site etc.


With this information we can profile emission reduction opportunities, focusing on the areas of greatest impact. We can also illustrate associated capital and operational costs enabling you to develop a strategic action plan that really makes a difference.


Making airports more sustainable

We help shape strategic sustainable growth plans for airports. We set development objectives and ensure these are delivered through the supply chain, including designers. We also provide utility and infrastructure design, focusing on low-carbon and on-site renewable energy systems. We ensure project plans reflect the long-term implications of climate change, and we achieve this through:

·          Integrated strategies for improved resource utilisation. These determine how the different needs and impacts of water, waste, transport, ICT and energy can be most effectively combined.

·          Investigation, proposal and sourcing of reliable, clean and cost-effective energy supplies.

·          Using microclimate and passive design in building designs and solutions. These optimise natural assets such as sunlight, shading, wind flow and rain, to help reduce carbon intensive energy systems and costs.

·          Strategies to meet planning and building regulations, and corporate sustainability objectives.

·          Effective communication plans to build confidence and credibility in the sustainability principles of growth plans with relevant stakeholders.


Working collaboratively with architects, developers and investors we can develop upfront methodologies to deliver zero or low-carbon developments.


Sustainable Development Framework for Dubai

Transport and infrastructure issues represent a key element of Dubai’s Urban Development Framework which WSP developed for the city’s Executive Council. The Framework provides appropriate strategies and policies to enable sustainable growth for Dubai as a world-class financial, logistics and tourism centre.


Leading UK airport

We have advised on carbon neutral growth planning for a leading UK airport. Pioneering demand and supply management techniques have been used to identify carbon and energy savings in existing operations to balance expansion impacts.


Introducing WSP

·          We’re a global PLC business, with 10,000 people worldwide specialising in sustainability, environmental, engineering and infrastructure issues.

·          In the aviation industry we offer a full spectrum of policy, strategy, design and planning support to airports, airlines, investors, developers, public bodies and all supporting partners, such as legal, finance, architects etc.

·          For airports our work covers the entire life cycle of an operation – from low-carbon design and sustainable infrastructure strategy, through to maintenance and long-term asset management. We even have specialists in niche areas such as baggage systems and passenger flow modelling.

·          Internationally, we’ve worked in varied capacities for airports or airport groups that include Delhi, Cape Town, San Jose, Stockholm, Fraport, New York JFK and Bangkok.

·          In the UK we have worked for BAA since 1997 on projects across 7 airports. This has included developing and managing various sustainability and environmental management plans for aspects of the design and construction of Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

·          And we have co-authored with ACI-Europe the new ground-breaking Airport Carbon  Accreditation initiative for their airport members, and act as administrators for this programme.


What can we offer you?

Fundamentally, we understand climate change science and the economic implications of adapting to a low-carbon world. And critically we appreciate that in response to these issues you need workable and manageable solutions for your business that deliver effective outcomes. So, at WSP we help the aviation industry:

·          Measure and report on their impacts.

·          Develop out future operational growth plans that deliver on sustainability and environmental commitments to regulators.

·          Achieve measurable operational cost savings through carbon, energy, waste and water resource planning.

·          By producing regulatory tracking and climate change adaptation scenarios that inform strategic and investment planning.


In short, we’ll offer you outstanding advice on managing the impacts of climate change, developing integrated sustainability and resource management strategies and responding effectively to environmental obligations.


Getting to know us

Hopefully you’ll find us engaging, challenging and responsive.


We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with clients. We’ll make sure we really understand your drivers, and we’ll devise solutions that are pragmatic, commercial, and reflect what is right for your organisation and appropriate for implementation.


We are not afraid to innovate, push boundaries and challenge your thinking. We’ll make sure you have a way forward that gives you competitive edge in your market.


More than aviation

Across the world our people are shaping a sustainable future for the built and natural environment, for organisations from all sectors, and for governments and public bodies. Outside of the aviation sector, here are just 5 examples of the variety and quality of our work:

·          Delivered the infrastructure strategy for the zerocarbon, zero-waste city of Masdar in Abu Dhabi.

·          Designed a ground-breaking transfer of environmental liabilities associated with a former Kodak production facility.

·          Delivered carbon footprinting studies for Microsoft.

·          Designed the architectural acoustic design for The Shard in London.

·          Developed the environmental regulations and standards for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Aviation Brochure

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Bangkok Airport
Let's Talk

Let's Talk

We have many specialists across the world we can put you in touch with. Let’s start with our primary contact:

Leonie Dobbie, CEnv MIEMA

Head of Sustainable Aviation & Airports.

T. +41 (0)79 784 8619