ACSA aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. Elelwani Tshikovhi, ACSA Group manager for transformation explains the environmental management projects under way, ranging from energy conservation and waste management to air quality and noise management.

The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) aims to become carbon neutral by 2050, with environmental management projects under way ranging from energy conservation and waste management to air quality and noise management.

Last year, OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka International Airport and Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport received certificates of accreditation for reducing their carbon emissions.

In terms of carbon neutrality, ACSA has deployed an Environmental Management System (EMS), in line with ISO 14001, at each airport within its network and participates in the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation.

Elelwani Tshikovhi, ACSA Group manager for transformation, says, “There are six levels of accreditation with the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and currently four of our airports are at level two. Level two means that we are showing a reduction in our carbon footprint year on year.”

“We have been running the EMS for about seven years across the group and every year the system is audited by external certification bodies to ensure that it is up to international standards,” she adds.

With five airports (George, Kimberley, Upington, Port Elizabeth and East London) having fully operational solar farms, ACSA is also exploring long-term green energy, and even green fuel options.

“In terms of waste management, we do have waste management programmes in place at our airports. While smaller airports rely on municipal services, some of our larger airports produce sufficient volumes of waste to warrant proper recycling programmes, with dedicated waste sorting facilities,” Elelwani says.

ACSA currently implements several noise abatement procedures, which are effectively ways of managing how aircraft operating into and out of airports can reduce noise.

“In the next five years, we are probably going to focus a bit more on biodiversity. This is probably the next big thing in the pipeline for our environmental sustainability initiatives as we seek to control invasive alien plants and to drive the conservation of endangered species that occur on the airport properties,” says Elelwani.

“These interventions will ensure that ACSA continues on the path to the realisation of its sustainability framework while minimising its environmental impacts and striving for carbon-neutral operations,” she concludes.



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