Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, 1st level 4+ carbon neutral airport group

8 November 2021

By obtaining 4+ certification, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has taken another step towards its goal of carbon neutrality.

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport group has been committed to continuous improvement of its environmental policy for over 20 years and has now taken another essential step towards its objective of becoming fully carbon neutral by 2030 without compensation. Obtaining the new Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 4+ certification attests to the reduction, in absolute terms, of its emissions, while the Gulf of Saint-Tropez airport is already the first in France to be able to claim neutrality without compensation.

This is a firm commitment by Nice Côte d’Azur Airport: to achieve carbon neutrality without offsetting by 2030, 20 years earlier than the commitments made at the global level at COP21. In 2018, the Group was the first in France to obtain Airport Carbone Accreditation level 3+, certifying its carbon neutrality by offsetting its residual emissions. In 2020, it will undertake reforestation operations, directly on its own property for the Gulf of Saint-Tropez airport, or in neighbouring communes for the Cannes-Mandelieu and Nice Côte d’Azur airports. This step, unprecedented in France, creates natural carbon reservoirs and thus absorbs up to 300 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year as the trees grow.

A level never reached in France

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport Group is now the first in France to obtain the latest and most demanding Airport Carbon Accreditation level 4+ and the second in Europe.

Obtaining the Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 4+ is not a medal and even less a false attempt at greenwashing. It is the international recognition of a sincere commitment and an ambitious and unprecedented action plan. When we reduce our direct emissions, in absolute terms, we preserve our territory. This involves numerous actions, the implementation of innovations, and the daily search for solutions to reconcile air transport with air quality requirements. Tomorrow, low-emission aircraft will take off and land at totally neutral airports. This is the direction of history and we want to be the laboratory for this,” explains Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.

The final stage of the airport’s strategy to achieve full neutrality without offsetting was to reforest part of its land, with the planting of 1,100 trees of Mediterranean species. This natural carbon sink represents a potential absorption of 30 tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the next few years, i.e. twice the airport’s residual emissions. In addition, there is a policy of enhancing the 20 hectares of woodland already bordering the runways, to reinforce the vitality of the trees and their photosynthesis.

About Nice Côte d’Azur Airport

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the second largest airport in France after Paris. In 2020, it recorded passenger traffic of 4.58 million, compared to 14.5 million in 2019, the year before Covid-19, during which the hub offered 120 direct destinations operated by 57 scheduled airlines serving 44 countries. Apart from Paris, it is also the only French airport to offer six long-haul destinations on scheduled flights (Bahrain, Dubai, Doha, New York, Montreal and Beijing) and to welcome the A380 on a daily flight.

About the French Riviera Airports

Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur Group manages the Nice Côte d’Azur, the second largest airport platform in France, Cannes Mandelieu and Golfe de Saint-Tropez. It is Europe’s number 2 in business aviation. The regular helicopter link between Nice and Monaco is also the most important in the world in terms of traffic. The Group’s three airports are certified Carbon Neutral Level 3+ by the ACI. The Group is committed to achieving the goal of zero CO2 emissions without offsetting them by 2030. Since 2016, Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur has been a private group with the majority of its capital owned by the Azzurra consortium.

This article is an extract from the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport press release.


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