Airports around the world are more and more environmentally concerned, increasing their efforts in reducing aviation impacts by applying environmental management, certification systems, or other types of ecological rating systems to their infrastructures and operation. Especially relevant are the airports’ efforts to manage and reduce their CO2
emissions through Airport Carbon Accreditation, the efforts made by Eurocontrol to encourage collaborative environmental management, or the increasing numbers of airports worldwide that get their terminals certified according to several world-recognized Green Building Rating Standards (GBRS). However, although these standards are state-of-the-art sustainability valuation programs, none of them fully cover all the environmental impacts of aeronautical activity at an airport. This paper presents the results of an exploratory research where the use of a GBRS into a more holistic certification scheme for airports is discussed and areas of challenge are highlighted. The paper seeks to shed some light on the value of holistic approaches from the perspective of maximizing environmental management efficiency and effectiveness, the integration of actions of individual airport partners to potentially encourage greater coordination of efforts, the challenges of dealing with both construction and operational impacts within one scheme, and the accountability difficulties.
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