Airport Sustainability – Airports Council International World (ACI), Montreal, Canada

ACI World is the global trade representative of the world’s airports, and commissioned Taylor Airey to identify airports that are leading the way in sustainability, engage with their leadership teams, and develop a set of case studies to showcase their achievements.

ACI World represents airports with governments and international organisations such as ICAO, developing standards, policies, and recommended practices with the aim of raising standards globally. As part of a study on the investment required to meet anticipated future growth in demand, ACI World wanted to showcase airports leading the way in sustainability, across each of six regions (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, Middle East, North America). By demonstrating how these airports had added capacity through a responsible and forward-thinking approach, it was possible to demonstrate how growth can be achieved in a sustainable way.

What we did

Taylor Airey worked alongside Oxford Economics, who performed the economic analysis around required investment levels,  to develop a set of relevant and engaging case studies featuring exceptional  performers in airport sustainability. A key requirement was that the overall case study set covered a wide range of sustainability initiatives across the three pillars of environmental, social and economic.

Assessment process:

Our first task was to identify a set of assessment criteria, in order to provide an objective comparison of sustainability performance between airports. These included the level of capacity growth delivered by the airport, its alignment with the ACI World Sustainability Strategy and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the level of Airport Carbon Accreditation that participating airports had achieved.

We then undertook a three-stage assessment process:

  • Stage 1 — Using a range of sources, including CAPA, Momberger, and proprietary research, a long-list of over 800 eligible airports was developed.
  • Stage 2 — We applied a subset of the assessment criteria to quickly identify candidates which would not meet the key criteria of delivering growth and sustainability, filtering the long-list down to 150.
  • Stage 3 — A detailed assessment of the 150 airports was performed against the full criteria set, generating individual scores for each airport. These were then broken down by region and the top two or three airports in each were selected for case studies — a total of 15 airports.

Research & Interview

For each selected airport, we conducted research into their sustainability approach, the projects delivered to increase capacity, and the benefits achieved. We then conducted interviews by videoconference with members of the leadership team at each airport, which provided the opportunity to gain information not in the public domain. Additional information was then requested after the interview, to build a full picture of the sustainability achievements of each airport.

Case Studies

A case study was produced for each of the featured airports. While all of the fifteen demonstrated sustainable practices across multiple fields, each case study focused on a particularly prominent or unique sustainability feature for that airport. This ensured that the full set of case studies covers the wide range of initiatives being carried out, and that the scope includes social and economic benefits in addition to the more commonly thought of environmental factors. Each case study included sections on:

  • High-level airport overview and history
  • Capital investment under review
  • Business need for the investment
  • Sustainability & resilience features
  • Costs & benefits

Outcome & Benefit

The case studies produced will form part of a key ACI World publication to be released in Summer 2021, that will be circulated widely amongst investors, governments, and other institutions worldwide. By demonstrating how airport growth can be achieved sustainably, the report will bring to life the case for responsible airport expansion.

It really has been a pleasure for ACI World to work with Taylor Airey on a challenging topic in a very challenging yearPatrick Lucas, Vice-President Economics, ACI World

Services we offered

Taylor Airey provided the following services to ACI World:

  • Data collection
  • Sustainability/materiality assessment
  • UN SDG mapping
  • Stakeholder engagement
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