A responsible approach to the environment has been at the heart of Tallinn Airport’s operations for many years, during the last three of which it has achieved a 25% reduction in its carbon emissions. Furthermore, the steps implemented by the airport last year and which it is continuing to implement this year will see it becoming a carbon-neutral hub of aviation by 2025 – five years sooner than originally planned.
Chairman of the management board Riivo Tuvike says this has been a strategic decision on the part of the airport. “Achieving it will help contribute to environmental conservation and establish us as an example of a sustainable company for others to follow,” he said. “We’d set ourselves the ambitious goal of becoming a carbon-neutral airport by 2030, but the steps we’ve taken in recent years, especially last year, will enable us to achieve that by 2025. Last year our carbon footprint was 25% smaller than it was in 2019, and it’s forecast to be reduced by a further 50% this year. The big drop in 2022 was thanks mostly to us constructing solar farms and making the switch to district heating, but to fully achieve our goal there are still quite a few big steps we need to take.”
Tuvike added that reducing emissions from fossil fuels is important because of the size of the airport and the amount of movement that takes place within it. “We started testing renewables-derived Neste MY fuel on site in April, and we stopped buying fossil fuel-based diesel at the start of June,” he explained. “By next year at the latest, all of the vehicles operating in the airport will be powered by the Neste MY fuel or by electricity. We’re also working from the principle that any new vehicles we buy should produce zero emissions, with all of the technology we use at the airport being emissions-free by 2030.”
The other main cause of carbon emissions at the airport, says Tuvike, is electricity consumption. “From the start of next year we’ll only be buying in and using renewable energy, and not just here in Tallinn but at all of our regional airports as well,” he explained. “And that covers everything we and our partners do, not just us alone. Plus, in order to increase our independence we’ll be continuing to construct solar farms at our airports around the country.” Tuvike says there are currently 15 solar farms at airports in Estonia, generating a total of 6470 kW of green energy. “In the first five months of this year we ourselves generated, on average, 21% of the electricity we use,” he said, “while in May alone our solar farms produced 54% of the energy we needed.”
Tallinn Airport’s goal is to ensure the sustainable and responsible operation of the airports belonging to the group and the provision of high-quality services, while preserving the natural environment and reducing emissions. The airport aims to be carbon-neutral by 2025.