Edinburgh sets out sustainability plan

Bernie Baldwin

Already carbon neutral for emissions under its direct control, EDI is targeting the ‘greater good’.

Edinburgh Airport has published its sustainability strategy, entitled Greater Good, and announced that it has achieved carbon neutral status for emissions under its direct control. To further demonstrate this commitment, plans were unveiled for an eleven-acre solar farm to be constructed on the airfield.

The solar farm will provide 26% of the airport’s energy needs. Construction will start later this year, with the farm expected to begin operation in summer 2022.

The solar farm is just one of the elements covered in Greater Good, which highlights a sustainable future that depends on not only reducing environmental impacts, such as carbon, but also how the airport manages and enhances its social and economic impacts.

The Greater Good strategy has four key pillars to support the airport’s sustainable future plans:

  • Zero Carbon – partnership working to improve its climate change approach
  • Enhancing Scotland – creating an airport to showcase the best of Scotland whilst delivering the best passenger experience possible
  • Scotland’s Best Business – as a hub and facilitator industry, EDI will work with its people, passengers and partners to create a strong business with integrity
  • Trusted Neighbour – EDI will work with neighbouring communities to share the benefits of sustainable growth and mitigate any of the negative impacts

According to EDI, the strategy incorporates a number of targets, such as “achieving carbon neutrality for direct emissions by 2024, establishing a campus-wide sustainability standard as well as a Cleaner Engine Standard. The Greater Good strategy also takes into account some of the work already being carried out at the airport, such as purchasing 100% renewable electricity since 2018, diverting all waste from landfills, paying all staff the Real Living Wage and our commitment to the Modern Slavery Act”.

In operational news, Virgin Atlantic has announced direct flights to Barbados and Orlando from Edinburgh Airport. The former, which will be Scotland’s only direct service to the Caribbean, begins on 5 December 2021, while the Orlando service is scheduled to start on 30 March 2022. Flights will become twice weekly on each service using Airbus A330s.

Virgin Atlantic will be joining its joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines, at EDI. The US carrier currently operates flights to both New York and Boston from the Scottish capital.

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