The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme has published its first carbon performance results for May 2019 to May 2021, showing significant carbon savings globally.

The collective carbon management of airports in the programme yielded a reduction of 347,718 tons of CO2 – down 5.5% – within the emissions under their direct control. This is the equivalent to the full lifecycle emissions of 4,967,400 iPhones, according to the programme.

The results showed that North America reduced its carbon output by 8.3%; Europe by 7.9%; Latin America and the Caribbean by 7.7%; Asia Pacific by 2.6% and Africa by 2.3%.

Olivier Jankovec, director general at ACI Europe, which owns and runs the programme, said: “There is no more ruthless test for an industry’s pledges to address its environmental footprint than being exposed to a crisis. When we look at the COVID-19 crisis, the magnitude of challenges it presents for the aviation industry and airports in particular is historical.

“Airports have always been and are today a powerhouse of decarbonisation and today’s announcement is another case in point for this claim. We are addressing our slice of the problem right now and making sure that we will be reliable partners for the entire ecosystem in its drive to transform in the future. It is a defining moment for our industry and seeing the ambition and the perseverance that is shining through airports’ efforts in driving CO2 emissions down is a source of hope in this difficult time.”