Estonia’s Tallinn Airport is on course to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 – five years earlier than originally planned.

A responsible approach to the environment has been at the heart of Tallinn Airport’s operations for many years, and in the last three years alone, the Estonian hub has cut its carbon emissions by 25%.

According to Riivo Tuvike, chairman of the management board, this has been a strategic decision on the part of the airport.

“Achieving it [carbon neutrality] will help us 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 mostly achieved by 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.”

By next year at the latest, most of the vehicles operating in the airport will be powered by Neste MY fuel made from renewable resources or by electricity

Riivo Tuvike, Tallinn Airport 

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 in April, and we stopped buying fossil fuel-based diesel at the start of June,” he explained. “By next year at the latest, most of the vehicles operating in the airport will be powered by Neste MY fuel made from renewable resources 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.”

Tallinn Airport AV

Self-driving electric vehicles made their debut at Tallinn this year

Neste MY Renewable Diesel, made from 100% sustainably sourced renewable raw materials, reduces the GHG emissions by 90% on average over the fuel’s lifecycle when compared to fossil diesel. It’s a very concrete solution that helps companies to reach their climate targets. We are glad to collaborate with Tallinn Airport and be part of its transformation journey,“ said Jone Sestakauskaite, Neste sustainable partnerships manager Baltics.

It is also important to the airport to make the transition to 100% green energy. “From the start of next year we’ll only be buying in and using renewable energy, and in order to increase our independence we’ll be continuing to construct solar farms at our airports around the country,” Tuvike said. There are currently 15 solar farms at airports in Estonia, generating a total of 6,470kW of power.

Image of electric vehicle: Tallinn Airport. Image of Riivo Tuvike: Jarek Jõepera