easyJet and Bristol Airport pioneer emissions reductions

Read how BITC members Bristol Airport and easyJet are collaborating on an initiative that has reduced airport CO2 emissions from ground operations by as much as 97%.

Business in the Community (BITC) members Bristol Airport and easyJet are collaborating on an initiative that has reduced airport CO2 emissions from ground operations by as much as 97%.

easyjet and Bristol Airport logos

Reporting on the successful aircraft turn trial, believed to be the first of its kind, easyJet explains how the use of electric-powered ground equipment and vehicles, instead of diesel, has helped to deliver near zero-emission aircraft turnarounds1.

Bristol Airport and easyJet agreed on a six-month trial period, from 1 September 2021, to test new technological innovations that can reduce waste and carbon emissions. Encouragingly, the results and findings collected at Bristol Airport will reach beyond South-West England, and could support future potential trials in easyJet’s network of over 150 airports across 45 countries.

Working together to launch sustainable climate action

The success of the project relies on the togetherness of the partners involved, says Rob O’Dare, Airfield Technical & Compliance Manager at Bristol Airport. “This project has been particularly satisfying as a result of the teamwork demonstrated by the multiple participants [who…] have invested in the trial significantly in terms of time and equipment at no cost, understanding that we are investing in the social responsibility the aviation industry carries.”

Supported by the shared expertise of project partners, the scope of the initiative includes other technical aspects, such as the use of sustainable aviation fuels, as well as employee carbon-saving initiatives and work to address carbon emissions in airline and airport supply chains.

“This is another demonstration of how working together, including partners and experts in their field, we are able to create a positive reduction in carbon emissions today”, says Dave Lees, Bristol Airport CEO. “As an airport we are taking our commitments to address climate change seriously and this trial is only one initiative we are delivering on towards achieving a net zero airport operation by 2030.”

Both businesses have demonstrated a commitment to collaboration on a wide range of responsible business issues as members of BITC.

Simon Earles, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Director at Bristol Airport, sits on BITC’s South West Leadership Board, acting as a critical ally and ambassador for the work of BITC and its members in the region. Simon joined the board in August 2020, bringing almost 20 years’ experience in the aviation sector, and a passion for the role business can play in driving positive climate action. easyJet complements its BITC membership by also being a signatory of the Race at Work Charter, a commitment taken with nearly 800 other businesses to advance racial equality in all aspects of work.

Supporting zero-emission outcomes for the future of flight

The emissions-reducing partnership between easyJet and Bristol Airport further demonstrates their leadership and readiness to drive positive climate action. Bristol Airport publishes a detailed Annual Monitoring Report, as well as publishing its environmental strategy and live air quality updates. The airport has also achieved ‘Neutrality’ tier Airport Carbon Accreditation. Both businesses are also members of Sustainable Aviation, a long-term strategic initiative bringing together the UK’s aviation industry to work collectively for a cleaner future.

“At easyJet, we want to play our part to lead the decarbonisation of aviation” says easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren, “so we are delighted to see the results of this successful trial which has create a meaningful reduction in operational emissions by embracing the technology available to us today.”

“The learnings from the Bristol trial will help us shape our sustainability strategy for future operational changes – all of which will help enable easyJet’s transition towards our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”

Heather Cooper, Chair of BITC’s South West Leadership Board, said “It is exciting to see the creative partnerships being built by BITC members in the South West of England. We are delighted that South West Leadership Board member Bristol Airport is working closely with easyJet to pioneer new carbon reducing innovations to help make aviation cleaner in and around Bristol. Building on our strong regional tradition of aviation and technological advancement, I hope that the example set by Bristol Airport and easyJet will lead to further positive climate action from other BITC members across the UK.”