It is an important criterion during the construction of new buildings or the renovation of existing ones to develop certified, environmentally friendly facilities. Budapest Airport has joined the global Earth Hour event every year since 2011 with a unique and spectacular initiative of its own. At 8:30 p.m., it closes one of its runways and turns off airfield ground lighting for one hour, to raise awareness about the fight against climate change. The beneficial impact of these measures is already apparent, but the process is also expected to lead to further reductions in the airport’s carbon footprint, the most widely used indicator for the environmental burdens causing climate change. In addition to complying with its statutory obligations to monitor its emissions since the introduction of the European scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading in 2005, Budapest Airport also participates in a global, voluntary carbon accreditation program.
In 2010, Budapest Airport initiated a more complex and more detailed survey of its greenhouse gas emissions than what is required by law. As a result, at the end of 2010 the company acquired international carbon accreditation from the European arm of the umbrella organization for international airports, ACI Europe (Airports Council International Europe), which certifies that Budapest Airport performed a detailed survey of its greenhouse gas emissions, and committed to reduce them. The so-called airport carbon accreditation is an international certification system worked out specifically for airports, established in order to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation industry. Its objective is that airports should recognize their own responsibility and work together in the global fight against climate change.
In accordance with EU directive 2003/87/EC and applicable Hungarian legal provisions, an emission trading scheme was introduced in the European Community as of 2005, with Budapest Airport being a member since the beginning. Heat and hot water are supplied for facilities at the airport by a central heat generation system, which is powered primarily by natural gas, and secondly by fuel oil.
Due to the capacity of the facility, Budapest Airport possesses a greenhouse gas emission permit, for which the annual CO2 equivalent is prescribed by the National Allocation Plan for the relevant trading periods. Based on the I. National Allocation Plan (2005-2007), the company was given an emissions quota of 19 520 tons of CO2 per year, whilst in the second trading period of 2008-2012, we were allocated 19 799 tons of CO2 per year. It is a significant change in the current, third phase of the trading scheme, which commenced on 1 January 2013, that the quantity of greenhouse gas units provided by the state decreases every year, thereby increasing the efficiency of competition in the business sector.