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Sustainability

Tallinn Airport has set itself the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025.

We are committed to protecting and improving the environment, because a sustainable and responsible approach to the environment around us is a value that is supported by all employees and community members. Every day, we strive to ensure that our environmental performance is efficient and to reduce the environmental impact of our operations in line with the principles of sustainable development.

Tallinna Airport has set itself the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025, by using the Airport Carbon Accreditation program, which is audited annually. In order to achieve this goal, we review and update our environmental policy every year and have an environmental plan and roadmap in place that take into account all the specificities of our work and safety.

We have integrated sustainable management into our daily activities and linked our goals to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our management system corresponds to the requirements of international standards ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

What do we do to achieve our goals?

We reduce the CO₂ and pollution emitted into the air We all deserve to live in an unspoilt environment and breathe clean air, which is why our most important goal is to reduce CO₂ emissions, monitor air pollution and use environmentally friendly solutions.

  • Our infrastructure is large and diverse, and it takes a lot of energy to keep us warm – at the end of 2022, we switched from gas heating to district heating, which is produced from wood chips as a renewable resource, and the use of wood industry residues for heat production is also in line with the principles of the circular economy.

  • The airport uses a wide range of different types of machinery, which are needed to provide a high quality and fast service – when renewing the machine park, we use more and more electric or battery-powered equipment.

  • We believe it’s important to reduce the pollution we generate – we calculate our own and our partners’ emissions every year and look for areas of improvement.

  • We are guided by international standards in our daily activities and have joined the accreditation system Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA), within which we have reached level 3 and by 2025 we want to reach level 3+.

We ensure energy efficiency and the transition to renewable energy Excessive energy use is a thing of the past, green energy is a clearly the future! We ensure energy efficiency and the transition to renewable energy at airports across Estonia by building solar parks.

    • Generating electricity from renewable energy sources is important to us – by the end of 2023, we’ll generate around 40% of our electricity needs from solar parks.

    • We only consume green energy – starting in 2024, we will purchase and consume only electricity produced from renewable energy sources.

    • We monitor electricity consumption and implement smart solutions to reduce consumption.

We upgrade our fleet by introducing environmentally friendly solutions Technology is evolving at an astonishing speed, and we don’t think lagging behind the developments would be wise. That’s why we’re upgrading our fleet and introducing environmentally friendly electric and battery-powered solutions.

    • We do everything we can to ensure that every piece of equipment we use is environmentally sustainable – we use battery-powered technology and are open to innovative and sustainable techniques.

    • From time to time, passengers need to be transported to and from the plane, and we use buses to do this – we are reducing the amount of machinery running on fossil fuels and increasing the share of electric buses.

    • The territory of the airport is big and there’s a lot of coming and going – our staff use electric scooters and electric cars to get around.

    • Green does not always mean new – we use paraffin fuel produced from renewable raw materials to refuel existing diesel vehicles.

    • It’s important to us to offer passengers environmentally friendly solutions – our car park has charging points for electric cars.

We reduce the consumption of clean drinking water and ensure the cleanness of stormwater Air and water are indispensable to us and need to be clean. We carry out regular water monitoring, reduce the consumption of clean drinking water and ensure the cleanliness of stormwater.

    • We’re located in the middle of nature and on the shores of Lake Ülemiste, and reserving the environment around us is important to us – we use environmentally friendly chemicals and avoid pollution in our daily operations and react quickly when it occurs.

    • Snowy winters pose their own challenges and inevitably snow also comes into contact with chemicals – we deposit snow in special areas to prevent dangerous chemicals from escaping into the environment.

    • Water is a valuable natural resource that needs to be consumed sustainably – we have installed clean drinking water taps in the terminal for passengers to avoid the use of disposable bottles and we use water sparingly.

Sound waste management and recycling are important to us Sorting and separate collection of waste have become part of our daily lives. Separate collection of waste on our territory and, where possible, its recycling is important to us.

    • We are developing a waste management action plan and create the conditions for convenient and universally understandable waste sorting – we have waste bins for separate waste collection and we continue to raise the awareness of both passengers and employees about their use.

    • Reducing the consumption of single-use plastic is important to us – we encourage people to buy food and drinks with their own containers and we look for the best solutions to use biodegradable or recycled materials.

We monitor and reduce noise generated on airport grounds Here and there, noise levels in urban areas exceed the permitted limits and negatively impact people’s health. To reduce this risk, we consider it important to regularly monitor and wherever possible minimise the noise generated by airport operations.

  • We check how much noise we’re making on a daily basis using monitoring systems installed at both ends of the airfield. Average noise levels remained within the established limits throughout 2023: 68 db on the eastern side of the airport and 65 db on the western side.
  • As an airport, we’re only capable of addressing the amount of noise we ourselves make – reducing aircraft noise is up to the airlines. For our part, we use environmentally friendly and quieter (e.g. electric) equipment to help shrink the noise footprint we leave behind each day. We’ve built noise barriers to test aircraft behind, and we take the surrounding environment into account when carrying out construction work – giving those it’s likely to impact fair warning, and doing the work at times when the fewest possible people will be affected by it.
  • Having said that, reducing noise has to be a secondary concern if it might otherwise compromise safety: the gas cannons we use to scare off birds and animals do make a considerable sound, but are harmless to the environment and to the creatures themselves. The sound they produce is short-lived, too, and in any case is needed to prevent bird strikes and similar incidents involving aircraft.
  • Cooperation is essential when it comes to noise, which is a major problem that affects all areas. As such, we work with local and national agencies and institutions to counter it, and we also contribute to noise mapping.

Biodiversity around us is an important asset Airports all over Estonia are located in the middle of nature and we work every day to minimise the damage we cause to the environment.

    • Ensuring aviation safety requires deforestation – we believe it’s important that the forests around us are managed in a way that respects nature.

    • Giving back is important for nature’s survival – we participate in various clean-up campaigns.

    • The forest next to Tallinn Airport is home to protected birds – we’ve established a not-felling period for the nesting season and are actively cooperating with an ornithologist.

Participation in sector promotion and involvement The Group is actively represented in the aviation cluster and cooperation networks to jointly develop the aviation and non-aviation areas necessary for the sustainable development of the Group.

    • We’re members of the cross-sectoral cooperation platform Green Tiger to leverage Estonia’s green transition together with other sustainable organisations.

    • Tallinn Airport is a member of the Responsible Business Forum and in 2022 we were awarded the silver level badge of the Responsible Business Index.

    • In order to raise awareness in cooperation with employees, partners and passengers, we launched the annual Green Forum in 2022, the goal of which is to raise environmental awareness in the transport sector.

    • We organise Green Mornings to find solutions to the key environmental challenges we face every day at the airport in cooperation with our partners.

Environmental performance starts with raising awareness, and we can make progress hand in hand with our employees, partners and passengers. Working together, we can create lasting solutions that lead us towards a climate-neutral future.

If you feel that you would like to give us feedback or contribute some innovative ideas to our environmental efforts, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].