Helping Adelaide become Australia’s most ecologically sustainable airport

Thursday, 27 September, 2012

Adelaide Airport Limited (AAL) has entered into a three-year partnership with the Centre for Energy Technology (CET) at the University of Adelaide to provide valuable research support and help develop innovative clean energy solutions.

Airports overseas have had success in working with universities to find economical solutions to operational and technical problems. AAL was drawn to the idea of working with a local institution to help them achieve organisational goals to “reduce energy consumption by 5%” and “participate actively in environmental research” and after a conversation with the guys at CET, realised that both organisations shared many strategic goals.

With the strong belief that an “invest, not just offset” mindset would return both economic and environmental benefits, AAL decided to tread the proactive path, devising a strategy that would tackle their environmental footprint head on.

AAL Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs John McArdle said the University of Adelaide’s R&D expertise complemented the airport’s commercial and practical worksite applications.

“We believe that simply putting money into paying for carbon offsets doesn’t solve the underlying issue. We saw a collaborative initiative as a path to achieving the best of both worlds,” said McArdle.

The collaborative partnership began in 2011, with a three-year venture across two programs. The first program aims to support activities directly related to reducing the carbon footprint of the Terminal 1 building, thereby supporting AAL’s mission to become the most ecologically sustainable airport in Australia.

The second aims to find solutions and provide leadership in advancing clean energy practices. Research will help develop novel clean energy technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve large environmental benefits in the long term.

Partnering with the university has many benefits for AAL, now running the most ecologically sustainable airport in Australia. Its investment in this project is likely to generate a positive return on investment via cost-saving clean energy solutions, and its reputation as premier airport for research is enhanced.

The outcomes of the program will also work towards achieving the objectives and goals of AAL’s overall sustainability plan, the on-flow of which will also have a significant positive impact on both the local environment and the community.

“The collaboration is a work in progress, but the early signs indicate a likely substantial benefit in the management of energy use in our main terminal building. This is a positive result both in terms of protecting the environment and in creating a financial saving to the company,” said McArdle.

www.adelaideresearch.com.au

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