UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Carbon management in airports Cohen, Yaron


Airports are multi-stakeholder organizations that can be as complex to manage as small cities. Carbon emissions have begun to occupy an important place in airport environmental management plans. Proposed solutions to reduce carbon emissions from airports’ landside and airside operations are diverse and contain different courses of action for emission sources located both on the ground and in the air. However, due to the complexity of airport governance, the implementation of carbon management policy faces technical, financial, and organizational challenges. Buildings, ground fleets, and ground support equipment (GSE) used at airports tend to be owned by different parties, including airlines, airports, and third-party sub-contractors, and the lack of coordination among those parties can be a challenge to developing emission-reduction goals. Emission-reduction goals in airports require collaborative environmental management, including emission monitoring, and designated personnel who can supervise the progress of the policy’s implementation. The study conducted for this thesis examined the following topics: · The ways airports report and monitor carbon emissions · Airports’ perceived environmental management priorities · Constraints on carbon management in airports · Currently incorporated elements of collaborative carbon management in airports. The study involved two parts. The first part is a review of current GHG emission reports published by airports, and the second part is an internet-based survey that was sent to airports. The analysis conducted for part 1 (reported in chapter 2) reveals the need for new harmonized GHG reporting standards for airports that better reflect the technological interdependence between airplanes and airports. The findings of part 2 (reported in chapter 3), based on the responses received from airports (n=31), reveal a growing willingness to allocate more resources to reduce carbon emissions in airports, in addition to constraints on carbon management. The constraints are in the form of lack of government regulation that requires airport authorities to engage tenants in the carbon management process, lack of access to tenants’ emission data, and high costs of implementing technological solutions currently available for carbon reduction. The results highlight the importance of developing strategies to address carbon emissions in inter-organizational levels.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada