Climate protection strategy

Voluntary protection program: carbon-neutrality by 2030

The airport has once again significantly raised the bar for its climate-related goals, to enable it to keep up with the fast-paced development of objectives in climate protection policy and to meet its own targets. With respect to the emissions that it is able to impact directly, the airport is to make its operations completely carbon-neutral by 2030 – and will be the first airport in Germany to do so. To achieve this, the Munich Airport Group is aiming to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that can be attributed directly to its operations by at least 60 percent using a wide array of technical measures. The remaining 40 percent will be balanced out by compensation measures, preferably within the region. This climate protection goal was passed by the Supervisory Board in December 2016 and is significantly more ambitious again than the former goal to achieve carbon-neutral growth by 2020. Flughafen München GmbH is investing 150 million euros by 2030 to achieve this target, almost an entire year's net profit.

Climate protection strategy 2030

By increasing its efficiency and applying technical innovations, FMG is set to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent. The unavoidable remaining 40 percent is to be compensated for by chiefly regional measures.

(Move the mouse over the different reduction measurements for further information.)

Carbon emissions target

Chart: Carbon emissions target

40 percent fewer CO2 emissions per passenger since 2005

Despite the continuous growth in traffic, FMG has lowered CO₂ emissions from around 162,000 tonnes in 2005 to around 152,000 tonnes in 2017. Had the some 220 individual measures not been taken, CO₂ emissions at Munich Airport would have been around 32,000 tonnes a year more than they actually are. Added to that, in this period, was a further 8,000 tonnes approx. from the optimization of energy generation. In 2017, Flughafen München GmbH invested around 1.2 million euros in measures to help increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,266 tonnes in the long term.

The European airport organization ACI EUROPE once again awarded FMG «Level 3 – Optimization» for its 2017 Airport Carbon Accreditation following the successful reduction of CO₂/greenhouse gas emissions.

The improved energy efficiency is particularly significant when you think that between 2005 and 2017 the number of passengers rose by around 56 percent and the building area at the airport has increased by approximately ten percent, but the CO₂ emissions of buildings, systems and vehicles fell by around seven percent. This result is almost entirely from in-house efficiency measures in energy consumption and generation. In contrast, external effects – such as falling specific emissions in electricity energy purchases – had only a minimum influence. These successes make it clear that even the new ambitious climate-related goals are achievable.

One important factor in the climate protection strategy is the new pre-conditioned air systems (PCA systems), which cost almost 30 million euros. Since autumn 2016, this technology has been supplying aircraft parked in the parking positions next to the buildings with pre-conditioned air. As a result, the aircraft no longer need to run their auxiliary power units (APUs), which are responsible for high levels of noise, CO₂ emissions, and other air pollutants. In 2017, the operating times of the PCA systems were increased continuously, which led to around 12,100 tonnes CO₂ being avoided compared to the APUs. That is three times as much as in 2016. The operating times and the associated savings are set to increase further in 2018.

CO2 emissions at Munich Airport

Scope 1, 2, and Scope 3 excluding the LTO cycle, APUs, and public transport
In tonnes per year

Grafik: CO2-Emissionen am Flughafen München

Specific carbon emissions per passenger

in kilograms

Chart: Specific carbon emissions per passenger

The excellent energy KPIs of the satellite building, already evident in 2016, were fully confirmed in the first complete year of operation 2017. Per square meter of usable area, the new building generates over 50 percent fewer CO₂ emissions than comparable areas in the 14-year-old Terminal 2. Consequently, it represents an important component in the climate strategy.

Footprint: many emissions sourcesGRI 102-44

Effective climate protection is a complex task for an airport. After all, any calculation of greenhouse gas emissions not only includes emissions resulting from the operation of infrastructure and aircraft emissions during take-off, landing, taxiing, or handling, but also other sources – these include the arrival and departure of passengers, visitors, and employees and the operation of businesses active at the airport such as hotels, shops, restaurants, gas stations, and workshops. However, almost two thirds of the CO₂ emissions stem entirely from the engines of the aircraft in the LTO cycle (landing and take-off cycle).

The following individual sources of emissions are counted (arranged in descending order according to their contribution to the footprint):

  • Air traffic in the LTO cycle
  • Natural gas and heating oil for the power centers
  • Power, district heat, cooling power, fuel, and natural gas supplies to external companies
  • Feeder traffic: landside/public vehicle traffic (employees, passengers, visitors and freight)
  • Auxiliary power units (APU) and engine test runs
  • Power and district heat purchases for the Group
  • Airside/in-house vehicle traffic (such as buses on the apron, luggage transporters and aircraft tug vehicles), ground power units, and other service and de-icer equipment

According to the ICAO calculation method applied internationally, the CO₂ that taking off and landing aircraft emit up to an altitude of 3,000 feet (914 meters) is attributed to the airport. All of an aircraft's movements below this limit are counted under the LTO cycle.

Carbon footprints provide the basis for the reliable recording of all forms of emissions and lend themselves to international comparisons. They break down all greenhouse gas emissions that can be attributed to the airport into three different scopes according to the international standard, the « Greenhouse Gas Protocol ».

Greenhouse gas emissions at Munich Airport

Grafik: Greenhouse-Gas-Emissionen am Flughafen München

Scope 1

Block heat and power plant: highly-efficient cogeneration of heat and power

With its block heat and power plant, the airport generates over half of its on-site energy requirements using environmentally-friendly natural gas. The waste heat generated from this alone covers almost all of its heating and cooling requirements without requiring the use of additional energy. The airport then covers its remaining heating requirements by procuring district heat from Fernwärmeversorgung Freising. In turn, 50 percent of the purchased district heat – i.e. approximately 18 gigawatt hours (GWh) – is generated by a biomass thermal power plant in Zolling. This district heat obtained from biomass is renewable and climate neutral, and cuts CO₂ emissions by around 3,800 tonnes per year. If the heat and power were generated separately in the mix applied in the Federal Republic of Germany, the amount of CO₂ produced each year would be almost 50,000 tonnes higher. This corresponds to the CO₂ emissions of a medium-sized city of over 40,000 residents.

Renewable energy generation with photovoltaic systems

In its drive to achieve a carbon-neutral airport, Munich Airport is also using renewable energy. The first system of this type with an output of around 750 kilowatt will be realized by the summer of 2018 on the new P51 parking structure. It will then generate around 800,000 kilowatt hours of renewable electricity per year and thus save some 500 tonnes of CO₂ annually.

LED technology reduces CO2 emissions

In 2017, Munich Airport continued to back LED technology. With the retrofitted lights both inside the buildings and outside, more than 1,000 tonnes of CO₂ will be saved in the future.

Sustainable building: important contribution to achieving carbon-neutrality

Flughafen München GmbH places great emphasis on sustainable building, a commitment that is underlined by its membership of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). A center of core expertise plans and manages all CO₂-relevant issues related to sustainable building.

Building technology

By making improvements to its existing buildings, FMG has reduced its CO₂ emissions by almost 17 percent between 2005 and 2017. The airport estimates that it will enhance energy efficiency by a further 13 percent approximately to a total of some 30 percent. An intelligent control technology, for example, could reduce energy requirements in the office buildings.

New buildings

The new buildings planned for completion by 2020, in particular those at AirSite West (for example, the office building, Airport Academy and budget hotel), are subject to the target to reduce CO₂ emissions by 40 percent compared to existing buildings. They can be designed as «light-tech buildings» to meet the passive house standard, while intelligent facade systems and climate-based concepts can help to increase user comfort.

E-mobility on the rise

As part of its climate protection program, Munich Airport uses alternative fuels from renewable energy sources within its vehicle pool:

  • 30 cars use biogas
  • 32 apron buses – more than half of the total fleet – have been awarded the «Blue Angel» eco-label
  • 25 passenger cars/mini-transporters and 268 pieces of handling equipment are electrically operated. Another 30 electric vehicles have already been ordered.

The proportion of electric vehicles is rising significantly: by 2030, they should comprise the lion's share of the vehicle pool. By the end of 2018, Munich Airport will replace a further 80 of its older vehicles run on gasoline or diesel with new electric vehicles. This is equivalent overall to more than 20 percent of the current vehicle pool. This six-figure, environmentally-friendly investment is supported by subsidies from the German Ministry of Transport. Compared to 2016, it proved possible to reduce the local emission of CO₂ by around 47 tonnes. But the airport is not only focused on its own electric cars; currently passengers and visitors can charge their electric cars at the more than 85 charging points in the parking structures. For employees, additional charging options are offered.

Synthetic fuels from waste

The new fuel «C.A.R.E. Diesel», which is made from residual and waste materials as well as from renewable raw materials, also promises further potential. Its key advantages are the significantly lower soot generation, greenhouse gas emissions that are lower by up to 90 percent, significantly less nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons on combustion and a guaranteed resistance to cold temperatures down to –22° Celsius. The fuel meets the diesel standard and can be used to power diesel vehicles without modifications to the engine. A practical trial was started in November 2017 in the road sweeper fleet. A total of around 11,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year can be offset in fuel consumption by vehicles.

Scope 2

Less than a third of the power used on the airport campus comes from external energy providers. Overall, emissions produced by the external procurement of power and district heat have decreased by 25 percent since 2005. Looking at the Munich Airport Group alone, this figure has fallen by almost 50 percent. This is down to the new, even more efficient engines for cogeneration of heat and power on one hand, and reductions in power consumption on the other.

Turbo service at the Airport: 80 percent charging in 30 minutes

In cooperation with «DriveNow» and the technology firm ABB, FMG has installed eight fast charging stations. With three charging points per station, the airport is thus – according to the Federal Association of the German Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) – currently the largest fast charging location for electric vehicles in Germany.

Photo: Turbo service

Scope 3

In 2017, Flughafen München GmbH together with the airlines and the companies based at the airport developed further climate protection measures. The airport made significant investments in pre-conditioned air systems (PCA systems). These systems went into operation in Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and the satellite building in 2016. In 2017, their operating times increased significantly.

Successful reduction in CO2 emissions

The international investors initiative for the global disclosure of environmental data, CDP (formerly, the «Carbon Disclosure Project») has honored Munich Airport for its hard work in the area of effective climate protection. Munich Airport was awarded an «A-» rating in the 2017 climate change report, thus improving on last year's result in the «Transportation Infrastructure/Airport Services» segment.

Completed projects from the CO2 reduction program

Issue Measure CO2 reductions per year
Lighting Changeover of wall lights in the underground garages to LED technology 140 t
  Changeover of street lighting on the Nordring and in the southern development zone to LED technology 121 t
Air conditioning Conversion of individual main ventilation units in Terminal 1 to direct drive 105 t
  Replacement of heating pumps in the airmail sorting center with high-efficiency models 22 t
Airport technology Use of mechanical brakes in the baggage transportation system instead of electric motors 707 t
  Increased use of PCA systems in Terminals 1 and 2 and in the satellite buildings 12,101 t

Air quality

Influence of road and air traffic

The assessment of air quality in the area around the airport looks at a number of important factors, including nitrogen oxide NOx, sulfur dioxide SO₂ and particulate matter PM₁₀. Just as for CO₂, the share of air pollutant emissions attributable to aircraft is significantly larger than that represented by feeder traffic on the airport's roads. However, low-lying aircraft exhaust gases have less of an influence on the measured values, as the engines emit pollutants at a greater height and cause it swirl about more than cars do.

Air contaminant emissions

In tonnes

SOx: SO2 released containing small amounts of SO3 given as SO2
NOx: Sum of the contaminants NO and NO2, given as NO2

1) Feeder traffic comprises traffic caused by passengers, visitors, and commuters in the vicinity of the airport.

Landing charges are also charged based on nitrogen oxide emissions

Flughafen München GmbH levies emissions-oriented landing charges. It is therefore actively contributing to improving the quality of the environment around the airport. This gives engine and aircraft manufacturers a long-term incentive to invest in the development of aircraft that produce less in the way of harmful emissions. With the information on the aircraft types that have landed, the airport can record the contaminants – including CO₂ – specifically for the engine, and directly map the technical progress.

Fixed and mobile measuring points

The impact of emissions on air quality at Munich Airport is continuously monitored at two measuring points. Air quality measurements in the western and eastern areas of the airport record the effect of all sources of pollutant emissions from road traffic, air traffic, and other airport operations – overlaid with the background levels from the Munich metropolitan area and the natural background concentration in the atmosphere. The contaminants ozone, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, toluene, xylene, dustfall particulate matter PM₁₀ and PM₂,₅ are monitored. The statutory limits for the protection of human health were also met in 2017; only for particulate matter PM₁₀ were there twelve (permitted) breaches of the statutory 24-hour limit. The 2017 annual averages for the key parameters of nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) and particulate matter were in fact significantly below the limits, as they have been in previous years.

Concentration of contaminants at the measuring point on the east side of the airport premises

Annual averages in μg/m3
NO2 concentration (nitrogen dioxide)

Chart: Concentration of contaminants at the measuring point on the east side of the airport premises

Munich Airport is the first airport in Germany to additionally determine the quality of air using a mobile air quality measurement station. It measures the same substances as the stationary measuring point in the east of the airport in specialist investigations conducted over several months in the surrounding municipalities. In 2017, measurements were recorded over a ten-month period in Schwaig. The measured concentrations were below the statutory limits and thus confirmed the results from the stationary measurements.

Measuring points for air quality and biomonitoring

Transparent information

For three years now, Munich Airport has been providing information on the Internet about the current noise levels in the airport. Now this service is also available for air quality. The measured values recorded at the air quality measuring points are updated around the clock. Munich Airport is thus ensuring even greater transparency around the issue of air quality.

Keeping track of contaminants

Long-lasting contaminants can accumulate in the environment and therefore seep into the food chain. Munich Airport has been monitoring this situation for many years using a variety of methods. In 2017, plant pots containing Italian ryegrass and kale, and pots for collecting dustfall were set up at twelve measuring points around the airport site. 240 grass cultures and 36 kale samples provide around 1,700 measurements per year relating to air pollutants and their impact. Work also continued on the honey monitoring project in 2017.

Process for measuring pollutants

1) 2016, results for 2017 not yet available at time of publication.