UK’s largest airport group named one of FTs’ Climate Leaders for 2021

Posted on 28 May, 2021 by Advance 

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has been named one of the Financial Times’ Climate Leaders for 2021 in its inaugural report, published yesterday.


Manchester Airport.
Courtesy Reg Hufton Crow / MAG

The research, conducted by Statista, has placed MAG 23rd on the list of Europe’s 300 leading companies.

MAG’s greenhouse gas intensity, which is defined as tonnes of CO2 emissions equivalent per €1m of revenue, reduced by 32.7% between 2014 and 2019. This reduction not only placed MAG within the top 30 but also made it the top performing company in the transport category, ahead of other aviation sector firms Malta Airport and Fraport.

The reduction in MAG’s emission intensity was driven by innovations in energy efficiency, including the introduction of intelligent building controls at Manchester Airport. The initiative links lighting, heating and ventilation systems to live flight schedules, to ensure only required spaces are heated at any one time. Between 2014 and 2019, MAG also implemented its Decarbonisation Strategy at London Stansted Airport.

MAG has always led the way in sustainability for UK aviation sector and was the first airport group in the UK to be certified as Carbon Neutral. MAG is also a founding member of the Government’s ‘Jet Zero Council’ launched in summer 2020. The council brings together the Government and the UK aviation industry, helping to shape policy in order to meet the UK aviation industry’s net zero target by 2050.

Last year, MAG published its new five-year CSR Strategy ‘Working together for a brighter future’, which takes its climate commitment even further. The Strategy includes a goal of making MAG net zero carbon by 2038 - 12 years ahead of the UK industry target. MAG also launched a competition to incentivise the decarbonisation of the wider aviation industry, offering five years’ free landing fees, worth more than £1m, to the first airline to operate a zero-emission commercial flight from one of its airports.

Neil Robinson, MAG’s CSR and Airspace Change Director, said: “To be named as one of the Financial Times’ Climate Leaders for 2021 is a fantastic achievement for MAG. Not only that, but to be in the top 30 and be the top performer in the transport category is something we are really very proud of.

“It is testament to the hard work of people across MAG, whose commitment to implementing new ways to reduce our climate impacts is the reason we are able to celebrate this achievement today.

“We hope that by continuing to be ambitious and innovative in our approach to minimising our environmental impact that we will continue to be an industry leader in aviation emissions reduction in the future.”

Mike Wilton, the Chair of Manchester Climate Change Partnership said: “It is really pleasing to see the progress being made by MAG on this agenda as evidenced by their achievement in the FT European Climate Leaders table. We are also encouraged by the very positive engagement MAG has made with the Partnership, and to see MAG’s climate action stretching beyond its own emissions and into the wider industry.

"Through it’s leadership position, MAG’s contribution to the decarbonisation of UK aviation will be particularly important to ensure that the city of Manchester remains at the forefront of leadership in tackling the critical issue of aviation emissions.”