This week Gatwick Airport – which can ship over three million passengers in any given month – pledged to become carbon neutral by the spring as the airport prepared to join the the RE100 alliance at Davos for the World Economic Forum. It will join over eighty of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100 per cent renewable power, an initiative that will scale up to all companies if successful.
The transition toward a low carbon economy is top on the agenda at this year’s Economic Forum, and so it should be. Encouraging the world’s leading companies to be sustainable is perhaps the best shot we have at counteracting the devastating level of climate change currently gripping the World.
But amidst the doom and gloom there is room for optimism. Gatwick has been purchasing 100 per cent renewable energy since 2013 and electricity now comprises 80 per cent of the airport’s operational carbon footprint. The remaining emissions will be offset by investments in international, national and local renewable energy programmes, as well as continued investment in energy and fuel efficiency.
Gatwick’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “We are serious about growing sustainably and we have some ambitious plans to develop in the most environmentally responsible way possible. We expect to see our world-first waste plant generating heat for our North Terminal this year and we are introducing an electric car sharing service, the first of its kind for a UK airport.”
The RE100 alliance, delivered by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP as part of the We Mean Business coalition, is a global, collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to using 100 per cent renewable electricity. This will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and aid the transition toward a low carbon economy.
Below is a graphic of how businesses are powering a low carbon economy, along with a list of some of the firms to have signed up.
- Bank of America
- Bloomberg LP
- British Land
- General Motors
- Goldman Sachs
- Hewlett Packard
- Johnson & Johnson
- La Poste
- Land Securities
- Marks and Spencer
- Philips Lighting
- Wells Fargo