Brussels South Charleroi Airport, hereinafter “BSCA”, is committed to the sustainable development of Charleroi Airport as a centre of economic transformation and a centre of excellence in the field of transport and logistics.
BSCA is aware of the need for the continuous improvement of its environmental management to ensure the development of its activities whilst respecting the natural environment and local communities.
Beyond the legal and regulatory requirements, BSCA seeks to permanently reduce the environmental impact of its activities and has set up an Environmental Management System designed to fulfil the requirements of the ISO 14001:2015 standard. BSCA is also involved in the Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme, launched by ACI Europe and supported by the European Commission.
However, reducing the carbon footprint of airports is important, but on its own, it is not enough. For this reason, BSCA endorses the commitments of the “Sustainability Strategy for Airports” approved by the Board of ACI (Airport Council International) Europe and undertakes to:
- Reduce its own emissions to 0 net grams of CO2 by 2050.
- Promote and support the global journey of the aviation sector towards CO2 neutrality.
In order not to pass on the bulk of these efforts to future generations and as a medium-term commitment, BSCA undertakes to:
- Reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 35% between 2019 and 2030.
- Offset the remaining emissions through sustainable projects involving local communities.
In practical terms, BSCA is continuing its work to limit its environmental footprint by focusing on the following areas:
Monitoring legal and regulatory developments
BSCA is constantly monitoring environmental obligations via a subscription to a regulatory watch. All obligations applicable to the company are reviewed every year to ensure optimal compliance.
Air transport alone accounted for about 2-3% of global CO2 emissions (and 12% of the transport sector’s emissions) and 3.6% of European CO2 emissions in 2016. Although most of the CO2 emitted by the sector comes from the aircraft themselves, the airport infrastructure is an important link in the chain. BSCA therefore needs to develop a sustainable development strategy designed to limit our CO2 emissions and, more generally, minimise the impact of our activities on the environment.
Our commitment to the “Airport Carbon Accreditation” scheme, or “ACA” (an established system for controlling greenhouse gas emissions launched by ACI Europe and supported by the European Commission) means that we can identify, limit and ultimately neutralise greenhouse gas emissions under BSCA’s control or influence. In 2021, BSCA and SOWAER published a “Carbon Footprint Report” in conjunction with CO2 Logic and Factor X, based on emissions data from 2019. This report calculated the CO2 emissions of BSCA and, more generally, of all airport-related activities. In addition, this report has also defined guidelines for sustainable development.
As well as this, BSCA has already launched a number of initiatives to reduce the volumes of CO2 emissions, polluting gases and fine particles that it generates, such as:
- An ongoing programme to replace its fleet of ground vehicles with electric vehicles, launched in 2010, as well as the development of self-driving electric vehicles in 2020 with the installation of charging stations within its infrastructure.
- An ongoing analysis of air quality and the impact of the airport’s activities on it. The results of this analysis are being studied in partnership with the ISSeP (Institut Scientifique de Service Public) to make sure that the activities of the airport and its partners have a low impact on air quality. BSCA also undertakes to publish the results of these studies, as well as the reports generated by the air quality measurement stations located on the airport site.
In addition to these initiatives, BSCA aims to achieve “Level 3 - Optimisation” ACA certification by the middle of 2023, by planning strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, involving all of its partners, including airlines.
In order to preserve surface and underground water resources, BSCA has developed an efficient wastewater collection and treatment network made up of 9 hydrocarbon separators and a treatment plant capable of treating all the water from the terminal and equipped with a grease separator for kitchen water.
3 storm water basins with a total capacity of 25,000m³, equipped with upstream holding ponds, are currently operational and feature remote-controlled valves to close their outlets in the event of pollution.
Lastly, BSCA has equipped itself with a rainwater tank with a total capacity of 500m³, into which all the rainwater from its T1 terminal is channelled, added to which will be rainwater from the roofs of new buildings. This water is then used for the airport’s bathrooms to reduce the consumption of drinking water.
Wherever possible, BSCA prioritises the use of environmentally friendly products within the context of managing and maintaining the airport’s facilities. The different departments keep up-to-date with technological developments that affect them so that they can incorporate these improvements into their day-to-day management and investments.
BSCA is also committed to creating a 4th storm water basin, as well as a holding pond to store and treat runoff water from the runway extension, as well as consolidating the recovery system for aircraft de-icing products and the methods used to treat and purify waste water.
Over the last 20 years, the Walloon Region has implemented an ambitious programme to reduce the noise impact of airport activities for those living near the airport. SOWAER has been responsible for implementing this programme since 2004. A total of 293 buildings have been acquired and 6,345 have been soundproofed since these measures were introduced.
More specifically, BSCA applies various noise control measures at source, including:
- Limiting operating hours by introducing a curfew between 23:00 and 6:30, including an annual quota count system per aircraft based on arrival times after 23:00.
- Prohibiting the use of the noisiest aircraft based on their noise classification as defined in annex 16 of the ICAO Regulation. This is combined with limiting noise levels by introducing thresholds that cannot be exceeded (defined by the Walloon Government decree of 21 March 2019), and fines imposed on airlines that do exceed them.
In addition to these measures, BSCA is working on different aspects of the noise generated by its activities, including in particular by:
- Installing a noise barrier to limit reverberation for the residents of Ransart.
- Installing 400 Hertz voltage converters for the power supply for aircraft on the ground, which also reduces CO2 emissions.
- Reducing the extent to which noise is perceived on the ground and reducing fuel consumption by optimising aircraft profile descent thanks to CDO procedures; “Continuous Descent Approach”.
Lastly, BSCA undertakes to adjust the fees that it charges airlines according to the acoustic classification of their aircraft and to look into the possibility of optimising aircraft taxiing times.
BSCA will continue to take part in the meetings organised by the Comité d’Accompagnement set up by the Walloon Region as well as in the work involved in the three-year review of the Plan d’Exposition au Bruit (noise exposure plan). It will continue to work alongside the Service Public de Wallonia and with the Autorité de Contrôle des Nuisances Aéroportuaires de Wallonie (Wallonia’s airport noise pollution control authority, ACNAW) within the context of the administrative sanctions for breaches of noise control regulations.
The rational use of energy requires investment in lighting, heating, air conditioning and insulation for buildings and facilities.
A study to estimate BSCA’s energy consumption was carried out in 2019 and will help prioritise future strategies.
BSCA has already replaced many of its heating and cooling systems with new, more efficient and less polluting systems. As well as this, a cogeneration plant has also been installed to supply hot water for the heating systems and to produce electricity, as well as a chilled water production unit for its air conditioning system and dual flow ventilation units.
In addition, BSCA has set itself the task of replacing all of its existing lighting and ground markings with LEDs. The system is also equipped with a smart lighting management feature that reduces energy consumption depending on whether anyone is in a particular building, as well as levels of natural light.
Lastly, BSCA is also using renewable energy thanks to the installation of heat pumps in terminal T1 and the installation of more than 1,500 solar panels on the roof of terminal T2.
In order to continue to rationalise its energy consumption, BSCA is committed to
- Pursuing and finalising the implementation of an energy accounting strategy.
- Continuing to invest in renewable energy with the feasibility study for installing an additional cogeneration unit within the T1 terminal, with the possibility of adding a trigeneration module to fulfil cooling needs.
- Maintaining the implementation of “100% green energy” contracts.
- Developing new projects involving the installation of photovoltaic panels.
BSCA is committed to reducing its consumption of electricity from the national grid by 35% between 2019 and 2024, by 50% by 2030 and by 85% by 2050. These investments will help improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption throughout the year.
As the airport site was formerly occupied by residential and industrial areas, when any pollution is identified, BSCA and SOWAER undertake to comply with the provisions of the regional decree on soil management and remediation.
In addition to this, a number of clean-up projects have already been completed at the BSCA site:
- Soil and groundwater remediation at the Executive Terminal in 2011.
- Treatment and remediation of approximately 180,000m³ of soil as part of the ongoing runway extension works.
- Ongoing study on the implications of hydrocarbons by the ISSeP.
BSCA’s environmental permit requires the separation of aircraft waste from other waste. There was an increase in the volume of waste generated between 2015 and 2018, which mainly came from aircraft. Since 1 January 2021, BSCA has been actively eliminating single-use plastics (straws, cups, coffee spoons, etc.) in its facilities.
In addition, BSCA is currently recycling:
- Green waste, which goes to a composting centre.
- Hazardous waste (batteries, oil, printer cartridges), which goes to recycling centres.
- Cardboard waste from suppliers
- PMC (plastic, metal and cardboard) waste from the occupants of its private premises.
In order to continue to sort and recycle waste, BSCA is committed to:
- Installing a sorting system and raise awareness among the airport’s other stakeholders (passengers, HORECA members, airlines and other concessions)
- Continuing to raise awareness and limit the use of single-use plastic within its premises and terminals
- Drawing up a “Sorting Charter” for all its partners.
By increasing the quality and availability of public transport and promoting more environmentally friendly means of transport, BSCA aims to help reduce traffic congestion, which in turn will lead to improved air quality.
Two initiatives have been launched by the Government to improve access to/from BSCA using public transport, within the context of the Walloon Investment Plan:
- Expanding the timetable for the A line linking BSCA to Charleroi-Sud station by extending the time slots and increasing frequency
- Creating a shuttle linking BSCA with Fleurus and Luttre stations by 2022.
Alongside this, BSCA is committed to continuing to develop the shuttle network and supporting the use of carpooling or shared vehicles. The use of electric vehicles will also be supported thanks to the introduction of a self-contained charging car park powered by photovoltaic panels.
In addition, BSCA is planning to set up CO2 emission offsetting terminals with the option for passengers to donate money to ecological, local and community projects.
In the long term, BSCA is planning to build a railway station serving the airport and the surrounding business parks (encouraging the creation of almost 10,000 jobs). Indeed, a direct rail service is still a key aspect of a sustainable development strategy, in order to offer a structural alternative to individual vehicles.
ès de 10.000 emplois). En effet, une desserte ferroviaire directe reste un enjeu essentiel dans une perspective de développement durable, afin d’offrir une alternative structurelle au véhicule individuel
In accordance with air safety regulations, BSCA will seek to incorporate a commitment to biodiversity in its activities, in close partnership with the Walloon Public Service and SOWAER.
To this end, an extensive range of local partnerships and projects promoting the development of biodiversity are currently being explored.
Awareness raising, information and partnerships
Although awareness of the impact of human activities on the environment and the urgency to act are growing, awareness and information campaigns need to be long term. As a result, all BSCA staff, as well as its suppliers, passengers and customers, will be made aware of BSCA’s environmental policy thanks to regular information campaigns and appropriate training.
BSCA is committed to consolidating the engagement of its customers, subcontractors and suppliers when it comes to the environment by adding and reinforcing contractual clauses:
- For concessions, to make sure that they incorporate this environmental approach into how they manage their business and their facilities
- For suppliers and subcontractors in specifications and framework contracts (waste recovery and recycling, carbon footprint, energy consumption etc.).
Within the framework of this environmental policy, BSCA staff are involved in protecting nature and the environment, and the management team is committed to maintaining this environmental policy over time and avoiding, reducing and/or controlling all pollution.