Building Trust: Verifying Airport Emissions

Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Verification

Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Verification 

To ensure that the information provided by airports is a fair and accurate representation of the activities at the airport and the carbon footprint data provided, airports must have their information independently verified by a third-party verifier. 

Normec Verifavia offers carbon emissions verification services for Airports applying for Airport Carbon Accreditation. As leading carbon emissions verification body for airports under the ACA programme, Normec Verifavia has audited more than 150 different airports at all levels of ACA. 

Benefits of Airport Carbon Accreditation

  1. Acknowledge your diligent efforts in managing and reducing carbon emissions. 
  2. Attain tangible and quantifiable reductions in emissions. 
  3. Enhance operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness through proficient carbon emissions management. 
  4. Effectively communicate your environmental commitment to external stakeholders, thereby bolstering the airport’s reputation and credibility. 

Verification schedule 

Airports are required to submit a verified carbon footprint on their initial application, and 
every second year subsequently for the level for which they are accredited (third year in the case of Level 3 or 3+ renewals pending at least two successful renewals).
Airports participating at Level 3 or 3+ on a three-year renewal cycle are required to submit
verified data every third year.  
If an airport upgrades from one level to another, it must submit a verified carbon
footprint, regardless of whether the previous year’s footprint was verified.
Furthermore, an airport entering at or upgrading to Level 2 and beyond shall also verify that an effective reduction in emissions occurred for the year under verification compared to the rolling average of the three preceding years, as well as the progress towards the set target (at least for Scope 1 and 2 emissions). 

Seven levels of ACA 

There are seven levels of accreditation. It covers the operational activities that contribute most to carbon emissions. It is site-specific and can be used at any airport as part of its daily environmental management activity and long-term strategy as it helps to guide and support airports through a process of continual improvement and partnership with stakeholders.  

  1. Level 1: MAPPING: Footprint measurement 
  2. Level 2: REDUCTION: Carbon management towards a reduced carbon footprint 
  3. Level 3: OPTIMISATION: Third-party engagement in carbon footprint reduction 
  4. Level 3+: NEUTRALITY: Carbon neutrality for direct emissions by offsetting Scopes 1 and 2 emissions.  
  5. Level 4: TRANSFORMATION: Transforming airport operations and those of its business partners to achieve absolute emissions reductions. 
  6. Level 4+: TRANSITION: Compensation for residual emissions with reliable offsets. 
  7. Level 5: ACHIEVEMENT: Airports at Level 5 need to demonstrate that they have achieved Net Zero in their Scope 1 & 2 emissions by reducing 90% absolute CO2e emissions and that any remaining residual emissions have been addressed using approved carbon offset removals. 

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  1. Initiation

    An audit preparation letter outlines the process, required documentation, and a provisional on-site/off-site visit agenda. Both parties’ endorsement initiates the process. 

  2. Data Gathering

    A site visit (on-site or off-site, subject to specific conditions and WSP approval) facilitates discussions between auditors and the operator regarding pre-submitted data and associated processes. 

  3. Evaluation and Verification

    In-depth analysis and verification of the data occur, involving continuous communication between auditors for potential sampling, data modifications, and clarifications. This stage culminates in a verification opinion statement from the auditors. 

  4. Completion

    The process concludes with the submission of a completed online application to WSP.



Find answers to the most commonly asked questions

Why should I participate in airport carbon accreditation?

The aim of Airport Carbon Accreditation is to encourage and enable airports to implement best practices in carbon management and achieve emissions reductions. Accreditation provides the opportunity for airports to gain public recognition for their achievements, promotes efficiency improvements, encourages knowledge transfer, raises an airport’s profile & credibility, encourages standardisation, and increases awareness and specialisation. 

Will the information I submit be publicly available? How will the information submitted be used?

All application data that are provided to Normec Verifavia for verification will remain confidential.

After verification and online submitting the Administrator from ACA will compile aggregated data for public annual reporting, but no part of this aggregated data can be dis-assembled and elements of it attributed to individual airports. At the specific request of the Advisory Board of the programme, some individual airport–specific data may be made available on a confidential basis to members of the Advisory Board for the purposes of ascertaining the overall veracity of the programme. The airport concerned will be informed of any such request. Finally, for the purpose of reporting on airport–specific best practice and case studies, the administrator or ACI will seek permission from the airport prior to data use and publication.

How long does it take to become accredited once an application has been submitted?

Once the application has been verified and submitted to ACA Online, the review process from ACA will be 15 calendar days excluding public holidays in total. This is subject to an application meeting the Programme requirements. If the requirements are not met, and further clarification or information is required, the application review may take longer.