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We're proud of progress made on sustainability at EDI - our reflections on the past 12-months

In this section:

In the last 12 months we've been extremely encouraged at the way our sustainability strategy - Greater Good - has been embraced by our teams and partners at the airport.

Greater Good recognises the importance of a sustainable future and the role all of us at Edinburgh Airport, and aviation in a wider sense has to play in creating that future.

It's therefore fantastic to see so many people doing things that contribute towards that aim - from working to ensure a sustainable supply chain, to planting new wild-flower meadows around our campus to enhance biodiversity.

In our first standalone Sustainability Report, published this week, we reflect on the progress made since the launch of our Greater Good strategy, and we set out our plan to add to these efforts through 2022.

We know that there is a lot to be getting on with, however we also think it's important to reflect on the day-to-day things already being done that we're so proud of.

There are four pillars to the Greater Good strategy - Trusted Neighbour, Scotland's Best Business, Zero Carbon, and Enhancing Scotland - and these are at the forefront of what we've been doing in the past year.

Trusted Neighbour

It's essential to us that we're a good neighbour, and we do what we can to support those communities closest to the airport.

A big part of this has been our partnerships with our 2021 and 2022 charity partnerships.

In 2022 we have been working with local charity The Larder. Their aim is to help alleviate poverty by providing needs-led, transformational learning, and supporting the food-insecure - and we're passionate about supporting their efforts.

The Larder

Throughout 2022 we've been fundraising for them through bake sales, walking challenges, foreign coin collections, and other activities at the airport, while also sharing training and development resources, and working with them on sustainability workshops.

We've also started sending The Larder unused and unopened items confiscated at security. A great way to ensure these items don't go to waste.

In 2021, our charity partner was SAMH, a partnership we had extended from 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During this partnership we managed to raise almost £100,000 for the mental health charity through fundraising activities, foreign coin donations, and donations in kind, while SAMH also provided mental health support to our colleagues.

Scotland's Best Business

The commitment different teams within the airport have shown towards Greater Good has been great to see.

As Edinburgh Airport employees we all have values we strive towards, and things which help guide our work and the way we behave and interact. One of these values is Investing in Our Future - and that's exactly what the sustainability strategy all about.

This year's Management Development Programme (MDP) cohort (some of our managers of the future) were tasked with creating sustainability-focused projects that contribute towards the commitments outlined in the Greater Good strategy. All of these projects were sponsored at presentation stage, and will come to fruition over the course of this year. Among the brilliant ideas was the introduction of a wildflower meadow on the campus, and we're thrilled to see that idea become a reality.

Another important thing we're doing is embedding carbon modelling when considering future proposals, capital planning and developments. Through this modelling we forecast and consider the carbon impact of any given project, along with the resulting investment required.

Zero Carbon

In 2021, we became carbon neutral for scope 1 and 2 emissions for the first time – a great achievement. Whilst we're proud of this, we know there's work to do if we are to achieve our target of Net Zero no later than the year 2045.

One of the most recent developments is the move to run dozens of our airside vehicles on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) - a 'second life' fuel, created from waste cooking oil.

This is yet another way we're reducing our emissions, with an HVO fuel pump now in place on campus for use by airport vehicles and third parties and contractors.

Airside vehicle

The use of this renewable diesel alternative eliminates up to 90 per cent of net carbon dioxide emissions from these vehicles, while also offering savings on nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide emissions.

Enhancing Scotland

We have been evaluating our supplier base and identifying those who are demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. As part of this our Sustainable Supplier Pledge was created by the Procurement Team.

This pledge will strengthen the whole campus approach to sustainability, including decarbonisation.

Suppliers who meet the criteria set out in our pledge are asked to sign up, and work in partnership with the airport to make our supply chain more sustainable.

Sasse, our current provider of soft facilities services, were our first signatory. They've shown a commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility by implementing low energy equipment, using eco-friendly cleaning products, and introducing bio-degradable shrink wrap made from sugar cane.

As the first and last point of contact for many people visiting Scotland, our focus is on delivering an airport the country can be proud of - and that's what our Enhancing Scotland pillar focuses on.

By providing a sustainable connectivity experience, and reducing our environmental impact, we hope we can achieve this.

As a team we're really proud of the progress already made. If you want to find out more about anything contained within the Sustainability Report, or about our sustainability strategy more widely, you can find our full report below.

By Jessica Briggs, Head of Sustainability at Edinburgh Airport

Greater Good Sustainability Report 2021