The Level 3 accreditation granted to the airport corresponds to the "Optimization" performance level. Under the ACI categories, the Optimization standard is recognized for airports that demonstrate effective and sustainable efforts to avoid CO2 emissions. Munich is the first airport in Germany to receive this accreditation level from ACI.
Launched in 2009, the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation program is open to all European airports. Since the program's inception, 40 of Europe's major airports, which handle 44% of passenger traffic in Europe's skies, have signed up. The program has so far resulted in savings of more than 600,000 tons in CO2 emissions since its inception.
Under standards set by the European Union, airports are required to continually monitor and document their emissions. The efficient measures developed by FMG, the Munich Airport operating company, within its own areas of activity and in cooperation with airlines and other companies working at the airport made it possible to carry out a comprehensive and verified mapping of the airport's carbon footprint as part of the accreditation process.
Munich Airport submitted its accreditation request in 2010, retroactively for 2009. The decisive factor for the success of the application was the fact that the CO2 emissions recorded in 2009 were 17,000 tons lower than the average level of the preceding three years.
An example of the airport-wide cooperation in climate protection efforts in Munich is Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM). In this process, a systematic exchange of information and quick-decision making processes involving the airport operating company, airlines, air traffic control and other partners help to shorten the taxiing and waiting times for aircraft at the airport, thus saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.
The airport is also taking decisive action to address the needs of climate protection in its strategic expansion plans. The design of the new satellite terminal to be built on the eastern apron to expand the capacity of Terminal 2 is in strict accordance with sustainable construction principles. The new building will have 40 percent lower CO2 emissions per unit of floor space than the two existing terminals. Among the concepts making this possible are an innovative ventilation system and a special facade design using insulated glass on the outside walls facing the apron areas. Behind this facade, in the interior of the building, is the area where the levels are linked by escalators. This area will be separated from the actual terminal spaces by an additional glass wall. The resulting insulated space will thus act as a "climate buffer" for the satellite facility, in which a special material will be used to convert the heat entering the building in the daytime into air conditioning for the interior.
Certification under the Airport Carbon Accreditation Program is valid for one year. To have the seal of approval renewed for another year, the accredited airport must stick with its CO2 reduction program and document its performance with lower emission levels. Apart from the ACI program, in 2009 FMG set a strategic goal of achieving carbon neutrality in its future growth by 2020 for measures and activities within its direct sphere of influence.