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SDGs in Action: Victoria International Airport's Sustainability Plan

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Looking ahead to a post-pandemic green future

The release of the Victoria International Airport's new Sustainability Plan amid a global pandemic shows that even the hardest hit industries are not putting climate action and sustainability on the back burner. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, the airport has developed meaningful sustainability targets and committed to tangible actions that will ensure they continue to reduce their carbon footprint, continue to protect and restore biodiversity, and increase their positive contributions to the community.

“This plan includes ambitious targets and actions that are aligned with our values and guiding principles, Strategic Plan 2020-2024, Airport Master Plan, and the Global Goals to ensure our areas of focus are forwarding the globe’s most pressing issues. While we have faced unprecedented challenges in responding and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainability at our airport remains a top priority.” – Geoff Dickson, CEO, Victoria Airport Authority

This new plan is the result of work throughout 2020 by the operations teams at the airport in collaboration with Synergy Enterprises to determine new targets and actions that will align with or exceed emission reduction targets at national and international levels.

Highlights of activities outlined within the plan include:

  • Increase waste diversion rate to 90% by 2030 and 75% by 2025 (SDG 12)

  • Achieve Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Gold Certification by 2021 (SGD 10)

  • Reduce emissions by 50% compared to 2013 levels and become Carbon Neutral by 2030 (SDG 13)

  • Achieve ACA Level 3+ (Neutrality) by 2030 and ACA Level 3 (Optimization by 2025) (SDG 13)

  • Optimize on-site carbon sinks such as forests, composting and soil building and restoring riparian areas (SDG 13)

  • Increase airport biodiversity by 20% by 2030 (SDG 15)

  • Restore an additional 600m of creek by 2025 (SDG 14)

  • Reduce water use per passenger by 25% by 2030 and 15% by 2025 (SDG 6)

  • Contribute to advancing all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

  • Work with non-profit, local government, industry, business and First Nations partners to develop projects that will advance the Goals (SDG 17)

Efforts to reduce environmental impact at the airport have been going on for decades. Since 2013, the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) has reduced its emissions by 22%, reduced emissions per passenger by 19% and has achieved the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) Level 2 for emission reductions. The airport has restored over 1,500m of creek to date and water use is approximately 40% below the North American per passenger airport average. Their new plan builds on the previous work outlined in the 2016 Environmental Management Plan and expands the scope to include social impacts.



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