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Delhi Airport slashes emissions by 90%; aims for Net Zero by 2025

Updated – March 26, 2024 at 01:34 PM.

DIAL’s diverse sustainability efforts in FY24 may accelerate achieving net zero emissions, potentially meeting 2030 goals by 2025

New Delhi Airport


New Delhi Airport

GMR-owned Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which operates the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), is accelerating its efforts to achieve net zero emissions. The initial target of 2030 has been moved up to a potential deadline of 2025. The reduction in carbon emissions compared to the baseline is 90 per cent as of FY24, said sources.

DIAL implemented a multi-pronged approach to sustainability in FY24, including renewable energy use, electric vehicles, energy conservation, and green building practices. The person said that these initiatives have helped the airport to bring up its deadline of achieving the 2030 target potentially by 2025. 

“The top two initiatives that helped us achieve a 5-year advancement are the use of renewable energy, which reduces Scope 2 emissions (indirect energy emissions) to nearly zero, and low-carbon transport, which involves adopting electric vehicles that cut down Scope 1 emissions by about 1,000 tons per year,” a source explained. 

“These initiatives have collectively reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions by about 90% from the baseline, which is nearly 110,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. Today, the use of renewable energy contributes to a reduction of about 130,000 tons of CO2 equivalent, effectively bringing our Scope 2 emissions to zero annually.”

DIAL goes beyond on-site generation by sourcing additional renewable energy through open access agreements. “These agreements allow us to buy clean electricity from the grid, achieving 100 per cent renewable energy usage for our operations,” a source added. This comprehensive strategy eliminates an estimated 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, significantly reducing the airport’s environmental impact.

Minimizing aircraft emissions was a major focus area. DIAL operationalized the Eastern Cross Taxi Way last year, a new infrastructure project that reduced airplane taxiing distances. “This resulted in an estimated annual reduction of 55,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees,” a source said. Additionally, they transitioned nearly all ground vehicles to electric models and adopted TaxiBots, semi-robotic vehicles that tow airplanes during taxiing, further minimizing aircraft fuel consumption.

In line with the Airport Carbon Accreditation program’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, DIAL joined this initiative in 2020. The program is the global standard for carbon management in the airport industry and encourages airports and stakeholders to implement best practices in greenhouse gas management and achieve emission reductions.

“Airports are an integral part of a megapolis, a move towards Net-zero sets the tone for other transportation infrastructure and for the city as a whole to fast track their goal for achieving this. Needless to mention this can inspire other airports to fast track their ambition and can act as a template for adoption as well,” said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Senior Director and Global Head, Transport, Logistics, and Mobility, Consulting, CRISIL

Water conservation was also a priority. DIAL installed over 650 rainwater harvesting systems and is developing a massive 9 million liter rainwater storage facility. Additionally, a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant ensures complete water reuse within the airport, making it water positive

Recognizing the potential of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as a future strategy for cleaner operations, DIAL has begun a study in collaboration with relevant authorities to explore its feasibility.

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