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Swissport commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

Swissport International AG is committing to be 100% carbon-neutral by 2050, to be achieved through the decarbonization of its operations and supply chain. In conjunction, the company is committing to both material near-term carbon reduction and net-zero targets by 2050 through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

Swissport International AG announces its steadfast commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, marking a milestone in the company’s dedication to sustainability. The ambitious goal will be realized through a transition pathway addressing Scopes 1, 2 and 3 of carbon emissions—categories introduced by the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. In conjunction with this commitment, the global aviation services leader joins the ranks of companies taking measurable action as part of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

“Setting a target for net-zero emissions is of utmost importance for Swissport,” says Warwick Brady, President & CEO of Swissport International AG. “Addressing climate change head-on is the most significant challenge of our time. In committing to targets which will be validated through the Science Based Targets initiative, Swissport makes a meaningful contribution to securing a sustainable future for the planet and for our business.”

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaborative effort between the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) that motivates companies to set ambitious and scientifically sound goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with global climate targets. Companies participating in the initiative commit to defining and implementing targets that are consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Swissport is pledging to submit its targets and undergo a validation process within the next two years. Furthermore, Swissport intends to disclose a comprehensive transition pathway that addresses the challenges posed by climate change.  

The electrification of its vast fleet of ground support vehicles operating at some 300 airports globally is the backbone of Swissport’s efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions. In 2022, Swissport had announced plans to increase the share of electric vehicles to at least 55% of the total motorized fleet by 2032. At some Swissport locations, this is already achieved: for example, after the renewal of the company’s forklift fleet in its Finland cargo operations, 98% of its fleet will be electric. In parallel, Swissport is working with airports to coordinate and expedite the implementation of the required infrastructure such as charging stations. Meanwhile, Swissport has also established a near-term target for reducing Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by a minimum of 42% by 2032. In order to track progress on emissions targets, the company launched a comprehensive emission reporting fully aligned with the standards of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The reporting includes not only Scopes 1 and 2 but also encompasses all Scope 3 carbon emissions that are material to Swissport’s business operations. 

Apart from increasing its share of electric vehicles and reducing Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, Swissport is implementing key sustainability measures across its operations as a part of its ambitious ESG roadmap. This includes enhancing its environmental management system to align with ISO 14001 standards, a leading benchmark in the field. For example, Swissport is set to get rid of all plastic tableware at its Aspire Airport Lounges by 2025; in addition, the company has several initiatives to reduce the consumption of foil wrap in its air cargo centers across Belgium, Germany, and Finland, where 100% of plastic foil is now collected and repurposed to wrap new pallets, creating a closed-loop process which minimizes resource consumption and waste generation.