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CO2 Neutral

Vienna Airport will be one of the first airports in Europe to operate climate-neutrally from 2023! To achieve this, the airport is relying on Austria's largest photovoltaic system, CO2-neutral district heating, e-mobility and many other measures.

Worldwide, air traffic causes only about 2.7% of all CO2 emissions - this is rather low compared to other industries. Nevertheless, international aviation is aware of its responsibility and issues the motto "Take off" for climate protection! And this globally and along the entire value chain. Airports as well as airlines and service providers are on board with the measures for even more climate friendliness. The clear goal: to become even cleaner!

Vienna Airport is leading the way here. With remarkable success: From 2023, Vienna Airport will run its operations CO2-neutral! Behind this is a well thought-out climate protection strategy that includes many measures - from photovoltaics, e-vehicles, industrial waste heat utilisation, intelligent building management and much more. This saves around 60,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

From 2023, the airport will run its operations in a CO2-neutral manner.

The key to this is the consistent implementation of its climate protection strategy with a focus on

  • photovoltaics,
  • industrial waste heat utilisation,
  • e-mobility,
  • intelligent building management and
  • solutions for more energy efficiency.

Source: International Energy Agency (IEA), German Air Transport Association (BDL), Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

"We are acting for climate protection - after ten years of intensive work and 1001 concrete implementation steps, we have made it:
Our airport will run its operations CO2-neutral from 2023, making an important contribution to our environment, but also to our passengers and our neighbours."

Mag. Julian Jäger and Dr. Günther Ofner,
Members of the Managing Board of Vienna Airport AG

With the power of the sun

A key cornerstone for the airport is photovoltaics: the power of the sun will be harnessed from the sky by means of eight solar plants on building and open spaces. Together, these will produce around 40 million kilowatt hours of electricity. The lion's share will be provided by Austria's largest photovoltaic system, which will go into operation at Vienna Airport in 2022:  55,000 panels on an area of 24 hectares will provide an output of 24 megawatts peak. A further eight hectares will be added by the end of the year. This will enable the airport to cover about 40% of its annual electricity consumption. On sunny days, even more than the entire airport system consumes. The 250 businesses at the site will also be supplied. A hydrogen plant is being planned to store energy.

Green district heating

The airport also achieves significant CO2 savings by supplying CO2-neutral district heating. Here, industrial waste heat is converted into CO2-neutral thermal energy and supplied to the airport site via a direct pipeline from the OMV refinery in Schwechat. This clever concept can supply 150 buildings. In the airport system, this saves around 21,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.


In addition to photovoltaics and CO2-free district heating, Vienna Airport implements numerous other climate protection measures: For example, the airport operates an e-fleet with currently around 380 e-vehicles, including mainly special vehicles for aircraft handling, such as mobile passenger stairs and catering vehicles. This saves a total of about one million litres of diesel per year. In addition, there are numerous e-charging stations for cars at the site, as well as the world's first flywheel mass storage system in real operation for fast charging of e-vehicles. With the City Airport Train, the S-Bahn and ÖBB connections, the airport can also be reached quickly and in an environmentally friendly way by rail.

Energy efficiency in buildings

Office Park 4 in the centre of AirportCity is one of the most sustainable office buildings in Austria. Heating and cooling are provided by geothermal energy through 450 (!) energy piles in the ground and 39 kilometres of pipes. Support for the energy optimisation of existing and future buildings is provided by Smart City control software developed with the Vienna University of Technology. Just one exemplary example among many: All lighting systems at the site are being successively converted to energy-saving LED systems.  

Good neighbour

However, the sustainability strategy goes far beyond this CO2 reduction: all neighbouring communities, 17 citizens' initiatives, the federal provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland as well as Austrian Airlines and Austro Control are involved in the dialogue forum. And this has been the case for 17 years. The focus: concrete measures to reduce air traffic pollution! With this participation model, in which all stakeholders work actively and solution-oriented on the measures, Vienna Airport is a pioneer in Europe! 

Alternative fuels

In the airport's view, the greatest opportunity for more climate protection in aviation lies in synthetic fuels (SAF). They are produced from air and hydrogen and bring about a gentle eco-revolution. This is because exactly as much CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere as is emitted again during consumption. Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines already offer their passengers a special environmental service: When booking a flight, they can have synthetic fuels mixed with conventional paraffin and, through this contribution, significantly reduce their CO2 footprint! For the airport, at any rate, this is the most important measure with which international aviation can be made CO2-neutral across the board and thus achieve far-reaching improvements for climate protection.

Rigorous monitoring

In its exemplary and visionary climate protection offensive throughout Europe, the airport submits to strict environmental auditing in accordance with the "Eco-Management and Audit Scheme" (EMAS). Regular auditing included! This has also taken on international dimensions. By means of a meticulous CO2 emissions balance sheet, Vienna Airport also participates in the ACAS (Airport Carbon Accreditation System) programme of the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe) and is already Level 3 certified. All companies located at the airport are therefore involved in all CO2 reduction measures.