Airport Pollution Index

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    From schools to business energy suppliers, many of us are taking steps to be more environmentally friendly, but this is harder for some than others. It is estimated that around 100,000 flights take off around the world every day – this means that there is a lot of potential for pollution.

    We have put together the Airport Pollution Index to reveal just how much CO2 is being emitted across the world from flights, and which countries currently contribute the most to this type of air pollution.

    Airport Quality Index

    Jersey airport has a bigger carbon footprint than any other UK airport - totalling 156g per passenger per km

    Whilst many airports are finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint, it appears that there is still work that needs to be done. Below is a list of the UK airports with the biggest carbon footprints per passenger per km.

    UK airports with the biggest carbon footprint

    1. Jersey (JER) – 156g per passenger per km
    Jersey has a bigger carbon footprint than any other airport in the UK, totalling 156g per passenger per km. In an attempt to tackle this high level of air pollution, Jersey Airport has made plans to alter its flight paths, making the routes more efficient which, in turn, will help to reduce the amount of carbon emissions.

    2. London City (LCY) – 154g per passenger per km
    As one of London’s six main airports, the London City Airport sees millions of passengers through its doors every year, and with 154g of carbon emissions emitted per passenger per km, the air pollution soon adds up. This airport only has one runway, and this small-scale operation has fuelled its ambitions to become a net zero-carbon airport by 2030.

    3. Southampton (SOU) – 135g per passenger per km
    Completing our top three list of UK airports with the biggest carbon footprint is Southampton Airport. Despite having reduced its carbon footprint massively in the last few years, this airport still sees 135g of carbon emissions per passenger per km.

    UK airports

    With only 64g per passenger per km, Glasgow Prestwick has fewer carbon emissions than any other UK airport

    From the biggest carbon footprints to the smallest, we have compiled a list of the UK airports producing the lowest carbon emissions per passenger per km. Here’s what we found.

    UK airports with the lowest carbon footprint

    1. Glasgow Prestwick (PIK) – 64g per passenger per km
    Taking the crown as the UK airport with the lowest carbon footprint is Glasgow Prestwick Airport. This airport has been around for over eight decades, being used for both commercial and military transport over the years. With only 64g of carbon emissions per passenger per km, it seems that Glasgow Prestwick has its eyes set on the future.

    2. Bournemouth (BOH) – 67g per passenger per km
    With 67g of carbon emissions per passenger per km, Bournemouth Airport is next on our list. Bournemouth Airport has implemented an energy conservation programme in the hope to reduce its carbon footprint, and this has no doubt contributed to this airport’s second-place entry in our list.

    3. East Midlands (EMA) – 69g per passenger per km
    Completing our top three list of the UK airports with the lowest carbon footprint, totalling 69g per passenger per km, is East Midlands Airport. Through the installation of wind turbines and a willow farm, East Midlands Airport has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint and this is paying dividends, evidenced by its third-place entry in our list.

    UK airports with the lowest carbon footprint

    Luxembourg’s airports are emitting 104g of carbon emissions per passenger per km - more than any other country/ territory

    There are over 41,000 airports in the world, but which locations are responsible for the highest levels of carbon-related pollution? Below is a list of the countries/ territories with the highest carbon emissions per passenger per km.

    There are over 41,000 airports in the world, but which locations are responsible for the highest levels of carbon-related pollution? Below is a list of the countries/ territories with the highest carbon emissions per passenger per km.

    Countries with the biggest carbon footprint

    1. Luxembourg – 104g per passenger per km
    Taking the top spot on our list is Luxembourg which sees around 104g of carbon emissions per passenger per km. With only one international airport in this country, it sees large volumes of passengers and cargo every year. Despite this, Luxembourg Airport has plans to become net zero by 2050.

    2. US Virgin Islands – 103g per passenger per km
    Up next in our top three list of locations producing the most airport-related carbon emissions is the US Virgin Islands – totalling 103g per passenger per km. The airport authority here has recognised the need to reduce its carbon footprint, and we hope that its plan to implement renewable energies will help to achieve this.

    3. Albania – 101g per passenger per km
    From exotic beaches to medieval buildings, Albania has plenty to offer in terms of tourism. Unfortunately, if you are thinking of visiting this country, it may come at a price as the airports here are producing 101g of carbon emissions per passenger per km – the third highest of any country/ territory in our list.

    Countries with the biggest carbon footpront

    Puerto Rico has fewer airport-related carbon emissions than any other country/ territory - totalling 73g per passenger per km

    From business gas suppliers to public transport, many industries are now adopting more eco-friendly ways to operate - and airports are no exception. Below is a list of the countries with the smallest carbon footprint when it comes to airports.

    Countries with the lowest carbon footprint

    1. Puerto Rico – 73g per passenger per km
    Puerto Rico has seen a huge increase in tourism over the last year, but this hasn’t stopped them from doing their bit for the environment. The airports here emit around 73g of carbon per passenger per km which is lower than any other country in the world.

    2. Greece – 78g per passenger per km
    As a summer hotspot for tourists, this country is equipped with numerous international airports and this has sparked a series of sustainability initiatives. Athens International Airport became the first carbon-neutral airport in the country, and this has no doubt contributed to its second-place ranking on our list.

    3. Hungary – 79g per passenger per km
    Last but not least on our top three list of countries/ territories with the lowest levels of airport-related carbon emissions is Hungary. Airports here are currently producing around 79g of carbon emissions per passenger per km, and while this is the third lowest in the world, there is still room for improvement.

    Countries with the smallest carbon footprint

    Methodology

    We used World Data to make a list of the 40 most visited countries/ territories in the world – Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine were removed from the ranking leaving us with a total of 37 countries.

    We used Airport Tracker to find the number of carbon emissions per passenger per km for each country/ territory (data collected on 15/06/2023).

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