Cork Airport

Sustainability At Cork Airport

Cork Airport understands the global environmental and climate challenge and we have set clear, effective environmental and sustainability targets which are embedded in our overall business strategy. 

Our approach to sustainability is dynamic and is at the heart of the strategic plan for the future of Cork Airport. In our strategy, we commit to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, a landmark agreement signed in 2019. We are working to achieve the Public Sector climate targets for carbon reduction and energy efficiency in our terminal building and across our campus.

Our commitments are driven by daa Group ESG Strategy, which you can view more information on here.

For further information on our sustainability strategy, feel free to contact us via email at

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To meet the demands of sustainable development and to safeguard the environment, Cork Airport has embarked on an extensive sustainability and energy reduction programme. Recently, Cork Airport introduced a comprehensive Energy and Environmental Management System.

This has resulted in Cork Airport being named the leading Commercial Semi-State Body for Energy Reduction by SEAI for two years running, as noted in their annual reports on Public Sector Performance in 2022 and 2023.


Airport Carbon Accreditation PROGRAMME 

Cork Airport has successfully achieved Level 2 - ‘Reduction’ status accreditation under the Airport Council International (ACI) – Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. Through the global Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, it has been recognised that carbon emissions at Cork Airport were reduced by 51% from 2013 to 2022. Our ambition is to achieve Level 3+ ‘Neutrality’ status in 2024 as part of our journey to Level 5 ‘Net Zero’ status.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation is the European standard for carbon management and emission reductions at airports. This certification programme, specifically designed for airports, has received widespread support and endorsements from both the EU and the UN Environment Programme.

Airport Carbon Accreditation is an annual certification programme and requires ongoing commitment to sustainability, with continuous improvements from year to year. At present, some 67 airports welcoming over 53% of European passenger traffic each year are participating in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. In November 2011, this initiative expanded to the Asia-Pacific region, gaining the support of International Civil Aviation Organisation at that time. Currently, 5 airports in Asia-Pacific are already accredited. The programme is also endorsed by the United Nations Environmental Programme.

To find out more, visit the Airport Carbon Accreditation website.

Enviro Aero

Air travel, whether it is for summer holidays, a weekend city break or for business, poses a dilemma for the environmentally conscious consumers among us who endeavour to minimise our contribution to greenhouse gases.

CO2 emissions are the principal cause of climate change and the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that aviation contributes 2% of the world's CO2 emissions. This figure is forecasted to reach 3% by 2050. These are some of the facts concerning aviation and the environment outlined on the website.

Unfortunately, there are also many myths and untruths concerning aviation and the environment as we become ever more conscious of our contribution to global warming. is an initiative supported by daa and the commercial aviation industry with a purpose to providing clear information on the many industry measures underway to limit the impact of aviation on the environment. has been developed under the umbrella of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). ATAG has over 70 members worldwide including International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI), Boeing and various airline and airport members and other supporters.

The website can be viewed at and includes a number of topics such as: what causes climate change, impact of flying, emissions trading and an interactive feature called The Flying Experience showing how the environmental impact of flying is being minimised at each step of every journey.

For more detailed information on 'What Causes Climate Change' click here.


Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. As part of the broader aviation industry, Cork Airport recognises the important role that we must play in addressing this challenge and we are taking action now. As well as working to move the needle on international sustainability targets, we are playing our part to ensure that Ireland can reach the necessary climate, carbon reduction, and energy savings targets as set out in the National Climate Action Plan.

We are committed to working with all our stakeholders to deliver on these climate and sustainability targets. As part of daa Group, Cork Airport works closely with our corporate team and have developed corporate policies which can be found here.

• Carbon

We aim to continue to outperform the national mandated targets of a reduction of 51% of carbon emissions by 2030. Our goal is to achieve this by 2027. This will be done by implementing solar power, moving to LED lighting, replacement of legacy gas boilers, managing our gas usage, along with light fleet upgrades to Low Emission Vehicles or electric vehicles.

• Energy Usage

We aim to promote the efficient use of energy in all our activities at Cork Airport. As part of this we have upgraded all campus and terminal lighting to LED, energy efficient lighting with our ramp high level lighting replacement program due for completion in 2024. Cork Airport is planning to develop and install a 1.8mW solar farm in 2025, which will provide up to 30% of our annual electricity needs. Cork Airport is also committed to developing our electric car charging infrastructure to ensure we can meet public demand for vehicle charging into the future.

• Waste Management

We aim to reduce the amount of waste generated and handled by Cork Airport. Our aim is to ensure that 60% of our operational waste goes to recycling by 2030. As part of our waste management, we will continue to ensure no waste goes to landfill as we continue to increase recycling level and circularity. We aim to eliminate all single use plastics from our food and beverage units, along with all our staff breakrooms by 2024 and we commit to recycling 90% of our construction waste and ensuring compliant disposal of the remaining waste that cannot be recycled.

• Water Quality & Usage

We aim to monitor water (drinking, surface, waste, and ground water) systems at Cork Airport in accordance with regulatory standards and to take appropriate remedial action where required. Cork Airport is committed to water conservation and is proactively undertaking water harvesting feasibility studies for both the terminal building and maintenance buildings in 2024, along with upgrading our washroom facilities to ensure we can reduce our water consumption.

• Air Quality

We aim to monitor air quality at Cork Airport for the health and benefit of the local communities and staff in accordance with international standards and legislative requirements. Our commitment to this is evident in our voluntary joining of the National Air Quality Monitoring program.

• Noise

We aim to work with representatives of airlines, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and aircraft maintenance companies to abate the impact of aircraft-related noise on the community within technical, safety, reasonable financial and national economic constraints. We also operate a ‘Be a Good Neighbour’ policy in relation to the communication and planning of construction projects, in order to keep our neighbours aware of any potential noise impacts and minimising noise where possible.

• Biodiversity

We aim to promote and preserve local ecology and the habitats of wildlife therein, in the context of developing the airport. We have allocated dedicated areas for biodiversity including bug hotels, ground dwellings and have committed to additional “pollinator friendly” planting across the airport campus, including on approach road roundabouts which will be completed during 2024.

Operators, Tenants and Concessionaires

We liaise with operators, tenants, concessionaires, and contractors at Cork Airport to ensure that we influence their activities and promote sustainable business practices. Regular engagement with all these stakeholders allows us to progress our sustainability targets across the airport campus.


For information regarding an airline's obligations under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, please click here.

Environmental Management of PFAS Chemicals  

PFAS chemicals (per- and poly-fluoroalkylated substances) are an emerging pollutant of concern, which have been in use since the 1950’s in a range of products and industries, including consumer products such as carpets, non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, personal care products and cosmetics. PFAS are long lasting chemicals and have now been found in water and soil in almost every country in the world. The main use from an airport perspective was in firefighting foam. The approaches to firefighting training, and the products used during training, have changed over the decades. The foams now used at Cork Airport are classified as Fluorine-free and do not contain PFAS chemicals.

However, legacy use of PFAS derived foams before 2013 remains in the ground, particularly in old fire training grounds and incidents of fire suppression with foam. Cork Airport, like other airports worldwide, as well as fire stations and other sites, is carrying out a risk assessment and monitoring is ongoing, to inform how best to manage any risks. Cork Airport has engaged with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and both Cork City and Cork County councils in managing this issue. We have allocated resources to proactively manage this issue to protect human health and the environment.

Other Sustainability programmes/INITIATIVES


Smarter Travel Mark

In 2023, Cork Airport, as part of daa Group, was awarded the “Smarter Travel Mark” which demonstrates our commitment to changing attitudes and behaviours regarding walking, cycling, public transport usage and carpooling through the implementation of measures that facilitate, support and encourage sustainable travel options for our workforce and visitors.

All Ireland Pollinator Plan

Cork Airport is a supporter of, and actively takes parts in the All-Ireland Pollinator Programme. As part of this we aim to help bees, other pollinating insects and the wider biodiversity by ensuring habitats are maintained or increased, along with undertaking pollinator friendly actions such as pollinator friendly planting, removal of the use of pesticides and the maintenance of hedgerows. We will continue to follow the best practice plans as outline by the national steering groups.

Business Working Responsibly Mark

daa has achieved the Business Working Responsibly Mark. Established in 2010 by Business in the Community Ireland and audited by the NSAI, the Business Working Responsibly Mark is the leading standard for sustainability that fosters a culture of continuous improvement, ongoing accountability, and leadership.


To make an application for access to environmental information from daa (including Cork Airport), a request may be submitted by email or by post.

By email:

By post:
AIE Officer,
daa plc,
THREE The Green,
Dublin Airport Central,
Dublin Airport,
Co Dublin
K67 X4X5

If you require further guidance on making a request or further information on the type of environmental information held by daa, please contact daa Group Sustainability Team by emailing:

For more information, visit Environmental Information | daa