Running an airport is like running a city – the airport operator is much like the city council, with airlines, ground handlers, retailers, construction companies and the many other businesses on the site all needing to work together.

The Heathrow Sustainability Partnership was established in 2010 to promote collaboration amongst partner companies, with a goal of long-term sustainability improvements at Heathrow Airport. It covers a wide variety of sustainability projects and practices, including waste and water use; safety and health; and energy efficiency.

In 2014, partnership member World Duty Free Group led the development of an Energy Code of Practice, to contribute to Heathrow’s carbon reduction target of 34% by 2020 (1990 baseline). The code sets out the benefits of energy efficiency and guidelines for airport-based partner companies to benefit from these cost, carbon and energy performance benefits. Partners adopting the code commit to monitoring and then reducing energy use wherever possible, developing targets and ensuring accountability, while Heathrow ensures it reduces power demand from existing assets through energy efficiency measures and exceeding design standards for new-build and refurbishment and increases the supply of low- and zero-carbon heat and power generation across the estate.

Other projects include the Clean Vehicles Partnership which works with airport partner companies to reduce their emissions by minimising the hours and mileage of their use and introducing cleaner, low emissions vehicles.

Another project of note is the Cooking Oil Recycling Club. Heathrow uses a local recycling company to turn cooking oil from the airport’s restaurants into biodiesel. This is used by local private hire companies and helps them to cut CO2 emissions. This is helping the airport move towards achieving its goal to recycle 70% of the waste generated at Heathrow by 2020 and reduce emissions from vehicles at the airport.