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BRUSSELS: July 24, 2019. The Brussels Airport Company (BAC) has released its Sustainability report for 2019 with an ambition to be CO2-free before 2050.

According to CEO Arnaud Feist, 2019 is the airport’s year of sustainability. “Last year, we began drawing up a new integrated sustainability strategy for the airport, based on the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

“In the year ahead we will be working on various actions and together with our partners we have drawn up a waste charter for the airport which aims at significantly reducing the amount of waste. Moreover, we are committed to becoming a net zero carbon airport before 2050, without offsetting our emissions.”

Every day 24,000 employees and 70,000 passengers generate about 15 truckloads of waste at Brussels Airport. Now, together with Belgian non-profit recycler Fost Plus, BAC and many of its tenants have agreed to double their waste recycle rate by 2023.

1 BAC execAB Inbev, Air Cargo Belgium, ASBO, Autogrill, Aviapartner, Brussels Airlines, Coca-Cola, DHL, Exki, Facilicom, G4S, Guapa, HRS, International Duty Free (IDF), Interparking, ISS, LSG Skychefs, Mobility Masters, OVAM, Suez, Swissport, TUI Belgium and Ziegler have all signed the Brussels Airport Waste Charter which is designed to apply the principles of a circular economy to their business environment.

"No less than 76 percent of business waste in Flanders has a second life through reuse and recycling. Since June 01 last year, Flemish companies have to selectively collect waste at source in 21 different streams, including packaging and plastics,” explained Henny De Baets, deputy head of the Flemish Waste Management Agency.

“This sorting at the source is very important because it is a crucial first step to limiting residual waste, reducing CO2 emissions and adopting the circular economy. This is a strong signal from Brussels Airport Company and participating companies to demonstrate their commitment by encouraging their visitors and customers to participate in quality recycling," he added.

As a next step, Fost Plus will now audit each airport company that has signed the Charter to map its current waste programme and then produce a customised action plan to follow.

Fost Plus, which recycles 680,000 tons of packaging a year in Belgium, has already helped Brussels Airport improve the collection of plastic bottles and flasks, metal packaging and drinks cartons from passengers and employees from five to 174 tonnes annually.

"The signing of the Brussels Airport Waste Charter confirms the commitment of 25 companies and airport partners to double their efforts to prevent waste and improve sorting and recycling,” noted Feist. “This charter shows a clear commitment to significantly increase the recycling rate of all waste generated at the airport by 2023 and cut back the amount of residual waste as much as possible. This is a major challenge for the entire airport community.”

Pictured: Christel Vandenhouten, Brussels Airport Company head of Sustainable Development; Arnaud Feist, CEO; and Piet Demunter, Chief Business Development Officer.

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