Istanbul Airport Awarded “Zero Waste” Certificate

Istanbul Airport where İGA has carefully implemented environment and sustainability policies, has become the first airport issued with a “Zero Waste Certificate” within the scope of the “Zero Waste” project that is carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning with the aim to prevent waste and use resources in a more efficient manner.

İGA designs its works in line with the principles of sustainable development and it continues to set an example for the aviation industry in relation to environment and sustainability issues with its activities carried out at Istanbul Airport which has become a global transit center owing to its operational accomplishments. Having established its waste management infrastructure with a system where waste is effectively separated at source, İGA was able to have “Zero Waste Certificate” issued for Istanbul Airport as the first airport in Turkey to be granted this certificate as a result of the works that it has carried out.

Within the scope of the “Zero Waste” project that has been realized by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning with a sustainable environment and sustainable development approach, Istanbul Airport has been awarded the “Zero Waste Certificate” as a top rank in the aviation industry.

What is the Zero Waste Project?

The disposal of waste, both in its physical form and as energy, without being utilized in the processes of recycling and recovery, causes significant losses in resources. “Zero Waste” is a goal defined as a waste prevention approach that includes the prevention of waste, the more efficient usage of resources, the reduction of the amount of waste generated, the establishment of an effective collection system, and the recycling of waste.

With the “Zero Waste” project, it is aimed to review the reasons for waste formation, prevent or minimize waste formation and to separate the waste at source if it is generated and to recycle these waste products that are separated in order to prevent air, water and soil contamination which has reached a level that threatens all living beings including and primarily the depletion of natural resources and climate change issues. The project has been set off with the principle of placing the existing systems on a more regular and applicable basis.

“Zero Waste” Practices in Istanbul Airport

Considering sustainability as the most fundamental value of our future, İGA implements its works which set an example for the aviation industry carefully at each stage from the design of Istanbul Airport to its construction and from the construction period to the operation process. Starting off with this idea in mind, when the works carried out at Istanbul Airport where “Zero Waste” approach is regarded as a factor of critical success are taken into consideration on the basis of sustainability, all activities are conducted in light of international standards and guidelines including IFC (International Finance Corporation) Standards, Equator Principles, Turkish Environmental Legislation.

In the approach of “Zero Waste” principle, the wastes of all parties, including İGA which operates at Istanbul Airport, where sorting at source is of great importance for the solution of the waste problem, is divided into five different categories as paper-carton, packaging, glass, organic and domestic waste. This way, all enterprises conducting business at Istanbul Airport where the entire waste management infrastructure has been designed to ensure recycling, have signed the Zero Waste Declaration of Istanbul Airport under the leadership of İGA which is regarded as a pioneer in the aviation industry.

Containers have been placed in those areas where waste is generated within the airport in 5 separate categories depending on waste types including paper-cardboard, packaging, glass, organic and domestic and the wastes are separated at source in these areas. The waste are collected with the appropriate waste collection vehicles depending on the waste type, and they are sorted at the Solid Waste Plant in order to be sent for recycling and storage. All stakeholders at the airport also support the “Zero Waste” project in the same manner, and they collect their waste in 5 different categories before they hand it over to İGA. This allows stakeholders to contribute to the “Zero Waste” goal.

The goal is to leave a clean and developed Turkey and a world which is fit to live in, to the future generations…

Kadri Samsunlu, the Chief Executive Officer of iGA Airport Operation, who spoke about the obtaining of “Zero Waste Certificates” as a result of the work carried out at Istanbul Airport, said, “We are designing all the processes at Istanbul Airport in line with our environment and sustainability policies. We aim to achieve maximum savings from the perspective of Zero Waste Principles. 100 tons of waste is being generated daily at Istanbul Airport and 30% of it, meaning 30 tons of it is being sent to recycling. According to the data obtained from the “Electronic Environment Information System” of the Ministry for the Environment and Urban Planning, from the perspective of the “Zero Waste” strategy, the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere since the opening of the airport, has fallen by 1,310,000 tonnes, while the amount of fuel used has fallen by 49,500tonnes. The consumption of energy fell by 44,217,000 kilowatts and as a result there was a saving with a fall of 1175 kilos in the amount of raw materials used. The things we have done in the name of the environment and sustainability are not limited to only these either. With the Waste to Art Project (Artwist), we created a total of 39 artworks from 100 tons of waste, generated from the airport construction through upcycling. We were awarded the LEED Gold Certificate by the U.S. Green Building Council and as a result of this, the main terminal building of Istanbul Airport has been certified as the world’s largest building with a LEED certificate. We have completed the photograph and video contest “Are You Aware?”, which aims to raise awareness in the society on the impact of waste to the environment and the importance of recycling in collaboration with the Mind Your Waste Foundation. Within the “Environmental Awareness” initiatives, we have implemented the “Kollekt” (Collect) application which is a society-based recycling project, at Istanbul Airport. Finally, we are extremely delighted to learn that it has become the first airport certified with the “Zero Waste Certificate” setting an example for the aviation industry. This achievement is motivating us towards bigger goals. I would like to underline that our desire to leave a clean and developed Turkey for future generations and a world that is fit to live in lies at the core of all of this work. As an “Environment Friendly” airport, we will continue our work by contributing to the environment that we live in, our country and the rest of the world in line with this goal”.