Stansted: New Anglia LEP hails airports ‘green’ initiatives

From left, Iain Dunnett of the New Anglia GEP discusses the low carbon work of Stansted with the air

From left, Iain Dunnett of the New Anglia GEP discusses the low carbon work of Stansted with the airport's head of public affairs, Chris Wiggan, and environmental manager, John Thain - Credit: Archant

LEADERS of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s work on the green economy have hailed Stansted Airport as an example for the rest of the UK and Europe to follow.

During a visit to Stansted, Iain Dunnett, who is operations manager at New Anglia and part of the LEP’s Green Economy Pathfinder (GEP) project to lead the national agenda on the low carbon economy, met with the airport’s environmental team to discuss its efforts to reduce its environmental impact.

“Stansted is setting an excellent example,” said Mr Dunnett.

“As the biggest single site employer in the region, with over 11,000 staff, and being a gateway to our region for coming up to 18 million people every year, it is vital the airport showcases the difference a commitment to a green business approach makes.

“Stansted Airport, along with Norwich International and our thriving ports, are the international gateway into our region for business, and it is for that reason we greatly value its role in the green economy.

During the visit, Mr Dunnett toured a number of “green” projects including its biomass boiler. He also heard how, during 2011, Stansted saved enough water to fill 80 Olympic sized swimming pools thanks to the help of a specialist programme of surveying and repairs to its 10-mile drinking water pipe network. The recycling of waste at the airport is now at 47%

“Stansted has a wood-chip biomass boiler that provides the heat and energy needs of the terminal and uses renewable energy sourced from sustainable forests sourced within 20 miles of the airport,” he said.

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“This important piece of kit has out performed all expectations and has helped reduce annual gas consumption by nearly 40%. The fact that it is now the airports primary boiler shows that having a commitment to running a low carbon business makes good business sense.”

Mr Dunnett added: “The work of the GEP is all about how business can make a clarion call to the rest of the UK about how low carbon initiatives are a vital part of the economic recovery of the country.

“There are, of course, always challenges for places like Stansted to continually work on reducing its CO2 emissions and their impact on the environment around them.”

“For example the team at Stansted have even been a key part of managing plan for Eastend Wood with Natural England and the Forestry Commission.

“That work has involved tree coppicing and tree removal and in a great link with New Anglia a Suffolk Punch horse was used to remove felled trees rather than heavier vehicles and machinery,” he said.