Environmental Strategy

Carbon Neutrality Objective

Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, pioneers in decarbonising their business

In the early 2000s, the Côte d'Azur’s three airports committed to a voluntary and ambitious approach to reduce their environmental footprint. In 2020, they set themselves a new challenge: to become carbon neutral without offsetting their own emissions by 2030. By 1 January 2024, the Group had already reduced its emissions by more than 93%.

In January 2020, Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur made an official commitment to achieving carbon neutrality without offsetting their own emissions from 2030, marking an acceleration in their timetable. Indeed, a year earlier, alongside 192 European airports, the Group had committed to achieving this result by 2050. Its roadmap was then named Cap 2030.

Carbon neutrality without offsetting means working on two levers: decarbonising all the activities over which the Group has control (Scope 1 and 2) to the fullest and implementing mechanisms to absorb residual emissions as close as possible to the areas where they are emitted. The proportion of residual emissions absorbed may not exceed 10%.

  • Definitions

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    • Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions from sources that are owned and/or controlled by the airport, for example, emissions from combustion in boilers, furnaces, vehicles, etc. that are owned and/or controlled by the airport.
    • Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from generating electricity, steam, heating or cooling purchased and used by the airport. Scope 2 emissions are physically produced at the facilities where the purchased electricity is generated.
    • Scope 3: All other indirect emissions, which are the consequence of the airport's activities, but are generated in the aviation value chain, out of the control of the company (e.g. aircraft movements, vehicles and equipment driven by third parties, off-site waste treatment, etc.). These sources may be located on site or outside the airport’s geographical perimeter.

2013-2023: concrete actions, a 93% reduction

On 1 January 2024, Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur calculated that it had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 98% compared with 2013 for Scopes 1 and 2, which had dropped to 364 t CO2e. This reduction is calculated in absolute terms and does not cover any growth in aircraft movements. This figure underlines how effective the implemented measures have been, including:

  •  exclusively using certified low-carbon electricity from France,
  • replacing the gas-fired boilers in Terminal 1 of Nice Côte d'Azur airport by a tempered water loop, with environmental savings of around 700 T eq. CO2 per year,
  • replacing all combustion vehicles with electric vehicles, except for those where the technology is not yet mature, such as fire engines, and
  • fitting anti-smog units to any remaining combustion-engine vehicles, thus reducing fine particle emissions by more than 80%.

In 2021, Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur obtained the Airport Carbon Accreditation level 4+ Transition certification, recording an absolute reduction of 4.4% in their emissions in one year.

At the same time, and to prepare for absorbing residual emissions caused by certain activities being impossible to decarbonise by 2030, an unprecedented tripartite partnership was set up in 2020 with the French National Forestry Office and the towns and villages surrounding the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur to reforest the areas and create carbon sinks. Each year, Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur will cover the cost of planting new trees and managing those already planted.

By 1 January 2024, 19,052 trees had been planted on 19.5 hectares. Ultimately, the project will have an absorption capacity of 300 tCO2e i.e. the residual emissions from the Nice hub in 2030.

2024-2030: extending our commitments to decarbonising air transport

Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur will continue to reduce emissions under Scopes 1 and 2, over the next few years to achieve carbon neutrality without offsetting, as announced:

  • by refuelling combustion engine runway vehicles with biodiesel in 2023, the Cannes-Mandelieu and Golfe de Saint-Tropez airports will reduce their emissions by 80% by 2024, representing an environmental gain of 50 tCO2e per year,
  • by installing solar panels on all three hubs, to reduce the aiports’ pressure on the national electricity grid.

But the challenge of decarbonising the air transport sector means investing beyond our direct emissions to support the efforts of our partners and act on Scope 3.


  • Electrification measures:

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    • In 2016, Nice Côte d'Azur led the field by fitting ‘pop-out’ power terminals  on general aviation aircraft stands enabling aircraft to use low-carbon, non-fossil fuel energy. This power supply avoids using auxiliary generators, which are noisy and polluting. The use of these engines is strictly regulated by a prefectoral order, which was recently tightened, limiting their use to just 10 minutes.
    •  All the airbridges connecting aircraft to Terminals 1 and 2 are supplied by a 400 hertz power grid, again to avoid the use of auxiliary generators and greenhouse gas emissions.
    • In 2024, Nice Côte d'Azur is carrying out work to provide a power supply for aircraft parked in the 69 remote aircraft stands, which do not have an airbridge. This operation will save 6,700 tCO2e per year.
    • In partnership with ground handlers, Nice airport has introduced a pooling system for runway equipment, reducing the amount of equipment and supporting its electrification, in particular by making charging stations available, in order to electrify all ground handling operations during turnovers.  
  • Operational optimisation measures:

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    • In 2020, Nice Côte d'Azur was awarded the A-CDM (Airport-Collaborative Decision Making) label by Eurocontrol. One of the benefits is a 9% reduction in aircraft taxiing time, representing a saving of 5,000 tCO2e.
    • In 2023, new take-off routes were implemented at Nice Côte d'Azur to reduce fuel consumption and noise pollution by crossing the coastline at higher altitudes.
    • The airport has also introduced 11 waste streams and a waste sorting and recovery system.     
  • Measures to support renewable energy solutions:

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    • In 2020, Nice Côte d'Azur welcomed the first flight of an A380 operated by Air France from Nice to Paris using 30% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF),
    • In 2020, Nice Côte d'Azur operated the first flight by a head of state, HSH Albert II of Monaco, aboard a 100% electric aircraft, the Pipistrel Velis Electo,
    • The Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur are encouraging their partners, recreational pilots and flying schools to adopt electric aircraft, including via incentives.