Manchester airport has become the first in the UK to be awarded Level 3-Plus carbon neutral status.

The award was made through the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

Various initiatives have reduced emissions from the energy and fuel used to operate the terminals, runways and facilities at the airport from 72,000 tonnes CO2e in 2006 to zero in 2016.

Over the 10 years the airport has cut the energy it uses, saving the same amount of energy as used by 10,000 homes each year.

In addition, the airport purchases all of its electricity from renewable sources.

To compensate for remaining emissions, the airport has also purchased verified carbon offsets.

More than £7.5 million has been spent on energy efficiency projects, working with local and national businesses to develop innovative lighting solutions.

This includes the installation of more than 25,000 low energy LED lights throughout the airport, including the first on any UK runway.

Levels 3 and 3-Plus, in addition to reducing airport emissions, also require that emissions from third party operations – including aircraft on the ground – are monitored. Airports must work with business partners to also reduce their emissions as well.

Airport chief executive Ken O’Toole said: “After a decade of hard work to reduce the amount of energy we use, I am pleased to be the first UK airport to be recognised by Airport Carbon Accreditation as carbon neutral.

“As an organisation we recognise that climate change is an important global challenge, with aviation contributing around 2% of international carbon emissions each year.

“This achievement demonstrates the lengths we go to ensuring we balance our role as economic generator, alongside caring for the environment, whilst working with our third parties to reduce the wider impact of our industry.”

ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec said: “Becoming carbon neutral is no small feat and today actually serves as a timely reminder of how much work Manchester airport has put into achieving this goal.”