Our proactive management of our environmental impact supports the integrated transformation agenda by ensuring the long-term sustainability of our operations. This year, we have achieved and, in many cases, exceeded our environmental targets in airport carbon accreditation, ISO certification and several key environmental metrics.

Airport carbon accreditation

In the year under review, all four of our candidate airports, eligible for accreditation by the ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, achieved Level 2 certification, exceeding our target of three airports obtaining Level 2 certification. Of the four airports, we obtained re-certification for O.R. Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport for a second consecutive year, and we achieved Level 2 certification for both King Shaka International Airport and Port Elizabeth International Airport for the first time. In addition, George Airport has received re-certification for Level 1, while Bram Fischer International Airport obtained Level 1 certification for the first time. All six of our certifications are effective 27 March 2020. Level 2 carbon accreditation requires that airports have a carbon management plan, which outlines the proposed measures for the future reductions in consumption of non-renewal power. As a result, four of our nine airports have carbon management plans in place, which goes hand in hand with our roadmap to carbon neutrality.

ISO 14001

All nine airports have maintained their certification to the ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Standard. Our environmental management systems are based on a number of sub-systems that integrate to provide a holistic overview of how the company operates. These sub-sections are focused on continual improvement. During the year under review, there was a focus on assurance and legislation.


While a number of external regulators focus on the core legislation at the broader airport-level, there has been a more coordinated approach to provision of assurance internally. The combined assurance programme made strides in its maturity this year, with airport representatives conducting numerous environmental compliance audits on stakeholders and other departments. The risk-based nature of these audits and inspections are in line with the tenets of the 2015 version of the ISO 14001 standard.


The environmental legislation within South Africa is an ever-changing space. In order for us to remain current and compliant, there is a sub-system of the environmental management system where legal updates are shared with the Airport Environmental Management Representatives. While this system has been in place and effective for a number of years, there was a push for more practical knowledge and interpretation within the aviation space. To this end, a specific environmental law course was completed for all the airports where the airport environmental management representatives learnt from legal experts and each other how to implement legal due diligence within each airport. During the year under review, there were no serious fuel spills nor major incidents. The environmental management system strives to understand the utilisation of the natural resources at the airports and the corporate office. The table on the following page includes relevant indicators of our environmental performance, compared to the previous financial year.

Airport initiatives

To promote self-sufficiency at all our airports, we introduced initiatives such as reverse osmosis, gas-to-power, energy storage devices, electric vehicles, solar-powered perimeter lighting, thermal insulation materials and horizontal axis wind turbines. We also achieved beneficial operation of solar farms at regional airports.

Key environmental metrics

Element and metric FY2019/20 FY2018/19 Material changes
Electricity consumption in kilowatt hours 225 627 860 234 349 257 In the year under review, electricity consumption decreased by 3.7% as the implementation of further energy efficiency and alternative energy initiatives resulted in substantial savings
Water consumption in kilolitres 1 997 448 1 999 370 In FY2019/20, our water consumption decreased by 0.1% overall
Fuel and diesel consumption in litres 411 173 422 162Our initiatives to manage fuel consumption has resulted in a 2.6% reduction in our fuel consumption
Waste recycled in kilograms (millions) 3 616 5383 198 830 A substantial saving was noted not only in the absolute amount of waste recycled, but also the relative proportion of recycling waste versus landfill waste. In FY2019/20, we had a recycling rate of 44% while in FY2019/20, we had a recycling rate of 52%
Noise management incidents reported11 12 This year, noise complaints have decreased by 8.3% due to the implementation of mitigation measures and consultation with affected parties
Bird and wildlife strikes 305384Overall bird and wildlife strikes have decreased by 20.6% which can be attributed to our airport wildlife management programmes. A major reduction was noted at O.R. Tambo International Airport which had a 33% reduction of bird and wildlife strikes compared to the previous year


The aviation industry is an enabler of sustainable development through job creation and through the delivery of humanitarian aid. The introduction of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) provided a benchmark to map the industry’s contribution to sustainable development. The SDGs are aimed at improving the livelihood of the world’s population, improving gender and income inequality, and protecting the environment. 

We have linked our contribution to development on a global scale to the relevant SDGs and locally to the National Development Plan (NDP).

In South Africa, the NDP strives to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 by addressing specific challenges through 15 chapters focusing on issues including high levels of unemployment, the quality of education, infrastructure development, inclusive economic development, access to and quality of healthcare, environmental sustainability and corruption. In line with the NDP and the UN’s SDGs, we aim to create sustainable value and have a positive impact on the societies and environments in which our airports are located.

Enterprise and supplier development

SMMEs are key to stimulating job creation in our economy. Through enterprise supplier development we provide financial and non-financial support to SMMEs to increase economic participation, ultimately stimulating job creation. Including SMMEs in our supplier base supports their growth while advancing our transformational imperative. SMMEs, supported by the Company, are able to grow to scalable businesses with the potential to become part of our supplier development programme and, ultimately, to become preferred procurement partners.


We believe transformation is necessary to become the organisation we must be, indeed, to be the best that we can be. Our transformational objectives are aligned with our strategic objectives as well as our Sustainability Framework. Our transformation ecosystem contributions to our Sustainability Framework in the following ways:

Our business

  • Black-owned business shares 55.4% of our commercial revenue
  • Our transformation strategy is focused across seven key sectors. Interventions across these seven sectors maximise our enhancement of black business growth and the creation of jobs and opportunities
  • We supported 23 750 job opportunities

Our people and society

  • We have maintained a Level 2 B-BBEE level and a 94.82% recognition level
  • Black South African employees represented 94.1% of our workforce.
  • Women represented 45.5% of our workforce, while persons with disabilities represented 2.5%
  • Our investment in skills development initiatives supported 207 youths engaged in various young talent development initiatives through trainee programmes, internships, learnerships and apprenticeships
  • Our socio-economic development investment of R44.2 million in supported projects in our key focus areas of education, empowerment of women and youth, environmental sustainability, disability, skills development, philanthropic donations and volunteerism

Our environment

  • Four of our airports have achieved ACI Level 2 Airport carbon certification, while two of our airports have achieved Level 1 certification
  • All nine airports have maintained their certification to the ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Standard


In FY2020/21, we will focus on the implementation of the key flagship projects within the seven sectors strategies in transforming our business. This will include a review of our ground-handling strategy to identify opportunities to promote transformation initiatives. We intend to strengthen our transformation policy, in line with relevant legislative frameworks as they relate to each of the seven sectors in which we operate, following the outcome of litigation in the year under review. In terms of our economic transformation strategy, we have committed to the following targets in 2020:

  • 40% of IT to black-owned, women-owned, and youthowned SMMEs
  • Spend R1m from 2020 to 2023 on upskilling blackowned IT SMMEs

In transforming our people, we will continue to focus on reaching our targets and develop our successive employment equity plan for the 2021 to 2026 period.

While our target for FY2020/21 remains the same in transforming our environment, with three airports achieving Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation, we are preparing for operational readiness for Level 3 accreditation for all airports. This requires that we put stakeholder management plans in place, through which we will communicate our Carbon Accreditation Programme with all airport users and encourage stakeholders to start reducing their carbon footprints.