Climate protection

Targeted measures reduce absolute CO2 emissions

The sharp drop in traffic volumes and the temporary closure of Terminal 1 and the Terminal 2 satellite in the wake of the Corona pandemic led to a significant decrease in CO2 emissions attributable to the airport to 78,340 tonnes in the reporting year 2021. However, this effect is not permanent and emissions will rise again as demand grows. For this reason, the focus of this year’s report is once again not on a comparison of CO2 emissions with previous years, but on the technical measures taken to specifically reduce CO2 emissions. In 2021, Flughafen München GmbH invested around €550,000 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,083 tonnes over the long term through an additional twelve individual measures. Thanks to the 306 individual measures already implemented since 2005, Munich Airport’s CO2 emissions have been reduced by more than 51,500 tonnes per year.

The Corona pandemic also continues to have an impact on CO2 emissions per passenger: This airport-specific indicator remains at the uncharacteristically high level achieved in the previous year. This is because the energy needed to run the airport infrastructure does not generally depend on the number of passengers. Energy is always needed for lighting, heating or cooling, and ventilation of the airport’s buildings. The lack of heat input from air travelers meant that the terminals had to be cooled less in the summer, but the necessary heating output in the cold period increased as a result. In addition, the operation of the runway lighting must be permanently guaranteed during the evening and night hours, regardless of how many aircraft are taking off or landing at the time.

CO2 emissions at Munich Airport

CO2 emissions at Munich Airport (line chart and bar chart (horizontal))
1) Errors identified during the review of the data were subsequently corrected.
«B» FMG attained the level «B» in 2021 in the rankings published by the climate action organization Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for consistently reducing CO2 emissions.
Carbon-neutral by 2030. (photo)
Munich Airport aims to be carbon-neutral by 2030.

Footprint: complex math problem

The operation of a large infrastructure facility involves emissions from a wide variety of polluters. They are all included in the balancing of an airport’s greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from air traffic in the landing-and-takeoff cycle (LTO cycle: aircraft landing and taking off at altitudes up to 3,000 feet) account for the largest share. The carbon footprint provides the basis for recording all forms of emissions and lends itself to comparison. It breaks down all greenhouse gas emissions that can be attributed to the airport into three different sources (scopes) according to an international standard, the «Greenhouse Gas Protocol».

Scope 1 and Scope 2

Regenerative energy concept

In 2019, Munich Airport set itself the goal of making almost its entire energy supply carbon-neutral by 2030, using as many available resources in the region as possible. To this end, for example, additional photovoltaic systems are to go into operation on the parking garages and on suitable open spaces outside the airport from 2023. In the future, biogas is to be used to supply the combined heat and power plant, and the existing supply of biomass heat from Zolling is to be expanded if necessary.

End of 2029: Expansion of photovoltaic systems on building roofs and groundmounted systems

Facts and Figures

New photovoltaic systems

  • 20 MW on roof areas within the airport
  • 30 MW on open areas outside the airport
  • Over 50,000 MWh of solar power
  • Equivalent to the electricity consumption of nearly 15,000 households
  • Over 19,000 tonnes of CO2 savings per year

Greenhouse gas emissions at Munich Airport 2021

In percent (rounded)

Greenhouse gas emissions at Munich Airport 2021 (graphic)

Top 3 measures

Energy-saving led lighting

Munich Airport has already shifted the entire apron lighting to energy-saving LED technology. All measures taken in the area of lighting have brought savings amounting to about 17,500 tonnes of CO2. The next step will be to convert all outdoor lighting in the public areas of the airport to LED technology. In addition to the switch to modern LED lighting along the terminal road, this efficient technology was also introduced in the P6 and P9 parking garages as well as in the storage areas near the cargo. Brightness sensors and motion detectors provide additional savings.

Replacement of the ventilation systems on the entire airport campus

More than 200 ventilation systems are in operation throughout the airport campus, supplying the buildings with fresh air. In line with the climate protection strategy, these are gradually being replaced by fans of the latest generation. In a first project, a total of 64 units in a hotel, Terminal 1, and other buildings are up for exchange in 2021 and 2022. The project, which had a budget of around two million euros, got off to a slow start due to delays in deliveries, with the result that only six systems could be completely renewed in 2021 (supply and exhaust fans). As the supply problem still exists, the planned completion of all plants by the end of 2022 cannot currently be guaranteed.

Climate-neutral bus in regular operation

The bus, which was converted during a pilot project and originally ran on diesel, now regularly transports passengers at Munich Airport as part of the vehicle fleet. With the climate-friendly, patented «CMF drive» concept, it is particularly energy-efficient and, when fueled with biomethane, even climate-neutral. The advantages of «CMF drive» are particularly evident in passenger buses with long operating times and frequent starts and stops, such as those used on the apron: Braking energy is recovered and temporarily stored in the buffer battery. In contrast to conventional electric buses, one tank of fuel will last up to 800 kilometers.

Facts and Figures

Biogas plant

Munich Airport plans to use biomethane from biowaste as fuel for its combined heat and power plant in the future. This lighthouse project preserves the principle of cogeneration at Munich Airport.

Biogas plant (info graphic)
Excerpt from the electricity savings program projects completed in 2021 (Scope 1 and 2)





Carbon reductions per year

Air conditioning


Conversion of the ventilation systems in Terminal 2 to multiple-motor technology


267 t


Conversion of the ventilation systems in the MAC to multiple-motor technology


123 t



Replacement of lighting with LED technology in parking garage P 6


238 t


Switch to modern LED road lighting – terminal road


107 t

Other energy efficiency


Dismantling billboard lighting


20.5 t

Efficient drives within the fleet

Munich Airport operates a total of 131 cars and vans and 295 handling and special vehicles with electric drives. By 2030, electric vehicles should comprise the lion’s share of the vehicle fleet. Since hardly any new vehicles were procured in 2021 due to the pandemic, the current figure is still around 30 percent. With an eye to advances in technology, the airport assumes that improvements in battery technology, green hydrogen, synthetic fuels, and other alternative drive concepts will further diversify the vehicle mix between now and 2030.

End of 2030: Operation of the vehicle fleet with regenerative energy

Electrically powered handling equipment (photo)
The share of electrically powered handling equipment is expected to increase further.

Scope 3

FMG’s Scope 3 strategy is predominantly aimed at reducing emissions from flight operations. Climate protection measures include the environmentally friendly approach (CDO; Continuous Descent Operations) or the optimized taxiing guidance system (ACDM; Airport Collaborative Decision Making) to reduce taxiing times. In addition to these and other established Scope 3 measures on the airside, such as pre-conditioned air systems, there was also progress in reducing Scope 3 emissions on the landside. In 2021, for example, the transshipment area was converted to energy-saving and brighter LED technology together with the freight forwarder LUG-Aircargo. More carriers will follow in 2022.

The office buildings known as LAB 52 and LAB 48 are the first realized real estate projects on the LabCampus. They have been built in accordance with the Gold Standard of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Thanks to maximum energy efficiency, CO2 emissions are kept as low as possible by tenants throughout the entire operating phase. In addition, both buildings have photovoltaic systems for the production of environmentally friendly electricity.

Air quality

Fewer pollutants, lower landing charge

FMG charges emissions-based landing charges. This gives engine and aircraft manufacturers a long-term incentive to invest in the development of aircraft that produce less in the way of pollutant emissions. Munich Airport is thus actively contributing to better environmental quality in its environs. With the information on the aircraft types that have landed, the airport can record the pollutants – including CO2 – for the specific engines, and directly map the technical progress.

Together with its system partners, Munich Airport is committed to climate protection on the ground and in the air.

At a glance: Nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter

In terms of air pollutants, as with CO2, the aircraft cause significantly more emissions than the ground traffic on the aprons, feeder roads, and service roads. It is not possible, however, to differentiate between the immissions metrologically. Nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter are key factors in assessing air quality at the airport and in its environs. Concentrations of these substances are continuously measured at two points. The measuring stations in the west and east of the airport record the effect of pollutant sources from road and air traffic and other airport operations – superimposed on the background pollution of the Munich metropolitan area and the natural background concentration in the atmosphere.

Due to the Corona crisis, traffic-related emissions at Munich Airport have decreased. This is reflected in a decrease in NO2 concentrations compared to the previous year and especially to 2019. Overall, the applicable statutory limit values were observed in 2021. Mobile measurements were taken on the north runway at Munich Airport in 2021. The concentrations were significantly below the statutory limits.

Concentration of pollutants at the measuring point on the east side of the airport premises

Annual averages in μg/m3

Concentration of contaminants at the measuring point on the east side of the airport premises (bar chart)

Ultrafine particles: smaller than 0.1 micrometer

There is no standardized procedure at present to measure ultrafine particles (UFP), no objective benchmark for their assessment, and also no limit values. Munich Airport is carefully monitoring ongoing projects, however, which address the topic of pollution caused by ultrafine particles in air traffic. In the vicinity of Frankfurt Airport, the Hessian State Office for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology is currently carrying out intensive UFP measurements. In the vicinity of Munich Airport, the University of Bayreuth has also been measuring UFP concentrations at two locations since spring 2021 on behalf of the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment. FMG supports the Ministry of the Environment’s measurement program, but does not carry out any measurements of its own.

Continuous monitoring of pollutants

Long-lasting pollutants can accumulate in the environment and therefore seep into the food chain. Munich Airport has been monitoring this situation for many years using a variety of methods. In 2021, plant pots containing Italian ryegrass and kale as well as pots for collecting dustfall were set up at eight measuring points around the airport site. Work also continued on the honey monitoring project in 2021.

Measuring points for air quality and biomonitoring

Measuring points for air quality and biomonitoring (map)
Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol)
Globally recognized instrument used to quantify and manage greenhouse gas emissions. The GHG Protocol defines requirements governing the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions on an organization-wide scale and the implementation of projects to reduce emissions.
Landing and take-off cycle (LTO cycle)
The landing and take-off cycle refers to an aircraft’s CO2 emissions on the ground and during take-off and landing below an altitude of 3,000 feet (914 meters). Up to this internationally defined height, any greenhouse gases associated with aircraft turbines are attributed to the airport concerned and distances from the airport of about 8 kilometers in the case of departing aircraft, depending on the climbout, and 17 kilometers in the case of arriving aircraft.
Particulate matter
The variable PM10 (particulate matter < 10 μm) describes the proportion of particulate matter with a particle diameter of up to 10 μm. As a subset of PM10, PM2.5 contains even smaller particles.

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