03 March 2024

Joint statement from Cairns Airport, CleanCo Queensland & Advance Cairns

A new landmark agreement has Cairns Airport firmly on the path to becoming carbon-neutral by next year, a status which would make it among the first in Australasia.

Cairns Airport, through operator the North Queensland Airports Group (NQA), recently entered a six-year partnership with state-owned CleanCo Queensland.

Commencing in January 2025, the agreement means 100 per cent of the airport’s electricity, and that of tenants, will be powered by renewable energy.

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Richard Barker said investing in good environmental practice was the right thing to do.

“Cairns Airport is a key economic driver for Tropical North Queensland and we see it as our responsibility to balance our core aviation business with the protection of our natural surroundings,” he said.

“Our region is rich in world-class natural assets and cultural experiences, which are key drawcards for visitors and integral to the local lifestyle. Cairns Airport is committed to achieving Net Zero emissions (for Scope 1 and 2) by 2025, a significant target which would make us among the first carbon-neutral airports in Australasia.”

“Implementation of climate-positive practices will help to futureproof our operations for the benefit of our
community and economy.”

The collaboration with CleanCo encompasses Mackay Airport, also owned by NQA. The majority of the renewable energy will be supplied locally by the Kaban Green Energy Hub near Ravenshoe.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said: “We know that tourists come from around the world to visit the pristine sites of the Far North, and with the tourism industry the biggest employer in the region, initiatives that take action on climate are critical.”

CleanCo Chief Executive Officer Tom Metcalfe said: “This collaboration is one of great importance to CleanCo and allows Queenslanders to make a direct connection between the renewables we are investing in, the journeys they travel and the airports they visit in beautiful North Queensland.”

“Thank you to North Queensland Airports for trusting CleanCo as a partner in the organisation’s sustainability journey. We are delighted to support Queensland’s valuable tourism industry through the supply of renewable energy generated right here in Queensland.”

Cairns Airport was crowned Airport of the Year twice in 2023 by separate leading industry bodies, scooping the Major Airport of the Year category at the Australian Airports Association (AAA) National Airport Industry Awards just a couple of months after winning Airport of the Year at the Australian Aviation Awards. Cairns Airport also won the 2023 Australian Airports Association Excellence Award for Sustainability, in relation to an Australia-first Sustainability Linked Loan, which features a unique biodiversity target.

Advance Cairns Chief Executive Officer Jacinta Reddan said proactive climate-positive measures, such as NQA’s partnership with CleanCo, would help to ensure the region’s long-term growth and economic prosperity.

“North Queensland is highly regarded for its spectacular natural attractions and world-class facilities,” she said.

“Protection of the surrounding environment is critical to our community, local operators and the region’s overall longevity. North Queensland Airports’ investment in renewable energy demonstrates a clear vision for the future. It is fantastic to see this commitment from one of our region’s most vital pieces of infrastructure.”

– Ends –

For further media comment and images:
Caitlin Francis
Cairns Airport, Media & Communications Manager
P: +61 466 721 536
E: Caitlin.Francis@cairnsairport.com.au
W: cairnsairport.com.au

Namassana Holland-Beard
Advance Cairns, Marketing & Communications Manager
P: +61 421 106 462
E: marketing@advancecairns.com