Heathrow joins the #RefillRevolution

Shabana Bhatty

By Shabana Bhatty

Published 27th September 2018

Home > Heathrow 2.0 > Heathrow joins the #RefillRevolution

Home > Heathrow 2.0 > Heathrow joins the #RefillRevolution

Heathrow is proud to be a partner of Refill and support the UK’s first National Refill Day today. With 107 water fountains and refill stations across Heathrow Airport, passengers can now use the free Refill App to locate their closest refill point.   

When packing your bag ready for your trip, do you ever think about taking your refillable water bottle? A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number is set to increase a further 20% by 2021.

Heathrow currently has 107 water fountains and refill stations, and almost all of our cafes, restaurants and lounges can refill your water bottle on request. Download the FREE Refill app to find out where you can refill with quality tap water when you visit the airport.

At Heathrow we are trying to make it easier and cheaper to refill than buy a new bottle, with our 5 top tips:

1.    Pack your reusable bottle or buy one at the airport

Remember to pack a reusable bottle. But if you forget or you fancy treating yourself, you can buy a funky designer reusable bottle from Jack Wills, Ted Baker, WH Smith, Boots, Harrods, Superdry, Paul Smith, John Lewis, Pret and Cath Kidston. Prices start from £4.99 in WH Smith for a basic bottle.

2.    Empty your bottle before security

For the last 12 years, all airports have had to restrict the amount of liquid that we can carry through security search. We understand how frustrating it can be to have to leave your liquids and bottles behind. That’s why we now provide drainage points for you to empty your drink bottles, allowing passengers to carry them through empty and fill them back up on the other side.

3.    Refill your bottle before you fly

At the moment, we have 107 water fountains and refill stations at Heathrow! We are improving our signs and maps so these are easier to find.  Also, almost all of our cafes, restaurants and lounges can refill your water bottle if you ask, and you don’t need to be a customer.  Currently, we don’t have any refill points at our gates, so refill on your way using the free refill app.  We are always looking at how we can improve things and so do send us your thoughts on sustainability@heathrow.com

4.    Download the Refill app and find tap water near you

Download the FREE Refill app and find out where you can Refill with quality tap water near you. There are now over 12,000 Refill stations across the UK including railway stations, airports and high street chains such as Costa, Starbucks and Wetherspoons.

5.    Join the refill revolution

Join the #RefillRevolution and carry your reusable bottle on UK National Refill Day – 27 September – to show the world how easy it is to find free tap water on the go, save money and stop plastic pollution at source.

We know that for many people they are not ready or able to make the switch, and so we are also making sure that we collect and recycle as many plastic bottles that are thrown away at Heathrow as possible – in August we recycled 350 thousand plastic bottles.

Heathrow plans for the airport to be carbon neutral by 2020, and eventually for its infrastructure to be zero carbon by 2050.

Heathrow has announced its investment in an unique project in UK aviation: the restoration of UK peatlands to offset carbon emissions.  Working with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and DEFRA, Heathrow’s first restoration priority will be Little Woolden Moss, part of Chat Moss which is a larger area of peat bog land, west of Manchester, it has been subject to commercial peat extraction for over 15 years.

  • Lancashire nature reserve is first peatland restoration chosen by Heathrow as carbon offsetting project

  • Heathrow research into peatland restoration could help UK aviation industry fulfil its international carbon commitments

  • Terminal 2 becomes one of world’s first terminals run entirely on renewable energy

The restoration of the UK’s peatland bogs, forms part of Heathrow’s plans to be a carbon neutral airport by 2020. By supporting research into the climate benefits of peatland restoration, Heathrow hopes to show that projects like this will make a good option for airlines’ CORSIA commitments – an international agreement to deliver carbon neutral growth in aviation from 2020.  This pilot project will also help explore opportunities for peatland to deliver cost effective carbon offsetting alongside a range of other benefits including biodiversity, water quality, and flood protection.

Heathrow’s aim is to operate zero carbon airport infrastructure by 2050, meaning that the day to day operation of the airport infrastructure results in no emissions of greenhouse gases.  As part of the progress made against these plans, Heathrow has also announced that Terminal 2 is now powered by entirely renewable means: 124 solar panels on its roof, an on-site biomass boiler using locally sourced forestry waste and renewable gas and electricity supplies. With all of Heathrow running on 100% renewable electricity since April 2017, Heathrow is already nearly 80% towards its zero carbon airport goal.

Heathrow Airport head of sustainability Matt Gorman, visits Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s conservation work at Little Woolden Moss, Manchester. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday September 21, 2018.

Heathrow has invested more than £94,000 in Little Woolden Moss to restore 70 hectares of peatland that has up until now been used for extraction. According to DEFRA indicators, the restoration of this project area could lead to savings of 22,427 tonnes of CO2 over 30 years – equivalent to nearly 64,000 passenger journeys from Heathrow to New York. Following this initial pilot project, Heathrow plans to invest in more peatland restoration projects over the next two years, and the airport is already exploring other locations.

Taking the lead in restoring peatlands as carbon sinks is a long-term project announced in Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s sustainability strategy.  The UK has seen a catastrophic loss of peatland habitat until today – with 94% of the country’s natural peatland either destroyed or damaged.  Peatlands still represent the UK’s biggest store of carbon, and studies have revealed that if all the UK’s bogs were in favourable conditions they would have the potential to remove and assimilate an additional 3 million tonnes of carbon a year.1

Heathrow has recently signed up to the global Science Based Targets Initiative, pledging that it will align its emissions targets with the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees. The airport has also achieved the Level 2 Carbon Trust Supply Chain Standard, one of only 11 companies to be accredited and the first airport.  The standard recognises Heathrow’s work with its suppliers to target year-on-year reductions in supply chain carbon emissions.

The restoration of Little Woolden Moss will take place over three years, and the restored site will continue to be publicly accessible for cycling, walks, and community events.  The restoration will involve pumping water to the site, planting native plant species, and eventually allowing the area to fully restore its rich habitat and wildlife – including species like the common lizard, Black Darter Dragonfly, Brown Hare and the rare Bog Bush Cricket.

Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said:

“We are very excited to announce our partnership with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, and explore how UK peatlands can be used as a carbon offsetting tool.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge our generation is facing and while this is just the first of many projects, we hope it will be a model for the aviation industry to follow.”

– Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye

Anne Selby, Chief Executive of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust said:

“The Trust has been working for over 30 years to restore these globally important habitats and fight for their protection. This has been made possible by the support of our key funders, members and local businesses who have supported our work for many years. We are pleased that Heathrow are joining them in protecting the future of our UK peatlands.

“Our wildlife is under threat and now is the time for us all to stand together to protect the future of our natural world; we must all be part of the solution”

– Chief Executive of Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Anna Selby

Besides tackling emissions from its own buildings and infrastructure and investing in offsetting, Heathrow encourages airlines to use cleaner aircraft through landing charges, and through the “Fly Quiet and Green” League table, a public ranking of the best and the worst airline environmental performers.  Heathrow is addressing carbon emissions from vehicles by instituting an airside ultra-low emission zone and by supporting public transport options into the airport, including the trebling of rail capacity by 2040.

Notes to Editors:

British Airways and Heathrow baggage handlers ‘escape from reality’ in celebration of Queen legend Freddie Mercury’s birthday and Twentieth Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, in cinemas October 24th.

• Mercury worked as a Heathrow baggage handler before he joined Queen in 1970
• British Airways and Heathrow staff will celebrate Freddie For A Day on his birthday ahead of the upcoming release of the Queen movie BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
• To pay tribute to the legend, baggage handlers have teamed up with Strictly Come Dancing choreographer to bring Freddie Mercury moves to Terminal 5
• Other activities at Heathrow for will include Queen songs on Arrivals boards and memorabilia in Departure Lounge
• BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is released at UK cinemas on 24th October
• Video available to download here

LONDON, UK – He handled the heights of rock stardom as lead singer of Queen, but few are aware of Freddie Mercury’s days handling baggage at Heathrow Airport.

Now, to celebrate Freddie For A Day which marks the rock legend’s birthday on September 5th and the upcoming release of Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises film BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, Heathrow and British Airways will ‘escape from reality’ to pay tribute to Freddie in spectacular fashion.

Heathrow Terminal 5 arrivals will come alive in celebration of the Queen frontman, as baggage handlers perform Mercury-inspired dance moves, choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor choreographer Lyndon Lloyd.

Following weeks of rehearsals, the baggage handlers will Break Free from their routine and astonish passengers with moves inspired by the charismatic rock star, who worked at the airport nearly 50 years ago, shortly before joining Queen and packing arenas around the world.

“Freddie’s” to get VIP access with British Airways on September 5th

Any travellers landing at Terminal 5 on September 5th can also look out for Queen songs on Arrivals boards, whilst Queen memorabilia will go on display in the departures area next month.

To celebrate the singer’s birthday on September 5, any customer called Freddie, Frederick or the legend’s real name, Farrokh, who is departing from Terminal 5 will be invited, along with their traveling companions, to use British Airways’ First lounge, accessed through the exclusive First Wing.

The celebrations, which will help raise awareness for Queen’s charity The Mercury Phoenix Trust, are in anticipation of the cinema release of BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, a foot-stomping tribute to Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer.

The film traces Mercury’s meteoric rise from his unlikely beginnings and features scenes at Heathrow, where he worked whilst living in Feltham, before going from bags to riches and becoming one of the most iconic rock stars of all time.

Adam Dewey, one of British Airways’ baggage managers, who stars in the video, said “Freddie Mercury is an undisputed rock legend and it has been an absolute blast planning his birthday celebrations at Heathrow, where he once worked.”

“Myself and the other baggage handlers taking part have put everything into these dance routines and we can’t wait to see the faces on holidaymakers when they strut their stuff in the arrivals hall! The new film Bohemian Rhapsody has proved a great inspiration for all of us and we can’t wait to be hot-stepping our way to the premiere next month!”

Virinder Bansal, a Baggage Service Manager at Heathrow, who also stars in the video said: “Freddie Mercury was a truly British icon and I am delighted to ‘Break Free’ and celebrate his iconic life with my colleagues.”

“We hope passengers at Terminal 5 enjoy our surprising and unique welcome to the UK, before we return to work. After all, The Show Must Go On”.

Heathrow Terminal 5 will celebrate Freddie Mercury Day on Wednesday 5th September. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is released at UK cinemas on 24th October from Twentieth Century Fox.

More airlines are modernising their fleet to incorporate newer, quieter aircraft. Over 1 in 5 aircraft landing at Heathrow this year are expected to be ‘Chapter 14 Low’ – the quietest aircraft available.

  • Latest Fly Quiet and Green results see Aer Lingus, SAS and BA (short-haul) land podium finish in race to be the ‘quietest and greenest’ from April to June this year

  • Turkish Airlines is the latest carrier to upgrade its fleet of aircraft and make an impressive leap in the quarterly league table

Results from Heathrow’s latest Fly Quiet and Green quarterly league table – ranking Heathrow’s busiest 50 airlines based on their performance from April to June  –  proves airlines are working hard to modernise their fleet and advance their position in the table. Heathrow has estimated more than one 1 in 5 aircraft landing at the airport this year are set to be ‘Chapter 14 Low’ – the quietest type of aircraft available – an increase from the 16% seen in 2017.

Leading the charge this quarter is Turkish Airlines (long-haul), who are the latest airline to modernise their fleet to include more Boeing 777’s. The Turkish carrier has moved into 17th place on the league table, up 25 spots from last quarter. Improved ability to fly within the specified departure routes known as ‘noise preferential routes’ (NPRs) has also helped improve their position.

Scandinavian Airlines have been knocked off the top spot by Aer Lingus, which has moved up three places from last quarter to claim first. The Scandinavian carrier now sits in second place, followed closely by British Airways (short-haul) in third. The top three performers scored highly in six of the seven noise and emission metrics used to rank airlines. All three have shown a clear upward trend in their use of a quieter arrivals procedure “Continuous Descent Approach” (CDA) and better adherence to the NPRs.

Another strong performer is Oman Air which have also been working closely with the Heathrow team to improve their position by 11 places from last quarter.  Saudi Arabian Airlines are expected to make improvements over the next quarters, due to their active engagement with Heathrow’s operational team. The airline has also just taken delivery of a new system which allows them to see how each aircraft has performed on measures like CDA and track keeping,  within 20 minutes of arriving at Heathrow, and for them engage with the flight crews to drive up performance.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability said:

“The latest league table results raises the bar for airlines, who have shown that they remain committed to flying quieter and greener.

“Our local communities are at the heart of this programme. Heathrow will continue to work closely with our airline partners to improve results even further, as part of our mission to be a better neighbour.”

– Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability, Matt Gorman

Each quarter, Heathrow publishes this league table showing a red/amber/green rating for seven noise and emissions criteria. In doing so, Heathrow not only aims to recognise good performance but ensures our noise and emissions experts are able to provide airlines with regular feedback and identify specific areas to be targeted for improvement. Heathrow will engage with airlines showing red results in the latest league table to improve their rating.

Essex based start-up Energy Crop Solutions and local resident Andrew Swift have won Heathrow’s first ever Sustainable Innovation Prizes, beating other applications from SMEs across the UK and airport workers.

The winners were judged as the best solutions which could solve some of the sustainability challenges facing airports and the aviation industry more widely.

Entries were invited to focus on three areas as part of Heathrow’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainability work: using waste as a resource, sustainable and low carbon materials, and measuring and enhancing quality of life locally.

The six chosen finalists pitched to a senior judging panel including:

  • Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s Director of Sustainability & Environment

  • Katherine Leahy, Heathrow’s Director of Airport Operations

  • Chris Annetts, Heathrow’s Retail Director

  • Fiona Carleton, Future Heathrow Director

  • Plus a guest judge Jonathan Counsell, IAG’s Director of Sustainability

As a winner of the Innovation Prize, Energy Crop Solutions will receive £20,000 in funding and the opportunity to use the airport as a “test bed” for their sustainability solution. Energy Crop Solutions plan to work with local charity Green Corridor to explore how different willow varieties provide acoustic, air quality and aesthetic improvements for local residents. The company will also explore if the willows can be used to fuel the airport’s on-site biomass boiler.  If the results are favourable, Energy Crop Solutions may have the opportunity to expand this project more widely across the airport.

A similar innovation competition, run internally to engage colleagues who work at the airport was won by Maidenhead resident Andrew Swift. His winning idea is to use the airport’s plastic waste for its road surfacing. Heathrow will fund research into Andrew’s winning idea with its university partners, which could lead to an on-airport trial.

The strength and creativity of the entries received this year has encouraged the airport to launch a second prize early in 2019.  Five honourable mentions were given to the other finalists, and Heathrow is exploring whether these ideas can also be supported in some way at the airport:

  • Cheshire- based Driver Net, which has established a smart logistics app which would be tested for its potential to improve operational efficiency and cut vehicle emissions from freight deliveries;

  • London-based ForestCar – an innovative airport car sharing service involving peer-to-peer lending;

  • Dorset- based ECO360 which provides recyclable cardboard furniture and suggested trialling these in specialist airport applications;

  • Hertfordshire-based Urban Control, which put forward low-cost noise detection monitoring combined with machine learning to determine specific sources of noise;

  • Leeds – based Yellow Label – a tech start-up seeking to cut food waste communicating the availability of discounted food to consumer.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment said:

“The creativity and ingenuity from all the entries we received has shown us the value of our Innovation Prize.

“We look forward to seeing the results of the research and trials from our winners, and how they will help us think outside of the box to tackle our biggest environmental challenges at the airport.”

– Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment, Matt Gorman

Winner Gary Crooks,  from Energy Crop Solutions, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be selected as a winner of the Sustainable Innovation Prize. Working with Heathrow has given us a unique opportunity to demonstrate the benefits now possible from the latest willow cultivars and 2nd generation biomass.

“With this amazing opportunity we will demonstrate the benefits of willow for air quality, bio diversity and noise reduction for the local communities.”

– Gary Crooks, Energy Crop Solutions

We will also highlight the use the greatly improved 2nd generation biomass accelerating its adoption across the UK. We are excited to explore the opportunities that winning the prize presents and can’t wait to get started.”

Winner of the internal Sustainable Innovation Prize,  Andrew Swift said:

“I was very surprised and pleased to not only to have my idea short listed but to end up an eventual winner of the Heathrow’s Centre of Excellence innovation prize.”

“The world slowly is waking up to the big issue plastic is causing our environment and here at Heathrow I can see the desire to be an industry leader in making a difference.”

– Andrew Swift, Winner of the Internal Sustainable Innovation Prize

Shabana Bhatty

By Shabana Bhatty

Published 3rd September 2018