VINCI initiates reforestation project

The company plans for Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport to be the first net zero emission commercial aviation facility in France by 2026 

VINCI Airports president, Nicola Notebaert, has announced the launch of a local reforestation programme that aims to absorb residual emissions of Lyon-Saint Exupery and Lyon-Bron airports.  

The first project – conducted in partnership with the French National Forest Office and the Rhone Departmental Council – is situated in the Cantiniere forest around 30 kilometres away from Lyon-Saint Exupery. The organisation plans to restore, reforest, maintain and manage the land with the implementation of locally resilient species.  

VINCI Airports
Photo VINCI Airports 

"It is in the very heart of the regions and territories where we operate that VINCI Airports is taking action. Our network, both deeply territorial and broadly international, allows us to have a tangible and immediate impact to contribute to the decarbonisation of mobility, wherever we operate,” explained Notebaert.  

Christophe Guilloteau, president of the Rhone Department, added: “The aim is to reforest plots of land in the department’s forests. This project will meet the regulatory requirements of the ‘low carbon label’ and will contribute to the future of the departmental forests. It is part of the continuity of actions carried out in favour of the preservation of our territory.” 

Similar schemes are set to be inaugurated at other sites, helping to create a network of forest sinks in the Rhone region – offsetting 100% of Lyon airports’ residual emissions.  

The organisation plans to make the hub the first commercial aviation facility in France to achieve net zero emissions by 2026.  

Airlines are also expected to get involved with the forest carbon sink programme.  

By acting locally, VINCI believes that the scheme will help regional economic development.  

The company reported that it has decreased its CO2 emissions by 22% between 2018 and last year. This programme is part of its wider plan to implement decarbonisation within the aviation sector.