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Resource management

Environmental management fulfills strict requirements

Munich Airport uses natural resources considerately and with a sense of responsibility toward future generations. Respectful exchange with stakeholders is thus of major importance – including in relation to the topic of environmental management. Since 2005, Flughafen München GmbH has operated a certified environmental management system to the international standards of DIN EN ISO 14001 and the requirements of the EU Regulation EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme); since 2018, also to the more stringent international environmental standard DIN EN ISO 14001:2015. Moreover, FMG supports subsidiaries whose activities have a high environmental relevance through the introduction of a systematic environmental management system. Allresto, aerogate, and Cargogate have all been successfully recertified. AeroGround and eurotrade are planning to implement EMAS and ISO 14001 in 2020.

Environmental management system at the Group for 2019






Flughafen München GmbH


Successful monitoring audit





Successful monitoring audit





Successful monitoring audit





Successful monitoring audit





Introduction planned


Certification in accordance with the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and DIN ISO 14001

«Environmental statement»

Airport is committed to 100 percent waste paper

Since 2019, the Group has produced its print materials in accordance with an ecological and optimum quality standard for offset printing. In addition to waste paper, this also includes mineral oil-free printing inks, which separate easily from the paper again during recycling. Business letters and envelopes too are made from 100 percent recycled paper. The Group already switched fully to recycled paper for use in its office printers some years back.

Generating less waste

Flughafen München GmbH is authorized to conduct waste management independently on its site in accordance with the German Waste Management and Product Recycling Act. Avoidance of waste is an absolute priority. However, waste and scrap products are generated from the operation of the airport – across the board – and these are then collected where they occur in various separating systems, handed over to certified specialist businesses close to the airport, prepared in sorting plants, and then recycled. The small proportion of residual waste that cannot be recycled is converted by the Munich North power plant into district heat and power.

The majority of waste and scrap material is generated by affiliated companies, the companies based at the airport, as well as airlines. A custom disposal concept tailored specifically to the producer of the waste is therefore essential for successful resource conservation: from the actual generation of the waste through to recycling and disposal. FMG therefore provides regular information on current waste topics, gives tips on environmentally friendly conduct, and is on hand to offer advice.

A man in jeans and an orange and blue warning jacket disposing of a bag of waste from a grey container with the logo of Munich Airport
All manner of disposal methods are used at the airport.

The tense situation that currently exists on the waste management and recycling market, caused by the oversupply of recyclables for mixed sorting and the corresponding lack of capacity among recycling firms, presents a new challenge for the waste management industry. While recycling was considered trendsetting in past years, the precursor to «zero waste» is now emerging as a key issue for the future internationally. FMG will adopt new approaches to respond to this goal change and address it from an economic, ecological, and social perspective.

Disposal methods for waste

In tonnes (previous year’s figures)

Disposal method for waste

Waste from demolition and building renovation works was a key factor in the reduction of waste by 1,343 tonnes. As in the previous year, the topsoil excavation material arising from expansion, redevelopment, and renaturation works, which is recycled fully, contributes to the recycling rate.

Facts and figures

Recycling instead of disposal

Old cellphones can now be recycled more easily thanks to improvements in the process: Only defective cellphones are passed on by waste management to certified waste disposal companies so that valuable metals can be recovered. Any phones that are still in working order are sold in the service center once all data has been deleted, with the proceeds being donated to the airport’s charitable association Flughafenverein.

A responsible approach to water

The aim of water management at Munich Airport is to affect the natural water balance as little as possible and arrange the various effects caused by water resource management, drainage, and the provision of drinking and extinguishing water so that they have as little impact as possible. FMG pursues the following goals in this respect:

  1. Make sure the condition of the groundwater and bodies of water above ground is not impaired
  2. Only use drinking water where drinking water quality is really needed
  3. Minimize the volume of wastewater
  4. Separate wastewater at the source, and treat and dispose of it separately
  5. Keep wastewater away from sealed surfaces so as to prevent peak run-off

A sewage system stretching for around 300 kilometers collects wastewater at Munich Airport. Depending on the level of contamination, the water is pretreated in the airport’s own plants, retained, added to bodies of water, or sent to the sewage plant in Eitting.

8 percent represents the year-on-year reduction of waste.

Wastewater disposal concept

Wastewater disposal concept Subdivision into rainwater, wastewater and de-icing water

Process water wells conserve drinking water

Quaternary groundwater close to the surface (process water) from our own wells has been used for many years now for cooling in the power centers, west and east, instead of precious tertiary groundwater (drinking water). This led to a saving on drinking water of around 256,326 cubic meters in 2019, with total savings now amounting to some 2,000,000 cubic meters since the practice of using process water began in 2010. Planning and preparatory building works have started on additional process water wells in a bid to save up to a further 50,000 cubic meters of drinking water a year. A third well is due to go into operation in 2020 and a fourth is at the planning stage. The goal is to use process water increasingly in cases where drinking water quality is not required: for concrete work and building site supplies, for cleaning runways using high-pressure equipment, for use in wet sweeping machines, for sewer rinsing, and for watering green areas, bushes, and trees.

Drinking water consumption at Munich Airport hovered consistently at around one million cubic meters in recent years despite growth in passenger numbers. The specific drinking water consumption remained around the previous year’s level in 2019 and amounted to 20.2 liters (previous year: 19.8 liters) per traffic unit (1 TU = 1 passenger or 100 kilograms of air freight). On this basis, Munich Airport will come in under the target set in 2011 for specific drinking water consumption in 2020 of 21.6 liters per traffic unit.

Process water instead of drinking water for air conditioning purposes

Ground filters protect groundwater

Ground filters in the area around the heads of the runways prevent de-icer from entering into the groundwater. They are used to retain and clean the collected waste de-icer. Regular examinations of the leachate using a TOC measuring system (TOC = Total Organic Carbon) verify their cleaning efficiency. Depending on the level of residual contamination, the collected water is routed to a body of water or – during harsh winters where lots of de-icer is used – sent straight to the sewage plant. The filters at the heads of the north and south runway to the east and west are already in operation.

Aircraft de-icer cycle

De-icing vehicles keep aircraft free from ice and snow before take-off. The de-icer dripping off the aircraft during this process finds its way via slit drainage gutters and channels into underground basins. It is then mechanically and chemically treated in the airport’s own recycling plant, its water content reduced, and then converted back to its original state with the use of additives. The recycling rate for the active glycol component in de-icer was around 56 percent for the 2018/2019 season. The average for the last few years has ranged between 41 and a maximum of 59 percent – depending on the weather and taking into account a level of energy consumption suited to the environmental footprint.

Aircraft de-icer cycle

56 percent recycling rate for de-icer
An aircraft from behind, which is sprayed with de-icing fluid, the de-icing fog covers the whole right side of the aircraft, in the background a bright blue sky
Special vehicles known as «polar bears» spray the aircraft with de-icer.
DIN EN ISO 14001
DIN EN ISO 14001 stipulates the fundamental structures and requirements for an environmental management system, with which an organization can improve its environmental performance, fulfill its legal and voluntary obligations, and achieve environmental objectives. At the same time, ISO 14001 also acts as the basis for the certification of environmental management systems.
Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)
The joint system for voluntary environmental management and audits is an instrument developed by the European Commission for companies that wish to improve their environmental performance. EMAS expands the requirements of DIN EN ISO 14001 more stringently, for example in terms of external environmental audits, the continuous improvement of environmental performance, and transparent communications about environment-related developments.
Traffic unit (TU)
A measurement unit used to track all commercial passenger and cargo traffic. One TU is equivalent to one passenger arriving at or departing from an airport with hand luggage (a total of 100 kilograms) or 100 kilograms of airfreight or airmail turned over or a combination of passenger volumes (arrivals and departures) and the local airfreight and airmail volumes (unloaded and loaded).

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