Policy and strategy

As one of the world's oldest continually operating airports, it's essential we have a clear approach to environmental management across our operations.

Located only 8km from Sydney’s Central Business District, our airport is almost entirely surrounded by waterways. The natural environment at our airport has undergone dramatic change since 1920 when the site was first declared an aerodrome. About 25 per cent of the airport, including part of the two north-south parallel runways, is situated on reclaimed land, and extensive modifications have occurred through historic airport development activities. This included the redirection of the Cooks River, which originally flowed through the centre of the airport site. Despite this, Sydney Airport retains important environmental and heritage values.

Our Airport Environment Strategy guides the management of our environment and heritage values.

We're Airport Carbon Accredited by Airports Council International (ACI) under its carbon standard for airports, as part of our ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. In order to achieve certification at Level 3 (Optimisation), we were required to map the sources of carbon emissions for the whole airport, reduce our own carbon footprint and engage with our business partners to support their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

We recognised the need to manage our airport site in an environmentally sustainable manner for the benefit of people in Sydney, NSW and Australia. This responsibility extends to all our staff, airport tenants and other stakeholders.

Master Plan 2033

The Master Plan 2033 sets out the longer term priorities for the airport, with a clear focus on the environment, sustainability and climate change.

The Master Plan’s Sustainability, Climate Change and Environmental Management chapter has a strong focus on environmental issues.

Environment Policy

Our Environment Policy was endorsed by Sydney Airport’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer and forms the basis for the environmental management of our airport. The policy establishes the principles for the environmentally sustainable use of the airport, from which objectives, targets and environmental action plans in the Environment Strategy 2013 – 2018 were developed.

Sydney Airport Environment Policy (34kB)

Environment Strategy 2013 - 2018

Our Environment Strategy 2013 - 2018 was approved by the Australian Government on 17 February 2014, follwing extensive community and stakeholder consultation.

It details our environmental objectives and commitments for the next five years, builds on the environmental achievements made over the previous five years and promotes the continual improvement of environmental management at Sydney Airport.

The strategy covers all ground-based environmental aspects associated with the operation of our airport including:

  • sustainability and environmental management
  • climate change and energy management
  • water management
  • air quality
  • ground-based noise
  • ground transport
  • biodiversity and conservation management
  • soil and land management
  • spills response and hazardous materials

Please note that noise and emissions from aircraft in flight are addressed in the Master Plan 2033 and by relevant Australian Government legislation, rather than the Environment Strategy.

To download the individual chapters of the Environment Strategy, or a .zip file of the full document, follow the links below.