Sustainability is central to Zurich Airport Groupʼs corporate strategy. Accordingly, the company focuses on the long-term horizons of its business activities and takes its governance, environmental and social responsibilities very seriously.

Zurich Airport Ltd. is a semi-public listed company that owns and operates Zurich Airport, the most important transport and meeting hub in Switzerland. The company focuses on its core activities relating to the operation of airports and management of commercial centers, as well as on profitably managing and further developing real estate and the infrastructure at its Zurich site. It is increasingly also involved in holdings in foreign airports and their operation. Its portfolio includes majority interests in the airports at Florianópolis, Natal (integration in 2024), Vitória and Macaé in Brazil, at Antofagasta and Iquique in Chile, and in the airport currently under construction at Noida in India. Zurich Airport Ltd. believes that corporate value can only be increased over the long term by adopting sustainable business practices. Consequently, along with value creation, it has defined the principle of sustainability to be the overarching goal of its corporate strategy.

In the present report, which has been drawn up in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, the company has recorded its various impacts on the environment and society. It shows both the positive and negative impacts of the Groupʼs business activities at its various sites and what action Zurich Airport Ltd. is taking to mitigate adverse impacts and enhance positive effects along its value chain. 

This section represents the non-financial report of the company in accordance with Art. 964a ff. of the Swiss Code of Obligations and gives an account of the relevant environmental (including CO2 targets), social, workforce, human rights and anti-corruption matters. The business model and the material risks arising from these issues for third parties are described in this section. The risks for the company itself are described in the Annual Report. See the Corporate profile and Risk management sections of the Annual Report for further information.

Guidelines and implementation in the company

Zurich Airport Ltd. has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact (UNGC) since 2021. This obliges it to apply the ten principles of the UNGC relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment and preventing corruption in the conduct of its business. The core document to ensure this within the Zurich Airport Group is the Group Code of Conduct which is binding for all its majority-owned holdings. It is available in English, German, Portuguese and Spanish and forms part of the contract of employment for all employees. Infringements of the Code of Conduct may have disciplinary consequences. Where subsidiaries adopt their own codes of conduct, at a minimum these must also comply with the requirements of the Groupʼs Code of Conduct. To integrate the changes made to the Group Code of Conduct during the previous year, the codes for the subsidiaries in India, Chile and Brazil were amended accordingly.

GRI 2-23

The Code of Conduct stipulates minimum requirements with respect to behaviour and reporting on non-financial matters as are described in the present report. As well as human rights as prescribed by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it now also references the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the core labour standards 138 and 182 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the ILO Child Labour Guidance Tool for Business, which the company has pledged to uphold. How the company performs due diligence in this regard is described in the Human rights section.

In addition, the company also has numerous other guidelines on specific topics. In Zurich for instance, there are guidelines on sustainability, on environmental protection in general, on climate protection, on employees, as well as on safety and occupational safety. See the respective individual sections on each topic for further information.

The Board of Directors of Zurich Airport Ltd. exercises ultimate oversight of responsible business conduct as well as compliance with the UNGCʼs ten principles and the Code of Conduct. Its Audit and Finance Committee is responsible for non-financial reporting. The Management Board and the various heads of divisions are then responsible for implementing the sustainability strategy. They all bear equal responsibility for ensuring that the principles and guidelines of the company are followed in their respective divisions. The head of the “Finance & Services” division, along with the directly subordinate “Sustainability & Environmental”, “Legal, Risk & Compliance” and “Financial Services” departments, are responsible for coordinating and developing sustainability-related matters. Together with the head of division, representatives from these departments steer the implementation of sustainability policies in close coordination with the relevant departments in the line organisation.

GRI 2-24

Sustainability strategy

No fundamental changes were made to the sustainability strategy of the Zurich Airport Group during the year under review, but work ensued on its implementation. Interdisciplinary working groups were additionally established to oversee any sustainability issues that are not adequately reflected in the line organisation. These groups are tasked with applying their expertise to monitoring developments within their specific remit, and defining additional targets and measures where necessary.

In international business, the local sustainability strategies underwent further development. For Florianópolis, Vitória and Macaé in Brazil and for the two Chilean airports in Iquique and Antofagasta, targets were set for the most important sustainability topics (see the Sustainability topics section).The sustainability awards won in the reporting year by the airports in Brazil operated by Zurich Airport Ltd. show that they are on the right track. For example, both Florianópolis and Macaé were recognised by the Brazilian civil aviation authority in their respective category as the most sustainable airports in the country. Vitória came in second, behind Florianópolis. In the case of the newly acquired airport in Natal, Brazil, which was only be integrated into the Group during 2024, its sustainability strategy will be defined during the current year.

Sustainability awards for our Brazilian airports Florianópolis, Vitória and Macaé

An overview of the topics and ambitions of the Zurich Airport Group is shown in the graphic below. The circular diagram is intended to underscore the fact that responsible management can only be mapped by addressing all five topics as complementary. Corporate governance is fundamental to the sustainability-oriented management of the company and represented accordingly in the diagram.

Sustainability ambitions of Zurich Airport Group