Birmingham Airport energy champions


Birmingham Airport (BHX) is one of the UK’s busiest airports, catering for over 13 million passengers per year. Energy is one of their largest controllable costs and the airport wanted to bring about a step change in the way that energy was managed, with a particular focus on behaviour change. Work to embed energy efficient behaviours in the culture of the business has been highly successful, contributing to a reduction of £785k in the 2015/16 utilities budget. In 2016/17, the behaviour change campaign alone delivered an energy saving of circa 66 MWh, with a further 170 MWh in the pipeline.


BHX is a large and expanding UK airport with plans to double its capacity by 2020. The airport offers both internal flights and international flights to Europe, the Middle East and beyond. The Carbon Trust estimates that savings of more than £300 million a year can be achieved in UK workplaces, through encouraging employees to adopt behaviours that reduce energy use and waste.  BHX wanted to put behaviour change at the heart of its activities to secure sustained improvements in energy management. Key steps to success were increasing accountability for consumption and actively engaging staff from all disciplines to identify and deliver energy saving opportunities.


LCMB worked alongside the in-house teams to:

  • secure top level engagement: senior management committed to an annual energy reduction target of 5% and a strategic plan for behaviour change
  • create a senior Energy and Carbon Reduction Group with monthly meetings
  • establish a baseline of staff awareness levels, attitudes and motivations towards energy saving across the airport and re-survey to quantify improvements
  • recruit Energy Champions and run a series of consultation and Big Green Splash events to identify energy saving projects
  • install a reporting platform (Isaveenergy) for staff to flag opportunities to save energy
  • actively work with the Energy Champions to prioritise projects for implementation and support them to present their investment case to the senior management team
  • implement a communications plan to improve awareness and accountability and share success stories (including e-publications, posters, web pages etc.)


  • Increased accountability for energy within each business unit.
  • Consistent levels of engagement amongst Energy Champions and wider airport staff community. Annual staff surveys show that the majority rank energy reduction as a high priority and an issue that has achieved high levels of awareness.
  • Improved staff engagement and 100+ energy saving ideas generated.
  • Initial energy saving projects implemented, others under trial.
  • Contribution to £785k reduction in 2015/16 utilities budget (including 7% decrease in electricity consumption over the previous year).
  • Energy saving of circa 66 MWh in 2016/17, with a further 170 MWh in the pipeline.
  • Regular energy reporting process in place for each business unit, providing the basis for devolved energy saving targets.
  • Evidence to address carbon management planning condition required for airport expansion.

Challenges and Achievements

Challenges and Achievements

Measuring Improvement

Part of the challenge in determining the success of a behaviour change programme is identifying and quantifying the improvements that result from this work. LCMB and Birmingham Airport overcame this by surveying staff before and after the start of the programme, as well as allocating invest-to-save projects to individual energy champions to develop and establish the financial business case.

The Birmingham Airport Behaviour Change Campaign was Highly Commended at the 2015 Energy Awards.

Embedded resource

To support the in-house team and secure a detailed understanding of the cultural and organisational challenges involved, LCMB worked alongside BHX staff as an embedded resource. This partnership approach has delivered consistent improvements as the airport has continued to grow and has now been in place for 3 years.

Birmingham Airport Step Change Energy Saving Programme LCMB

LCMB has been working at the airport delivering a behaviour change programme since 2014. Our approach to energy management has been transformed and our costs have been reduced. Staff have been put at the heart of our mission to cut carbon and the staff survey confirms that they now feel more accountable for operational energy use and more empowered to take action to reduce it.”

James Gordon, Head of Engineering & Infrastructure, Birmingham Airport

Find out more

LCMB improves the financial and environmental sustainability of buildings and estates, and the productivity and well-being of the people using them. We do this by reducing building operating costs, energy used and improving building space and its’ utilisation. We offer Workplace Performance, Facilities Management, Project Management and Resource optimisation support.

Amongst others our clients include King’s College London, Birmingham Airport, Tata Technologies, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bouygues Energies & Services.

Give us a call on:
01295 576 000

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