Special focus lies on the conservation of the surrounding countryside. Munich Airport, with a total size of around 1,500 hectares, takes only 5.9% of the former marshes and moss area where it is located. Nevertheless, compensatory initiatives were taken for the airport ground itself, the airport boundary zone and the extended area.
More than two thirds of the actual airport property is green. These areas have different functions depending on their location. Near the flight operation areas they have to meet special requirements, e. g. they must be capable of bearing weight and be as economical as possible to maintain. The trees along the main roads help with orientation and traffic guidance. More than 6,000 trees have been planted for this reason.
The airport boundary zone is a buffer to the open countryside. It represents the transition from airport property to open countryside. More than 80 hectares of wooded area and 110 hectares of lawn and meadow were created. The hedges and groves were planted with native species. Shrubs and trees with berries were kept to a minimum to reduce the risk of bird hits. These plantings also protect the agricultural areas from wind erosion.
Compensatory measures led to a wide greenbelt around the airport. The ecological replacement measures in the extended area are spread over 5,000 hectares. The greenbelt represents a link between the existing conservation areas and landscape preservation areas. It facilitates the exchange and spread of plant and animal species.
Studies have shown that the airport's ecological compensation areas in their entirety are important for the preservation of biotopes. The mentioned measures contribute to the conservation of the beauty, diversity and individuality of the region. Some areas have even attracted species that are important for conservation.
In 2011, Munich Airport reached another milestone in nature conservation: Airport Council International (ACI Europe), an umbrella organization of European airports, has officially certified Munich Airport's successful measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The level 3 accreditation granted to the airport corresponds to the "Optimization" performance level. Under the ACI categories, the Optimization standard is recognized for airports that demonstrate effective and sustainable efforts to avoid CO2 emissions. Munich is the first airport in Germany to receive this accreditation level from ACI. Munich Airport submitted its accreditation request in 2010, retroactively for 2009. The decisive factor for the success of the application was the fact that the CO2 emissions recorded in 2009 were 17,000 tons lower than the average level of the preceding three years.