East Midlands Airport is thought to have become the first in the UK to plant its own willow farm to produce fuel to power the terminal building.
The 26-hectare farm will be planted and harvested in phases over the next three years to ensure a continual crop of willow to power a bio-mass boiler.
It is part of the airport's plan to become carbon neutral by 2012.
Airport official Neil Robinson said: "This is a landmark day for the airport."
The farm is expected to produce about 280 tonnes of wood fuel annually, saving 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The airport is also piloting the use of buses powered by liquid bio-methane fuel for passengers.