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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 08-Apr-2021

Analysis

JetBlue Airways aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040

Air New Zealand appoints three new members to Sustainability Advisory Panel

Groningen Eelde Airport to produce green hydrogen

London Biggin Hill Airport to offer sustainable aviation fuel

UPS announces purchase of eVTOL aircraft from Beta Technologies

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

JetBlue Airways aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040

JetBlue Airways announced (05-Apr-2021) the following sustainability initiatives: 

  • Reduce emissions with carbon offsets:
    • Achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, including carbon offsets;
  • Reduce direct emissions:
    • Decrease aircraft emissions by 25% per available seat mile by 2030 from 2015 levels, excluding offsets;
    • Increase usage of sustainable energy: Convert 10% of total jet fuel to be from blended sustainable aviation fuel by 2030;
    • Convert 40% of three main ground service equipment vehicle types to electric by 2025 and 50% by 2030;
  • Reduce waste:
    • Eliminate single use plastics within service ware where possible. Where not possible, ensure plastic is recyclable;
    • Maintain at least an 80% recycling rate for audited domestic flights. [more - original PR]

Original report: JetBlue Celebrates Earth Month by Announcing Meaningful, Short-term Actions to Advance Decarbonization Efforts and Benefit its Communities

JetBlue Sets Ambitious and Comprehensive Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Targets, Focuses on Achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2040, Expanding Usage of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), Increasing Representation in Leadership and Robust ESG Governance

As part of its annual GreenUp® Environmental Campaign, JetBlue is Encouraging Customers and Crewmembers to Lessen their Individual Impact and Participate in the Great Global Clean Up in Partnership with EARTHDAY.ORG

JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) today announced an ambitious and comprehensive set of short and medium term ESG targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions for its airline operations by 2040, increase usage of renewable energy, significantly increase diverse representation in its leadership ranks, hold business partners accountable for sustainable business practices, and more. This Earth Month, JetBlue is accelerating its commitment to take critical and measurable steps toward reducing its contribution to climate change.

JetBlue views robust oversight of key ESG issues as good for business and in generating long-term value, and recognizes that customers expect clean, efficient, and affordable travel. That’s why JetBlue is helping lead the path in sustainable aviation. In 2020, JetBlue became the first U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all domestic flying, today primarily through carbon offsets while the industry builds up lower-carbon technologies to reduce direct emissions.

“Our vision is to lead the way to a lower-carbon future for aviation. To get there, we are focused on innovations that offer meaningful reductions in emissions – and are setting clear targets along the way,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “We’re facing climate change head on and are seeking opportunities to reduce natural resource consumption, such as increasing use of renewable energy and minimizing waste produced.”

While ESG is part of JetBlue’s business strategy, programs encouraging individuals to lessen their environmental impact remain a pillar of JetBlue For Good, the airline’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility. Each April, JetBlue hosts its annual GreenUp campaign dedicated to bettering the communities it serves and help create a cleaner earth for future generations. This Earth Month, JetBlue is partnering with EARTHDAY.ORG, whose mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide, for the Great Global Cleanup highlighting volunteer opportunities throughout the airline’s network.

JetBlue Launches New ESG Targets

Environmental

Carbon neutrality is just one way JetBlue is preparing for a changing climate and ensuring a more sustainable business for its crewmembers, customers, shareholders and communities. JetBlue’s carbon reduction efforts focuses on decreasing emissions through fuel-efficient operations, aircraft, and usage of sustainable aviation fuels. JetBlue is setting clear targets to chart a path toward net zero.

Reduce emissions with carbon offsets:

  • Achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, including carbon offsets

Reduce direct emissions:

  • Decrease aircraft emissions 25 percent per available seat mile (ASM) by 2030 from 2015 levels, excluding offsets

Increase usage of sustainable energy:

  • Convert 10 percent of total jet fuel to be from blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030
  • Convert 40 percent of three main ground service equipment vehicle types to electric by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030

Reduce waste:

  • Eliminate single use plastics within service ware where possible. Where not possible, ensure plastic is recyclable
  • Maintain at least an 80 percent recycling rate for audited domestic flights

Social

Crewmember feedback and societal demands were part of the impetus for JetBlue to reexamine its relationships with crewmembers, business partners, customers, and the communities it serves. This included an evolution of its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy, which now concentrates on three areas: people, sourcing and brand.

This year JetBlue’s senior leaders tied to their 2021-2023 long-term incentive plan (LTIP) compensation to key ESG metrics. An ESG Index was developed that measures leadership payouts based on percent reduction in company emissions per ASM, volume of sustainable aviation fuel used, spend toward underrepresented business partners, long-term efforts to engage and work with minority and women owned businesses (MWBE), and a more diverse slate of officers and directors.

“JetBlue’s reinforced DEI strategy includes an increased investment in crewmembers’ development, retention and growth, focusing on a more inclusive workplace that drives better decision-making and innovation, said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We’re mobilizing our senior leadership team to create a more equitable workplace that better reflects the diverse communities we serve in all aspects of our airline. To ensure our success and strengthen shareholder value, ESG metrics will be tied to compensation and goals for JetBlue’s officers and directors.”

Leadership diversity:

  • Double race and ethnic minority representation at the officer and director level, from 12.5 percent today to 25 percent by the end of 2025.
  • Increase representation of women at the officer and director level, from 32 percent today to 40 percent by the end of 2025.

Business partner engagement:

  • Engage with 80 percent of top active business partners by spend on ESG principles within JetBlue’s Business Partner Code of Conduct by 2023

Governance

Oversight of material ESG risks and opportunities at JetBlue starts with its board of directors. In 2020, JetBlue’s board established a dedicated ESG subcommittee to manage and address key environmental and social issues, including identifying, monitoring, and mitigating climate-related risks and opportunities.

Board ESG Oversight:

  • An ESG subcommittee of the Board, consisting of at least 3 members, meets 3 times a year by 2021
  • Board-level accountability and areas of ESG oversight published by 2021

Board ESG Fluency:

  • Integrate ESG and DEI into Board member selection process by 2021

Executive Compensation:

  • Establish ESG goals tied to senior leadership compensation by 2021

JetBlue For Good’s Annual GreenUp Initiative Partners with EARTHDAY.ORG:

From April 1 – 30, 2021, customers and crewmembers are encouraged to visit jetbluegreenup.com, where they can enter the GreenUp sweepstakes (a.) for a chance to win a variety of carbon-neutral JetBlue prizes including one pair of roundtrip Mint tickets, JetBlue Vacations packages or JetBlue flight certificates. All carbon emissions for air travel awarded will be offset by JetBlue. Participants can receive additional entries in the sweepstakes by reviewing eco-friendly fun facts at jetbluegreenup.com and signing up for the EARTHDAY.ORG newsletter or participating in EARTHDAY.ORG’s Great Global Clean Up.

“Plastics and other pollution are destroying our communities, our drinking water systems, and our oceans, said Kathleen Rogers, EARTHDAY.ORG President. “Whether it’s a lot or a little, every piece of plastic and other waste materials that we remove from our beaches, our rivers, our hiking trails, and our parks makes a difference. Thank you to JetBlue for joining our efforts to restore our natural and urban landscapes.”

“We’re focused on reducing our environmental impact all year long. Earth Month serves as a great reminder that we can all lessen our individual impact, whether it’s preserving local natural spaces or participating in a global clean-up event. Our annual GreenUp campaign is one way we’re encouraging our customers and crewmembers to take steps in their daily lives, while we as an airline work on our own footprint,” continued Geraghty.

Air New Zealand appoints three new members to Sustainability Advisory Panel

Air New Zealand appointed (31-Mar-2021) Nadine Toe Toe, Sam Mostyn and Katherine Corich to its Sustainability Advisory Panel. After being with the panel since it began in 2014, Dame Anne Salmond has decided to step down. [more - original PR]

Original report: Three new panellists to shape Air New Zealand's sustainability agenda

Air New Zealand has welcomed three new heavy hitters to its Sustainability Advisory Panel.

The airline has appointed Kohutapu Lodge & Tribal Tours Director Nadine Toe Toe, Non-Executive Director and Sustainability Adviser Sam Mostyn AO, and Sysdoc Chairman and Founder Katherine Corich to its Sustainability Advisory Panel.

The Panel was established in 2014 to work with Air New Zealand to improve and develop its sustainability strategy and drive the airline forward in the field of sustainable aviation.

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer, Captain David Morgan, is excited to welcome the three new members onto the Panel with their diverse backgrounds and expertise in transformational leadership, climate change, sustainable tourism, and cultural and community engagement.

"Expanding the Panel to bring in these incredibly experienced and talented members is key to keeping us focused on sustainability. While it's been an extremely challenging 12 months for Air New Zealand, we know how critical it is to continue working on being more sustainable as an airline and as an industry."

"A major part of our Kia Mau company strategy is Ambitious Action on decarbonisation and keeping sustainability a key focus for Air New Zealand. Our Panel plays a critical role in shaping our sustainability agenda and ensuring the airline continues to drive impact in this space."

"The three members add a wealth of sustainability knowledge and experience into an already very talented Panel, joining Sir Jonathon Porritt (Chair), Dr Susanne Becken, and Professor Tim Jackson."

After being with the Panel since it began in 2014, Dame Anne Salmond has decided to step down.

"Air New Zealand would like to pay special thanks to Dame Anne for her immense contribution to the Panel and the positive influence she has had on shaping Air New Zealand's sustainability journey," says Captain Morgan.

Panel Chair Sir Jonathon Porritt says he is delighted Air New Zealand will be welcoming three new members onto its Sustainability Advisory Panel.

"This is such an important time for the airline, facing all the dilemmas associated with the global pandemic, but knowing the Climate Emergency and other big sustainability challenges still need to be addressed with even greater vigour and urgency."

Groningen Eelde Airport to produce green hydrogen

Groningen Eelde Airport announced (31-Mar-2021) a partnership with New Energy Coalition to make the airport more sustainable through hydrogen applications.

Infrastructure GroenLeven has built a solar park with a capacity of 21.9MW between the runway, apron and taxiway at the airport. It aims to use electrolysis to produce green hydrogen. [more - original PR - Dutch]

Original report: Groningen Airport Eelde eerste Hydrogen Valley Airport van Europa

Groningen Airport Eelde en New Energy Coalition gaan samenwerken. De partijen gaan intensief samenwerken om de luchthaven door middel van waterstoftoepassingen te verduurzamen. Het is de ambitie van Groningen Airport Eelde om de duurzaamste luchthaven van Europa te worden. Deze samenwerking past bij de waterstof-doelstellingen van de regio Noord-Nederland. De luchthaven is midden in de eerste Hydrogen Valley van Europa gelegen. Groningen Airport Eelde is met deze samenwerking de eerste Hydrogen Valley Airport.

Waterstofambities Groningen Airport Eelde 
Groningen Airport Eelde richt zich met het initiatief NXT Airport onder andere op verduurzaming van de luchtvaart en luchthavens. Samen met onderwijsinstellingen, bedrijfsleven en overheden wordt er binnen projecten gewerkt aan duurzaamheidsinnovaties. De focus ligt vooral op waterstoftechnologie. Het is de ambitie van de luchthaven om op het luchthaventerrein groene waterstof te produceren en deze op zowel land- als luchtzijde in te kunnen zetten voor innovatieve toepassingen.

Waterstofinfrastructuur 
Tussen de start-en-landingsbaan, platform en taxibaan op Groningen Airport Eelde is door GroenLeven een zonnepark aangelegd met een vermogen van  21,9 MW. Groningen Airport Eelde en GroenLeven willen middels elektrolyse hiermee groene waterstof produceren op de luchthaven.

Deze groene waterstof kan vervolgens op vele manieren toegepast worden. Zo is het de bedoeling om een multifuel-tankstation te realiseren, dat zowel land- als luchtzijde bedient. Op landzijde kunnen bijvoorbeeld personenauto’s, vrachtwagens en streekbussen tanken. Op luchtzijde worden daarmee in de toekomst grondafhandelingsmaterieel, waterstofdrones en waterstofvliegtuigen bedient.  

Grondafhandeling Groningen Airport Eelde emissieloos in 2030 
Groningen Airport Eelde wil in 2030 een volledig emissieloze grondafhandeling hebben. De luchthaven wil hiervoor met name watertoftoepassingen inzetten. Samen met Holthausen Clean Technology wordt er gekeken naar het ombouwen van bestaand materieel en ook naar het ontwikkelen van innovatief door waterstof aangedreven grondmaterieel; wat nu nog niet op de markt bestaat.

London Biggin Hill Airport to offer sustainable aviation fuel

London Biggin Hill Airport announced (29-Mar-2021) it is planning to expand its fuel services with the addition of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), supplied by Air BP. London Biggin Hill Airport manager of fuel services Stephen Elsworthy stated: "The introduction of SAF as an expansion of our fuel offering is a major step towards becoming a carbon neutral airport by 2029 and enables our customers and resident businesses to also meet their own sustainability goals". [more - original PR]

Original report: LONDON BIGGIN HILL TO OFFER SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL

London Biggin Hill Airport is expanding its fuel services with the addition of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), supplied by Air bp.

The dedicated business aviation airport will be the first in London to offer Air bp’s low carbon renewable fuel, which is produced from waste and residue products and is a blend comprising just over one third SAF and two thirds traditional jet fuel. The SAF component provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of around 80% compared to traditional jet fuel it replaces.

Stephen Elsworthy, manager of fuel services at London Biggin Hill Airport, says: “At London Biggin Hill we are fully committed to providing tangible, immediately available solutions to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our operations and protect the environment.

“The introduction of SAF as an expansion of our fuel offering is a major step towards becoming a carbon neutral airport by 2029 and enables our customers and resident businesses to also meet their own sustainability goals.”

Andreea Moyes, sustainability director, Air bp, said: “We are delighted to extend our collaboration by supplying SAF to London Biggin Hill Airport which is such an important business aviation airport for London-bound owners and operators. This delivery demonstrates the airport’s willingness to invest in SAF which we believe is one of the aviation industry’s key routes to reducing carbon emissions. We anticipate that it will prove very popular with customers.”

UPS announces purchase of eVTOL aircraft from Beta Technologies

UPS announced (07-Apr-2021) its subsidiary UPS Flight Forward plans to purchase electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies (BETA).

The aircraft will land on-property at UPS facilities in small and mid-size markets, reducing time-in-transit, emissions and operating cost. UPS has also reserved BETA's recharging station, which charges the aircraft in under one hour.

The first 10 aircraft are scheduled to arrive in 2024, with an option to purchase up to 150. The aircraft will have 1400lb cargo capacity for shipments that would usually require small fixed-wing aircraft.

UPS chief information and engineering officer Juan Perez said: "These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services, and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation". [more - original PR]

Original report: UPS Flight Forward Adds Innovative New Aircraft, Enhancing Capabilities and Network Sustainability

UPS Flight Forward Adds Innovative New Aircraft, Enhancing Capabilities and Network Sustainability

  • Beta Technologies’ electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft to land on-property at UPS facilities in small and mid-size markets.
  • Enhances UPS network flexibility, benefits healthcare providers and small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Flexible, sustainable solution to reduce air network emissions; recharging station can also be used with electric-powered ground vehicles.

UPS (NYSE:UPS), together with its UPS Flight Forward subsidiary, plans to purchase electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies (BETA) to augment its air service for select small and mid-size markets. These aircraft will take off and land on-property at UPS facilities in a whisper-quiet fashion, reducing time-in-transit, vehicle emissions, and operating cost.

The BETA aircraft’s 1,400-pound cargo capacity is ideally suited to more quickly and sustainably transport time-sensitive deliveries that would otherwise fly on small fixed-wing aircraft. UPS’s use of the aircraft will benefit healthcare providers, thousands of small and medium-sized businesses, and other companies in smaller communities. With a 250-mile range and cruising speed of up to 170 miles per hour, UPS will be able to plan a series of short routes, or one long route, on a single charge to meet customers’ needs.

“This is all about innovation with a focus on returns for our business, our customers, and the environment,” said UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer Juan Perez. “These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services, and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation.”

The aviation industry is focusing on small aircraft, which UPS uses to serve many small and medium-sized communities, to develop groundbreaking, sustainable electric-powered aircraft. BETA’s aircraft has four fixed vertical lift propellers and one pusher propeller for forward flight. It can charge in an hour or less, and produces zero operational emissions.

“We’re combining simple, elegant design and advanced technology to create a reliable aircraft with zero operational emissions that will revolutionize how cargo moves,” said BETA founder and CEO Kyle Clark. “By utilizing vertical takeoffs and landings, we can turn relatively small spaces at existing UPS facilities into a micro air feeder network without the noise or operating emissions of traditional aircraft.”

UPS has also reserved BETA's recharging station for a seamless and fully integrated electric aviation system. The BETA charging station helps ensure safe and rapid charging of the aircraft in under one hour, and facilitates a quick turn for the loading and unloading of cargo. The charging station also offers the aircraft’s batteries a second life cycle.

After the batteries’ first life cycle in the aircraft concludes, they can be fitted to the charging stations to recharge the aircraft’s onboard batteries as well as UPS’s fleet of electric ground vehicles. UPS currently operates more than 12,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, and announced a commitment to purchase up to 10,000 Arrival electric vehicles.

BETA’s aircraft are designed to someday operate autonomously as technologies and regulations are established. UPS Flight Forward received the first U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 135 Standard air carrier certification to operate a drone airline, and is operating daily revenue-generating flights with drones. The FAA certification also enables UPS Flight Forward to fly payloads of up to 7,500 lbs. either with an operator or autonomously.

Last month, BETA advanced to the next phase of flight testing, completing an interstate flight from its Plattsburgh, NY test facility to its Burlington, Vt. headquarters. In accordance with FAA protocols for experimental aircraft to fly beyond its home airport, BETA had to complete rigorous testing to ensure reliable and predictable behavior of the aircraft. In the same week, the company set a new personal-best in range while also reaching 8,000 feet in altitude.

The first ten BETA aircraft are scheduled to begin arriving in 2024, with an option to purchase up to 150 of the aircraft.

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