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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 17-Feb-2020

Headlines

Delta Air Lines to invest USD1bn into emission mitigation over 10 years

Air New Zealand recovers more than 890 tonnes of waste in two years under 'Project Green'

Norwegian Air reports 1.7m tons of CO2 saved in 2019

Swedavia launches electric aviation strategy to enable first commercial electrified route by 2025

Royal Schiphol Group launches nitrogen oxide emissions reduction plan of action

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.

Delta Air Lines to invest USD1bn into emission mitigation over 10 years

Delta Air Lines committed (14-Feb-2020) to spending USD1 billion to mitigate all its emissions on the ground and in the air during the next 10 years, effective 01-Mar-2020.

Emissions will be mitigated through measures including the increased development and use of sustainable aviation fuels, a fleet renewal programme, weight reduction, investment in projects and technology to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere and the building of coalitions with various groups and organisations to advance carbon reduction.

Original report: Delta commits $1 billion to become first carbon neutral airline globally

Airline sets vision for meaningfully reducing emissions and advancing sustainability.

  • 10-year commitment to mitigate all emissions from March 2020 forward
  • Strategy will mitigate emissions across Delta’s business globally – in the air and on the ground
  • Efforts will drive innovation, clean air tech, emissions and waste reduction

Starting March 1, 2020, Delta Air Lines is committing $1 billion over the next 10 years on its journey to mitigate all emissions from its global business going forward. The airline will invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions.

“There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “The time is now to accelerate our investments and establish an ambitious commitment that the entire Delta team will deliver.”

Delta’s approach to tackling carbon reduction and sustainability reflects the focus and rigor it has become known for, and that it used to build a financially secure airline. This announcement comes as Delta pays $1.6 billion in profit sharing to employees this Valentine’s Day, and reflects its longstanding approach to placing a high value on supporting all stakeholders and communities worldwide.

“There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution. We are digging deep into the issues, examining every corner of our business, engaging experts, building coalitions, fostering partnerships and driving innovation,” Bastian said. “We are on a journey, and though we don’t have all the answers today, we know that our scale, along with investments of time, talent and resources will bring meaningful impact to the planet and ensure the sustainability of our business for decades to come.”

The aviation industry accounts for roughly 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Delta’s carbon footprint is its largest environmental impact, with 98 percent of emissions coming from its aircraft. Here is how the company is focusing its efforts to become carbon neutral:

  • Carbon reduction: Reducing Delta’s carbon footprint through enterprise-wide efforts to decrease the use of jet fuel and increase efficiency. Areas of focus include an ambitious fleet renewal program, improved flight operations, weight reduction, and increased development and use of sustainable aviation fuels.
  • Carbon removal: Investing in innovative projects and technology to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere that go beyond the airline’s current commitments, and investigating carbon removal opportunities through forestry, wetland restoration, grassland conservation, marine and soil capture, and other negative emissions technologies.
  • Stakeholder engagement: Building coalitions with our employees, suppliers, global partners, customers, industry colleagues, investors and other stakeholders to advance carbon reduction and removal goals and maximize our global impact.

“When customers choose to fly Delta, they should feel they’re making a statement about taking care of our planet,” Bastian said. “Our commitment to carbon neutrality means flying with Delta represents far more than a great travel experience – it’s about joining arms to create a better world.”

Delta’s carbon strategy will account for emissions across its business – both in the air and on the ground. Delta’s investment will create new projects and methods to reduce its carbon footprint, benefit global communities and make it easier for other organizations to explore similar options to address their own carbon footprints – all while minimizing reliance on today’s limited carbon offset markets. To support this strategy, Delta will allocate some of its financial commitment into investment vehicles, including a dedicated fund focused on achieving its carbon neutral ambition.

Delta’s journey to carbon neutrality and its $1 billion investment build on its industry-leading voluntary sustainability efforts. 

The Delta Environmental Sustainability Principles will guide the airline’s efforts to advance its path to carbon neutrality and overall sustainability. They are:

  • Action – Make progress continually by leveraging the tools of today even as we work to drive progress on a global scale. Embed environmental impact as a consideration in every business decision.
  • Innovation – Investigate, enable and advance new projects, innovative technologies and operational efficiencies to substantially reduce and mitigate emissions and our overall environmental footprint.
  • Collaboration – Engage with employees, suppliers, global partners, customers, investors and other stakeholders with the understanding that environmental protection must be a shared goal.
  • Evolution – Be nimble in evolving and adjusting in response to the latest scientific findings and technological developments.
  • Transparency – Continue to publicly report on our goals and progress, aligned with leading disclosure frameworks and standards, and track efforts and achievements through our robust governance structure.

2020 will see a number of milestones that demonstrate Delta’s progress and commitment, and that Delta will share broadly as each of them launch. Powered by its 90,000 people around the world, Delta is the U.S. global airline leader in products, services, innovation, reliability and customer experience.

From being the first and only U.S. airline to voluntarily cap greenhouse gas emissions at 2012 levels, to adding more than 80 new aircraft in 2019 in an effort to renew its fleet with aircraft that are 25 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft they are replacing, Delta has been undertaking a multi-year effort to achieve more sustainable air travel. As part of its commitment, Delta has partnered with industry innovators to advance the development and production of sustainable aviation fuels, including its recent partnership and offtake agreements with Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels and Gevo. The airline also has partnered with the international advocacy organization Global Citizen on Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream event, to help reach United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on sustainability, gender equality and human capital.

Delta was the No. 1 airline named among America’s Most Sustainable Companies by Barron’s in 2020, and has been awarded the Vision for America Award by Keep America Beautiful and the Captain Planet Foundation's Superhero Corporate Award. Delta has also earned a spot on the FTSE4Good Index for five consecutive years and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for nine consecutive years.

Air New Zealand recovers more than 890 tonnes of waste in two years under 'Project Green'

Air New Zealand announced (17-Feb-2020) it diverted more than 890 tonnes of inflight waste from landfill under the 'Project Green' glass recycling and product use waste reduction initiative, which launched in late 2017.

Under the programme, unused items can be put onto a subsequent flight provided they come off the aircraft sealed and untouched. The carrier has recovered 85 tonnes of water bottles, more than 11.5 million plastic glasses and more than four million sticks of sugar.

The airline runs 'Project Green' in collaboration with LSG Sky Chefs and New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries. Data captured from the project in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Los Angeles also helps the companies better assess flight loading requirements and seek opportunities to reduce waste at the source.

Original report: Air New Zealand project diverts nearly 900 tonnes of inflight waste from landfill

Air New Zealand has diverted more than 890 tonnes of in-flight waste from landfill two years on from the launch of Project Green, its glass recycling and product use waste reduction initiative. This is equivalent to the weight of five 777-300 aircraft.

Project Green, launched in late 2017, means that unused items from a flight service that previously may have gone to landfill can be put onto a subsequent flight provided they come off the aircraft sealed and untouched.

The reclassification of these items was made possible through a collaboration between the airline, its catering partner LSG Sky Chefs and the Ministry of Primary Industries.

Some of the more than 40 item types Project Green covers includes cans of soft drink, packets of cookies, boxed tea, coffee and sugar sachets and sealed napkins. Prior to the establishment of this process, even unopened items of these product types taken on board would have had to be incinerated.

To date Project Green has meant Air New Zealand has been able to recover the equivalent weight of 2x A320s of 1.5L Water Bottles (85 tonnes), more than 11.5 million plastic glasses and more than 4 million sticks of sugar.

Air New Zealand's General Manager of Supply Chain, Chloe Surridge says in addition to reducing waste to landfill, data captured from the roll out of Project Green in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and LAX airport helps the business to better assess flight loading requirements and to look for opportunities to reduce waste at source.

"We are also working on ways to further segregate the waste that is collected inflight (for example soft plastics and compostables). A major challenge we face, however, in reducing waste to landfill, is the lack of recycling and composting infrastructure available for us to send our material to. More robust infrastructure across the country, including in the regions, would help us keep compostables and recyclables out of landfills."

"Project Green is a very good example of the steps Air New Zealand is taking to build sustainability into its supply chain. We are looking to make impactful sustainability gains, and in order to do this, we have to enable those bigger conversations through relationships with our suppliers and business partners."

Norwegian Air reports 1.7m tons of CO2 saved in 2019

Norwegian Air reported (13-Feb-2020) 1.7 million tons of CO2 were saved in 2019, compared to the industry average, due to its fuel efficient fleet.

It added 123,000 customers have offset their carbon footprint through the carrier's partnership with CHOOOSE.

Excerpt from original report: Norwegian Air Shuttle reports full year and fourth quarter results

1.7 million tons of CO2 saved

Thanks to Norwegian’s young and more fuel-efficient fleet, 1.7 million metric tons of CO2 were saved in 2019 compared to the industry average. At the same time, 40 percent of the total CO2 emissions were offset through EU’s emissions trading system. Since its launch in December, 123,000 customers compensated their carbon footprint using the partnership between Norwegian and the climate-tech company CHOOOSE during the booking process.

Swedavia launches electric aviation strategy to enable first commercial electrified route by 2025

Swedavia launched (14-Feb-2020) a new electric aviation strategy, with the aim of enabling all 10 Swedavia airports to handle electric aircraft and to be able to place the first commercial electrified route in service by around 2025.

A testing venue for electric aircraft and drones is planned to be put into operation at Ostersund Airport, with tests to be carried out between Ostersund and Røros Airport in Norway during autumn 2020.

Swedavia CEO Jonas Abrahamsson said the company believes there is "good potential" for the first commercial electrified route in Sweden within five years. He added: "Longer term, the electrification of routes can be an important addition to today's scheduled traffic [and] can also lead to brand-new routes between regional centres, which would benefit access and regional growth as well as create a whole new business model for air transport".

The operator aims to transition to fossil free air transport for all services originating in Sweden by 2045.

Original report: Swedavia launches electric aviation strategy – Åre Östersund ready for first electric aircraft in autumn 2020

Swedavia has adopted a strategy for electric aviation. The goal is to enable all ten Swedavia airports to handle electric aircraft and to be able to place the first commercial electrified route in service by around 2025. At Åre Östersund Airport, a testing venue for electric aircraft is planned to be put into operation during the autumn.

The investment in electric aviation is another step in Swedavia’s work to promote the changeover to fossil-free domestic air transport in Sweden by 2030 and fossil-free air transport for all flights originating in the country by 2045. For many years, Swedavia has been carrying out work to increase the use of sustainable bio jet fuel.

“Bio jet fuel is critical in a short-term perspective for driving the aviation industry’s transformation in the face of climate change. But in the long term, electrification can also play a key role. Swedavia wants to take an active part at an early stage of this development and get an understanding of the conditions needed for electric aviation from an infrastructure perspective,” says Jonas Abrahamsson, Swedavia’s president and CEO.
A testing venue for electric aircraft is planned to be put into operation at Åre Östersund Airport during the autumn, at which time it will be possible to receive the first electric aircraft. Planning is currently under way for aircraft parking stands, infrastructure for charging aircraft and the power supply needed at the airport and to ensure the necessary permits.

Test flights of electric aircraft and drones will be carried out in the airspace between Åre Östersund and Røros Airport in Norway in collaboration with a number of partners both in Sweden and Norway under the framework for the EU project Green Flyway.

“We believe there is good potential for the first commercial electrified route in Sweden within five years. In the longer term, the electrification of routes can be an important addition to today’s scheduled traffic, primarily domestic flights. But electric air transport can also lead to brand-new routes between regional centres, which would benefit access and regional growth as well as create a whole new business model for air transport,” says Jonas Abrahamsson.

In the long term, all ten Swedavia airports will provide infrastructure for handling electric aircraft. In addition to Åre Östersund, Umeå Airport and Visby Airport are in the initial stages of developing electric aviation. Among other measures, Umeå Airport is taking part in a project to consider the possibilities of electrified flights between Sweden and Finland.

“Given the possibilities, Swedavia welcomes the Swedish government’s new initiative to study suitable measures to accelerate the introduction of electric aviation and the changeover to fossil-free air transport, which can contribute to Sweden’s access and to regional development throughout the country,” says Jonas Abrahamsson.

For many years, Swedavia has carried out ambitious sustainability work. All ten of its airports will have zero emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from their own operations by the end of 2020. Swedavia also works actively to promote the industry’s transition to bio fuel and has the goal that five per cent of all fuel used to refuel aircraft at Swedish airports shall be fossil-free by 2025.Since 2016, Swedavia purchases bio jet fuel equivalent to the amount used for the company’s flights for business purposes, about 450 tonnes of fuel a year.

Royal Schiphol Group launches nitrogen oxide emissions reduction plan of action

Royal Schiphol Group launched (14-Feb-2020) an action plan to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The programme features several new measures, including the installation of charge points for cooling lorries and hybrid lorries, installation of fixed electrical ground power units at every aircraft gate and the introduction of pushback tugs powered by electricity or hydrogen.

Schiphol Airport aims to be emissions-free by 2030.

Original report: Schiphol launches nitrogen action programme

Following a recommendation by the Remkes Committee, Royal Schiphol Group has drawn up an action programme to tackle the emission of nitrogen oxides. The programme intensifies the policy already adopted, as well as being in keeping with the goal that all airports should be emission-free by 2030. The programme provides for several new measures, including the installation of charge points for cooling lorries and hybrid lorries, the installation of Fixed Electrical Ground Power at every gate and the introduction of pushback tugs powered by electricity or hydrogen. 

‘We agree with the Remkes Committee that every sector in the Netherlands should help tackle nitrogen oxides’, says Dick Benschop, CEO of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. ‘Our goal is for our airports to be emission-free by 2030. This programme intensifies the approach we adopted a number of years ago. We can make great strides with measures that tackle multiple types of emission.’

The action programme is aimed at three aspects: transport from and to the airports, measures at the airports and tackling air traffic emissions.

From and to the airport

Schiphol Group stimulates sustainable public transport from and to the airports, including in a financial sense. For example, many electric buses and taxis drive from and to Schiphol, and the airport is contributing 70 million euros to improving the train and bus station. With regard to the longer term, Schiphol is advocating the extension of the North-South metro line to the airport as well as the extension of the railway from Lelystad Centrum to Lelystad Airport. Eindhoven Airport, too, is advocating a new railway station near the airport.

Measures at the airport

Schiphol is further working on far-going electrification of all traffic on the aprons. This is done, among other ways, by increasing the number of electric ground power units, installing Fixed Electrical Ground Power at all gates and increasing the number of electric vehicles and charge points. For the long term, Schiphol is working on sustainable taxiing of aircraft from and to the take-off and landing runways, and on pushback tugs powered by electricity or nitrogen.

Limiting nitrogen emissions by air traffic

Limiting nitrogen emissions by air traffic is a sector-wide challenge. Among other areas, Schiphol’s contribution involves improving flight procedures so that approaches require less engine power, resulting in reduced emissions. Schiphol is also helping to improve international train connections and advocating a more efficient distribution of air space.

Schiphol lanceert actieprogramma stikstof

Royal Schiphol Group heeft in het verlengde van het advies van de commissie-Remkes een actieprogramma opgesteld om de uitstoot van stikstofoxiden aan te pakken. Het programma is een intensivering van het al ingezette beleid en sluit aan op de doelstelling dat alle luchthavens in 2030 uitstootvrij zijn. In het programma staan meerdere nieuwe maatregelen, waaronder de installatie van laadpunten voor het koelen van vrachtwagens en hybride vrachtwagens, de installatie van walstroom bij elke gate en de introductie van pushbacktrucks die worden aangedreven door elektriciteit of waterstof. 

“Net als de commissie-Remkes vinden wij dat elke sector in Nederland moet bijdragen aan de aanpak van stikstofoxiden,” zegt CEO Dick Benschop van Schiphol. “Ons doel is dat onze luchthavens in 2030 vrij zijn van uitstoot. Dit programma intensiveert de aanpak die we een paar jaar geleden zijn gestart. Grote winst is te behalen bij maatregelen die meerdere vormen van uitstoot aanpakken.”

Het actieprogramma richt zich op drie onderdelen: vervoer van en naar de luchthavens, maatregelen op de luchthavens en de aanpak van uitstoot door het vliegverkeer.

Van en naar de luchthaven

Schiphol Group stimuleert, ook financieel, duurzaam en openbaar vervoer van en naar de luchthavens. Zo rijden van en naar Schiphol veel elektrische bussen en taxi’s en draagt Schiphol 70 miljoen euro bij aan het verbeteren van het trein- en busstation. Voor de langere termijn spant Schiphol zich in voor het doortrekken van de Noord/Zuidlijn naar de luchthaven en voor het doortrekken van de spoorverbinding van Lelystad Centrum naar Lelystad Airport. Ook Eindhoven Airport zet zich in voor een nieuw railstation nabij de luchthaven.

Maatregelen op de luchthaven

Ook op de platforms werkt Schiphol aan verregaande elektrificatie van al het verkeer. Onder meer door uitbreiding van het aantal elektrische ground power units, de installatie van walstroom op alle gates en uitbreiding van het aantal elektrische voertuigen en laadpalen. Voor de lange termijn werkt Schiphol aan duurzaam taxiën van vliegtuigen van en naar de start- en landingsbanen en pushbacktrucks aangedreven door elektriciteit of waterstof.

Beperken stikstofuitstoot vliegverkeer

Het beperken van de stikstofuitstoot van het vliegverkeer is een opgave voor de gehele sector. De bijdrage van Schiphol richt zich onder meer op het verbeteren van vliegprocedures, zodat ze met minder motorvermogen aanvliegen en daardoor minder uitstoot hebben. Daarnaast werkt Schiphol mee aan het verbeteren van internationale treinverbindingen en pleit Schiphol voor het efficiënter inrichten van het luchtruim.

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