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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 29-Jul-2021

Analysis

Boeing releases first Sustainability Report, outlines ESG achievements for the year

Alaska Airlines lists sustainability highlights for 2Q2021

Qatar Airways engages with IATA's Environmental Sustainability training programme

Scottish Affairs Committee launches inquiry into impact of COVID-19 on airports

Launceston Airport bans single use plastics from terminal building

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.

Boeing releases first Sustainability Report, outlines ESG achievements for the year

Boeing released (26-Jul-2021) its first 'Sustainability Report', following on from the formation of its Sustainability organisation in Sep-2020, dedicated to the company's environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and progress in alignment with global sustainability standards. In 2020, ESG highlights included:

  • Establishing six broad new sustainability goals, aligned with key sustainability priorities and stakeholder interests;
  • Defining the company's vision for the future of sustainable aerospace through fleet renewal, network operational efficiency, renewable energy and advanced technology;
  • Committing to deliver commercial aircraft capable of flying on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030;
  • Partnering with Etihad Airways on the 2020 ecoDemonstrator programme;
  • Advancing flight tests for Cora, an all-electric, self-flying air taxi developed by Wisk, a JV between the Boeing and Kitty Hawk;
  • Responding to COVID-19 by executing airlift missions to transport supplies, providing community vaccination sites and minimising air travel health risks through the Confident Travel Initiative;
  • Establishing a Racial Equity Task Force;
  • Setting 2030 environmental performance goals to reduce emissions, waste, water use and energy consumption;
  • Achieving net-zero carbon emissions at work sites, while reducing energy consumption by 12%, water use by 23%, solid waste by 44% and hazardous waste by 34%;
  • Attaining the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence every year since 2010;
  • Contributing USD234 million in community giving, working with 13,400 community partners and volunteering 250,000 hours. [more - original PR

Excerpt from original report: Boeing Releases First Sustainability Report

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today released its first Sustainability Report. In the report, the company shares its vision for the future of sustainable aerospace, establishes broad sustainability goals and highlights environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress in alignment with global sustainability standards.

"In September 2020, amidst a global pandemic, Boeing formed a Sustainability organization dedicated to advancing our ESG efforts across the enterprise. As we continue on this journey, we are pleased to publish our first comprehensive report, focused on stakeholder responsiveness and data transparency," said Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond. "We know there's still work to do and are committed to communicating our progress and holding ourselves accountable to ensure the aerospace industry is safe and sustainable for generations to come."

Boeing's sustainability efforts are organized around four key pillars: people, products and services, operations and communities. In 2020, highlights across these four pillars included:

  • Establishing six broad new sustainability goals in alignment with our key sustainability priorities and stakeholder interests.
  • Defining the company's vision for the future of sustainable aerospace through fleet renewal, network operational efficiency, renewable energy and advanced technology.
  • Committing to deliver commercial airplanes capable of flying on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030.
  • Partnering with Etihad Airways on the 2020 ecoDemonstrator program, which tested sustainable technologies on one of the airline's new 787-10 Dreamliners.
  • Implementing digital engineering tools on the T-7A Red Hawk program, achieving a 75% increase in first-time engineering quality and an 80% reduction in assembly hours.
  • Advancing flight tests for Cora, an all-electric, self-flying air taxi developed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk joint venture Wisk.
  • Responding to COVID-19 by executing airlift missions to transport supplies, providing community vaccination sites and minimizing air travel health risks through the Confident Travel Initiative.
  • Establishing a 20-member Racial Equity Task Force to represent diverse viewpoints and amplify all voices at Boeing.
  • Setting 2030 environmental performance goals to reduce emissions, waste, water use and energy consumption.
  • Achieving net-zero carbon emissions at work sites, while reducing energy consumption by 12%, water use by 23%, solid waste by 44% and hazardous waste by 34%.
  • Attaining the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence every year since 2010.
  • Contributing $234 million in community giving, working with 13,400 community partners and volunteering 250,000 hours.

More information can be found in the full report.

Alaska Airlines lists sustainability highlights for 2Q2021

Alaska Airlines announced (22-Jul-2021) the following sustainability updates:

  • Announced five part pathway to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2040;
  • First airline to implement network optimisation software, Flyways, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimise air traffic and enable more fuel efficient flight paths for aggregate savings of fuel, carbon emissions and time;
  • Partnered with Boeing to launch a 737 MAX 9 ecoDemonstrator to test advanced technologies that can enhance the safety and sustainability of air travel. The aircraft will conduct five months of flight tests across the US. [more - original PR]

Excerpt from original report: Alaska Air Group reports second quarter 2021 results

Financial Results:

  • Reported net income for the second quarter of 2021 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $397 million, or $3.15 per share, compared to a net loss of $214 million, or $1.74 per share in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Reported a net loss for the second quarter of 2021, excluding CARES Act Payroll Support Program (PSP) wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $38 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $439 million or $3.57 per share, in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Reported a debt-to-capitalization ratio, including short-term borrowings related to COVID-19, of 56%.
  • Held $4.0 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of June 30, 2021.
  • Generated $840 million in operating cash flow in the second quarter, inclusive of $489 million of PSP funding, bolstered by improved advance bookings on a surge in demand for air travel. Excluding PSP funding, quarterly operating cash flows improved over $580 million from the first quarter of 2021.

Operational Updates:

  • Announced plans to grow our mainline and regional fleets, exercising options for 13 Boeing 737-9 MAX with deliveries in 2023 and 2024, and nine E175 to be operated by Horizon Air with deliveries in 2022 and 2023. In addition, expanded our long-term capacity agreement with SkyWest Airlines by eight aircraft to be delivered in 2022.
  • Announced new service to Central America with new routes to Belize from Seattle and Los Angeles, with service slated to begin in November 2021.
  • Issued recall notices to all pilots on incentive lines for return to work by October 2021.
  • Continued our history of providing meaningful incentive programs to our employees with $67 million in cash bonuses earned to date.
  • Announced seven new domestic routes aimed at providing our West Coast guests more options to sun-filled destinations, including three new routes serving Boise, Idaho.

Liquidity Updates:

  • Received $664 million through a combination of grants and loans from the U.S. Treasury under an extension of the PSP.
  • Repaid approximately $570 million in debt, including the full $135 million loan from the U.S. Treasury made available under the CARES Act and the $363 million outstanding balance on two credit facilities.

Sustainability Updates:

  • Announced five-part pathway to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2040, putting the airline on track to meet the annual carbon intensity target that is part of its performance-based pay program for all employees.
  • First airline to implement network optimization software, Flyways, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize air traffic and enable more fuel-efficient flight paths for aggregate savings of fuel, carbon emissions and time.
  • Partnered with Boeing to launch a 737-9 ecoDemonstrator to test advanced technologies that can enhance the safety and sustainability of air travel.  The aircraft will conduct five months of flight tests across the U.S.
  • Revealed "Our Commitment" aircraft in partnership with long-time partner UNCF, a symbol of the airline's commitments to increase diverse representation in our leadership, advance education as a critical component of equity, and to make Alaska Airlines a place where everyone feels they belong.

Alaska Air Group Inc. today reported second quarter 2021 GAAP net income of $397 million, or $3.15 per share, compared to a net loss of $214 million, or $1.74 per share in the second quarter of 2020. Excluding the impact of payroll support program wage offsets, special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported an adjusted net loss of $38 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $439 million, or $3.57 per diluted share in 2020.

"As we put the worst of last year's downturn behind us, Alaska is back on the path to profitability," said CEO Ben Minicucci. "We are executing our plan, rebuilding our network, leveraging our capacity to meet growing demand, and delivering exceptional service and value to our guests. I'm incredibly proud and grateful for how hard our employees are working and how they show up for each other and our guests every day with focus on safety, operational excellence and care."

The following table reconciles the company's reported GAAP net income (loss) per share (EPS) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021 and 2020 to adjusted amounts.

Qatar Airways engages with IATA's Environmental Sustainability training programme

Qatar Airways announced (27-Jul-2021) its selection of IATA's new Environmental Sustainability training programme offered in partnership with the University of Geneva.

IATA director general Willie Walsh welcomed the engagement, highlighting the importance of "employees [acquiring] the new skill set needed as the industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and begins to rebuild based in a more sustainable manner".

Qatar Airways launched a bespoke e-learning programme to enhance environmental sustainability skills within its workforce in early Jun-2021, and is the first carrier in the Middle East to secure the highest level of accreditation in the IATA Environmental Assessment Programme. [more - original PR

Original report: Qatar Airways Engages with IATA on Environmental Sustainability Training

Environmental education is a key component of successful environmental sustainability strategy

Sustainability starts with education and training

DOHA, QatarQatar Airways has selected the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Environmental Sustainability in Aviation Program offered in partnership between the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the University of Geneva.

Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East to secure accreditation to the highest level in the IATA Environmental Assessment Programme (IEnvA). With the increasing focus on aviation and the environment, the program is built according to the needs of the industry, so that managers and business leaders will be better prepared to tackle tomorrow’s demands in ensuring environmental sustainability. 

The program consists of six modules: Design a Sustainability Strategy, Environmental Management Systems in Aviation Intensive, Responsible Leadership, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Ethics, and Carbon Markets and Aviation. These courses will help aviation professionals to understand how to lead and make decisions responsibly and avoid ethical blindness.

Qatar Airways has committed to training its employees and sharing its knowledge in developing a well-versed sustainability strategy and best practices on implementing an effective environmental management system.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Talent development is vital to sustainable business growth and success. Employees need to acquire the knowledge, skills and values to act for the planet, enabling them to serve as driving forces of Qatar Airways’ sustainable environmental management. We encourage the industry to follow our lead in educating employees in environmental sustainability training as a step towards achieving the industry’s sustainability goals.”

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, said, “We are honored that Qatar Airways has selected our new Environmental Sustainability training to ensure that its employees can acquire the new skill set needed, as the industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and begins to rebuild based in a more sustainable manner.”

As Qatar Airways continues to incorporate environmental sustainability, as well as sound business practices into its daily operations, it believes that employees must be given opportunities to learn how to be proactive in pursuit of sustainable environmental management in their own operations.

In early June 2021, Qatar Airways rolled out a bespoke e-learning programme to increase environmental sustainability awareness among its staff, so they can learn how to effectively incorporate environmental perspectives into the daily operations of their respective divisions. By embedding the right skills and training for its employees, Qatar Airways can maintain compliance and stay up-to-date with any necessary changes.

Scottish Affairs Committee launches inquiry into impact of COVID-19 on airports

UK Parliament announced (27-Jul-2021) the Scottish Affairs Committee launched an inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on communities using Scottish airports.

The inquiry will also focus on environmental concerns related to airports.

Chairman Pete Wishart said the committee is "keen to explore what impact reduced numbers of flights have had on communities, and how this has impacted the local job market", adding "we are also seeking evidence on how the carbon footprint of airports can be reduced". [more - original PR]

Original report: After a turbulent year for airports, MPs launch inquiry exploring the impact covid-19 has had on Scottish airports

The Scottish Affairs Committee has launched a new inquiry considering airports in Scotland.

  • Inquiry: Airports in Scotland
  • Scottish Affairs Committee

The focus of the inquiry is around the airports themselves, the impacts of covid-19, the local community and environmental concerns.

The Committee is keen to explore the impact covid-19 has had on communities using airports in Scotland. Glasgow Airport saw a drop in passenger numbers of over three quarters last year compared to 2019, and many airlines ceased operating temporarily during the height of the pandemic. Meanwhile, many airports in rural communities had to stay open for emergency services, key industry workers and cargo for crucial supplies.

In the year of COP26, the Committee is also keen to explore the impact environmental policies are having on airports, and in particular what schemes there are to reduce the carbon footprint of airports.

Chair's comments

Scottish Affairs Committee Chairman, Pete Wishart, said:

“Airports in Scotland are a lifeline for many rural communities, and for people travelling to different parts of the UK and further afield. In a turbulent 18 months for airports with the covid-19 pandemic, our Committee is keen to explore what impact reduced numbers of flights have had on communities, and how this has impacted the local job market. In the year of Scotland hosting COP26, and appetite to tackle harmful emissions, we are also seeking evidence on how the carbon footprint of airports can be reduced.”

Terms of reference

  • Submit written evidence to the inquiry

The Committee is inviting written submissions by 6 October. These should focus on, but not be limited to:

  • What has been the effect of the coronavirus pandemic and reduced flights on Scottish airports and local communities, including tourism?
  • How do airports support the local and regional job market?
  • How effective is the movement of air freight for essential supplies in rural or isolated airports?
  • Is there a sufficient level of investment in the infrastructure around airports in Scotland?
  • How will airspace modernisation affect Scottish airports?
  • What schemes are in place to reduce the carbon footprint of airports?

Launceston Airport bans single use plastics from terminal building

Launceston Airport announced (21-Jul-2021) by the end of 2021, the airport's retailers will no longer distribute traditional plastic items such as single-use straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers and expanded polystyrene food and drink containers.

Launceston Airport CEO Shane O'Hare said removing single use plastics is a practical way the airport can support the environment and the Tasmania's efforts to create a sustainable future.

Mr O'Hare added: "The environment is an area that travellers increasingly care deeply about, so it’s exciting to introduce an initiative that caters to passenger needs beyond the traditional airport experience". [more - original PR]

Original report: Launceston Airport bans single-use plastics from its terminal building

Launceston Airport is removing single-use plastics from its terminal building in an effort to cut back on waste and reduce impacts on the local environment.  
  
By the end of year, the airport’s retailers will no longer distribute traditional plastic items such as single-use straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers and expanded polystyrene food and drink containers.  
  
Launceston Airport CEO Shane O’Hare said removing single-use plastics is a practical way the airport can support the environment and the state’s efforts to create a clean, green future.   
  
“Tasmania is world renowned as being pristine, green and environmentally advanced. The state government, industry and community are committed to ensuring continual improvement and world best environmental practice,” said Mr O’Hare.  
  
“The majority of our retail partners already operate without single-use plastics, so our target will likely be reached sooner than planned.    

“The environment is an area that travellers increasingly care deeply about, so it’s exciting to introduce an initiative that caters to passenger needs beyond the traditional airport experience.”   
  
Emirates Leisure Retail, the operator of James Boags Bar & Kitchen and Hudsons Coffee at Launceston Airport, is in the process of switching plastic items to more eco-friendly options.   
  
Emirates Leisure Retail Australia is proud to be taking action towards reducing our carbon footprint in our outlets around the country, and completely removing the use of single plastics is an important first step in achieving this,” said James Rantall, Emirates Leisure Retail General Manager of Operations VIC, TAS, SA and WA.  
  
“Working alongside our valued partners and suppliers, we are introducing eco-friendly and sustainable materials to use as alternatives to plastics in our venues at Launceston Airport. Nationwide Hudsons have launched a Keep Cup campaign – encouraging our customers to purchase a reusable coffee cup to reduce the amount of single-use coffee cups going to landfill.” 

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