Etihad Airways has announced bold emission targets in an expanded effort to environmental sustainability.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates said it is committed to a minimum target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050 and halving of its 2019 net emission levels by 2035.
The airline said the "ambitious environmental targets" will be achieved through a mix of internal initiatives, including collaboration with industry partners and adoption of a comprehensive program of relevant carbon offsets, to be developed with a specific focus on the requirements of the UAE and markets served by the airline.
“The global focus on the environment and the urgency of reducing carbon emissions has never been greater. Etihad Aviation Group, together with its partners, is taking an active role in reducing the impact of aviation on the environment through initiatives ranging from optimised fuel management on sustainable financing practices,” said Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer of Etihad Aviation Group.
Douglas said the entire air transport industry, from airlines and suppliers to airspace providers, was responsible for helping to reduce aviation’s emissions, and solutions needed to be holistic and coordinated, not isolated and sporadic.
“Airlines have attracted significant scrutiny in the global discussion of the environment, and our collective challenge as a fast-growing industry is to deliver meaningful initiatives which can quickly help to contain and reduce carbon emissions,” he said.
Some of the recent sustainability initiatives taken by Etihad Aviation Group include:
- Continued induction of the latest-generation, most fuel-efficient aircraft, including additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and plans for three new types – the wide-bodied Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-9, and narrow-bodied Airbus A321neo;
- Commencement of the Etihad Greenliner Programme, in which the airline’s entire fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft will be used during normal scheduled flights as ‘test beds’ for sustainable products and practices;
- Becoming the first airline to secure commercial funding conditional upon compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations — a 150 million Euros funding to help finance the development of a multi-storey ‘eco residence’ for cabin crew living in Abu Dhabi;
- Commitment to reduce single-use plastics by 80% by 2022, and;
- Partnering in the development of sustainable aviation fuels including biofuel developed and refined in Abu Dhabi from saltwater-tolerant plants, and commitment to support the development of another sustainable jet fuel from municipal waste in Abu Dhabi.