Aviation sustainability and the environment

27th July 2021 – Aviation sustainability and the environment

Our global economy is tightly intertwined with aviation as it facilitates commerce and carries goods. Today, demand for mobility is increasing as wealth grows in emerging economies, businesses continue to accelerate internationally, and prices for flights decline. Present trends suggest that global air passengers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037. However, as air travel continues to rise, so does a global focus on understanding the environmental impacts of aviation. Aviation produces around two per cent of global carbon emissions and without further actions emissions from aviation will swell along with passenger traffic. Aviation is not included in the Paris Agreement16 and has often been cited as an emissions laggard – but improvements may finally be in sight: the industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, ushered by a combination of technological disruption and societal expectations. More efficient aircraft, better infrastructure and sustainable fuels are all amongst the solutions being pursued.


Alexandre Feray CEO and Founder OpenAirlines and Green Pilot
Jonothan Counsell Group Head of Sustainability International Airlines Group
Jonathan Wood VP, Renewable Aviation Neste
Ravi Kantamaneni Senior Director ICF


How new digital technology combined with the widespread support of all aviation workers will have a significant impact to make aviation greener Alexandre Feray, CEO and Founder, OpenAirlines and Green Pilot Aviation represents 3 per cent of global emissions, and that figure could double by 2030. It faces pressures from all sides, environmental, social, and economic, and requires them to cooperate and accelerate their transition to sustainable development. Without waiting for the hydrogen or electrical aircraft, there are opportunities to reduce fuel burn and consequently CO2 emissions today by optimizing flight operations. Learn in this presentation how SkyBreathe® eco-flying software currently helps +48 airlines save fuel and CO2 emission, and how the Green Pilot movement put people at the heart of this fight against climate change by letting pilots lead the change, speak out, and show the way towards more sustainable aviation.
Charting a path to net zero: the importance of carbon footprints to aid decision making Ravi Kantamaneni, Senior Director, ICF

Companies that fail to respond to the impacts of the transition to a lower-carbon economy face financial and reputational risks. Greenhouse gas emissions from airline and airport operations and across the value chain create risk due to ever tighter carbon constraints from increasingly stringent policies, changing consumer behaviour, and shareholder expectations. A robust carbon footprint provides the foundation to develop a transition strategy ; one that should not be considered as an abstract initiative that is layered onto the company's business model, but one that informs how the model should evolve to limit exposure to transition risk, and ensure the company's long-term viability. 

Future Production Technologies Jonathan Wood, VP, Renewable Aviation, Neste Jonathan Wood, VP for Neste's Renewable Aviation business, summarises the case for change to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), what is SAF, how it reduces net emissions, where it is available, the outlook in terms of future production technologies, the criticality of policy support to encourage demand and supply, as well as the importance of corporate and consumer commitments to promote its growth.
IAG’s journey to net zero emissions Jonothan Counsell, Group Head of Sustainability, International Airlines Group

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