How airlines are stepping up in the name of sustainability
by Traveleads | November 21, 2019 | In The Air Latest News
When it comes to sustainability and carbon emissions in the travel sector, we all know there is work to do. But many airlines are making great strides towards a greener future, so let’s take a look at some of those recently implemented improvements and all-important changes still to come.
Striving for carbon neutral
Just this week, Easyjet made history by becoming the world’s first major airline to offset carbon emissions from the fuel used for all their flights. Carbon offsetting projects such as contributing to reducing deforestation, planting new trees and the production of renewable energies, now feature as part of the airline’s strategy.
But they are not stopping there; they have vowed to continue to find other ways to reduce carbon emissions such as taxiing on one engine or removing weight from their aircrafts, both of which use less fuel.
The evolution of air travel
Another goal airlines are working towards is the alternative to fossil fuels. With electric cars and trains already in circulation, it seems to be a key piece of the puzzle when driving towards a greener planet. There are many aviation companies to watch when it comes to new developments, such as Eviation who are striving to be the world’s first with their aircraft ‘ALICE’ which would act as an all-electric commuter aircraft. It’s currently still under development but they are aiming to have a fully operating aircraft in 2022.
Alongside the big-name organisations such a Boeing and JetBlue, we also have NASA who recently finishing building their own all-electric aircraft (X-57 Maxwell) which is due to be tested in the coming months. No date is confirmed yet for launch of the all-electric commercial jumbo jet, but they are certainly taking steps in the right direction towards achieving zero-emissions air-travel.
“As air travel grows at a rapid pace it’s really great to see some airlines now taking the initiative to improve sustainability”
– Eric Edwards, Traveleads Sports & Groups Director
The war on plastic
Unessential plastic has become a bit of a taboo in all walks of life in recent years, and as one of our key sustainability issues, many airlines are pledging to eliminate non-recyclable plastics and switch to greener initiatives. For example, Australia’s national airline Qantas will reuse and recycle three-quarters of its general waste by 2021. They’ve also vouched to remove 100 million single-use plastic products per year by 2020 by replacing 45 million plastic cups, 30 million disposable utensils, 21 million coffee cups, and 4 million plastic headrest covers with biodegradable alternatives.
Good progress is also being made with a whole host of solutions already explored, such as edible meal trays, bamboo toothbrushes, kraft paper amenity kits, products made from recycled bottles and compostable stir sticks. Getting these alternatives in place will play a great part in waste reduction on flights.
The role air travel plays in all of our lives – business or pleasure – is huge, and with more people than ever now green conscious, we can’t wait to see how the industry continues to move forward.