Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been named “Environmental Airline of the Year 2022” by Airline Ratings. The ranking recognises Etihad’s industry-leading strategy to improve the airline’s own and the industry’s environmental sustainability.
The UAE was selected by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to host COP 28 in 2023. Etihad’s accomplishment aligns perfectly with Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s own commitment to collaborate with the international community to accelerate global efforts to address climate change and environmental protection and create a more sustainable economic future.
Recent publication of the Etihad Airways Sustainability Report, deemed by Airline Ratings to be a benchmark for the industry, demonstrates the potential for sustainable aviation to advance through a variety of initiatives.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, stated, “Our ambition to become a leader in aviation sustainability has taken us on a journey to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment, not just for Etihad, but for the entire industry.”
He added, “We continue to explore and test all possible ways to decarbonise – from research into sustainable aviation fuels and contrail avoidance to offsets and reforestation through the Etihad Mangroves. The Sustainability Report we published earlier this year is a culmination of our efforts demonstrating the work we have done and what we have learned so far and I would encourage everyone to read it.”
Etihad’s sustainability initiatives commenced with an emphasis on operational efficiencies. The airline went on to quickly unite industry leaders and construct the most comprehensive, cross-organizational aviation sustainability initiative ever. This umbrella programme, now in its third year, includes partnerships with Boeing, GE, Airbus, and Rolls Royce, as well as a variety of collaborations with innovative new-technology organisations, academic researchers, and small businesses and startups.
Etihad’s flagship sustainability initiatives include the Greenliner programme, which uses the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners as flying test-beds, and the Sustainable50 A350-1000 programme, which was launched this year.
Mr. Douglas continues, “We are grateful to our partners from the major manufacturers to academics and small start-ups who have partnered with us on this mission, in particular through the Greenliner and Sustainable50 programmes. And we’re appreciative of our guests and corporate clients who have signed up to our green loyalty programme Conscious Choices or played their part by bringing a little less luggage or choosing to offset their flights.
“This accolade is testament to our efforts over the past few years to be the greenest airline in the sky and we’re proud to be awarded the Environmental Airline of the Year 2022. We are tremendously proud of this achievement but will not rest on our laurels as we have ambitious, industry-changing and climate critical action to continue to build on.”
Airlineratings.com Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief, stated, “Etihad Airways has shown its clear leadership in the push for sustainable flight with its Greenliner Boeing 787 programme and this year with its Sustainability50, A350 aircraft.”
Etihad Airways staff and management are committed to reducing the airline’s CO2 footprint at every touchpoint, and it shows. At Etihad Airways, a million little things make a difference in reducing emissions, so the emphasis is all-consuming
Mr. Thomas added, “The airline’s Sustainability Report 2020-2021 demonstrates the potential advancements to be made in sustainable aviation by a wide range of initiatives, coordinated to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions intensity in its passenger fleet by 2025, cut 2019 net emissions by 50% by 2035, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”
The goal of the Etihad Mangroves Forest project is to plant carbon-absorbing trees in countries where the airline operates.
In an effort to engage its guests and corporate customers, Etihad offers the Conscious Choices programme with rewards for customers who take environmentally responsible actions, such as offsetting their flights. Accredited solutions can help commercial clients reduce their Scope 3 emissions.