London, Tuesday, July 13, 1999: British Airways is targeting a 30 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency for the new millennium, the airline declares in its annual environmental report published today.
The report shows that the airline continues to lead the worldwide aviation industry in environmental care and in setting tough new targets.
The new goal reflects the growing interest in the aviation sector`s contribution to climate change and British Airways` own determination to limit any harmful effects from its operations.
During the past 12 months, the airline has virtually eliminated ozone-depleting substances from its engineering maintenance, launched the first free local bus network within the London Transport system and donated more than $1 million of support to bio-diversity and other environmental causes.
British Airways aims to meet its tough new fuel efficiency target through a combination of investment in new aircraft, improvements in air traffic control and operational changes.
Dr Hugh Somerville, Head of Environment at British Airways, said: “To the best of our knowledge no other airline has set such an exacting target. It`s an important first step on the road to sustainable aviation.”
For the first time, the annual environmental report includes an independent view on British Airways` approach to sustainable development. Jonathon Porrit`s environmental consultancy `The Natural Step` endorses British Airways` new and creative thinking on dealing with greenhouse gas emissions and recommends that the company explores further the social impacts of its activities.
The report also shows that British Airways has continued to make progress in key areas - reducing noise and emissions and improving fuel efficiency and energy management. Today 95 per cent of British Airways` aircraft from Heathrow and Gatwick operate within the defined departure tracks.
The report recognises however that there is still room for improvement, for example in addressing the long-term impact of aviation on the global climate and in minimising waste.
In response to feedback on last year`s report, British Airways has stepped up its programme of stakeholder consultation and plans to host an open forum later in the year to discuss its approach to environmental issues.