The Emirates Group has published its third annual environment report. It reveals improvements in Emirates’ fuel efficiency and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions as the airline added new, modern aircraft and retired older, less efficient ones.
Covering the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the audited report analysed environmental performance data from a range of Group activities, including airline operations, dnata’s cargo and ground handling businesses and a wide range of commercial activities on the ground – from engineering to catering.
The report’s aim is to understand the Group’s environmental impact, as well as identifying opportunities to improve and capture best practice across the 68,000 strong workforce.
With airline operations constituting the main environmental impact of the Emirates Group, total fuel efficiency for all passenger and freighter flights improved by 0.29%, dropping to 0.3103 litres per tonne kilometre (L/TK). Similarly, carbon dioxide emissions dropped to 0.767 grams of CO2 per tonne kilometre (gCO2/TK), improving efficiency by 0.3%.
During the reporting period, Emirates retired or cancelled the leases of six aircraft and took delivery of 34 aircraft. Overall, Emirates airline operates one of the youngest and most efficient fleets in the world. Emirates’ average fleet age is six years versus the IATA average fleet age of 11.7 years. This directly impacts Emirates’ fuel efficiency, which is 15.7% better than IATA’s 2012 forecast industry average, and its carbon dioxide emissions efficiency, which was 16.6% better than the IATA average.
“At Emirates, we remain committed to operating as an environmentally responsible company,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. “This report illustrates our continuing efforts to improve our environmental efficiency, in the air and on the ground. We are pleased that the induction of new modern, more ecologically efficient aircraft helped to make an improvement in the fuel and emissions efficiency of our fleet. Our employees play a key and integral role in ensuring we minimise our environmental impact and in driving efficiencies across the Group.”
Other significant highlights of the report include:
• Emirates has doubled its total recycling volumes in the reporting period, to 10,697 tonnes, primarily due to the inclusion of a used cooking oil recycling programme for one of its subsidiaries, Alpha Catering.
• After coordinating with 34 countries, Emirates Flight Operations is saving more than 4,200 tonnes of fuel and 13,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year due to its iFlex programme, which has opened up 25 new airways structures across the African continent for Emirates’ South American operations.
• Emirates was awarded the ‘Fly Quiet’ Award at San Francisco Airport in 2012 and 2013 for the work done by its Flight Operations team to reduce the noise impact on surrounding communities.
• Emirates Group Central Services team spearheaded a mail reduction campaign to reduce the amount of mail items at the Group’s headquarters in Dubai by 25%, or 45,000 items per month.
• Emirates Flight Catering is seeking to launch one of the first programmes in the UAE for glass recycling.
• The dnata Baggage Services team is planning to purchase 50 electric vehicle tractors, which should improve air quality for airport ramp workers, for use at Dubai International Airport for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
• Emirates plans to award funds to one or more deserving organisations later this year under its new “A Greener Tomorrow” environmental grant.
“As these various initiatives illustrate, continuous efforts to improve our environmental footprint are yielding dividends across the Emirates Group,” said Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline. “We hope to continue this in the future and look forward to announcing significant new projects shortly.”
Emirates is also taking a leading role in the airline industry when it comes to environmental reporting. This year, the report includes Emirates’ proposal to adopt a new measure of industry fuel efficiency to become an industry standard. The new standard, measured by tonne kilometre per litre (TK/L), will form the basis of reporting Emirates airline’s fuel efficiency next year.