The Qantas Group has been recognised for its industry-leading progress on environmental sustainability at the annual Banksia Environmental Awards in Melbourne tonight, the premier environmental awards program in Australia.
The airline received the ‘Banksia Environmental Award for Leading in Sustainability – Setting the Standard for Large Organisations’ Award for its efforts, which include a number of innovative projects from operating Australia’s first commercial sustainable aviation fuel flights to trialling electric tugs at domestic airports.
Qantas’ environmental journey began in 1994 with a foundation sponsorship of Clean-Up Australia Day.
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the airline regarded sustainability as important for business as well as the environment.
‘We have made environmental sustainability a guiding principle for how we do business as we know this reduces our costs and opens up new commercial opportunities. From our carbon offset program to more fuel efficient aircraft, sustainability is a major driver in our decisions,” said Mr Joyce.
“This award is great recognition for our staff as well as our customers who help drive and support Qantas’ efforts in this space.”
Graz van Egmond, Executive Director of the Banksia Environmental Foundation, said the judges were impressed with Qantas’ ability to drive an innovative strategy that is better for people, the planet and the financial bottom line.
“Qantas addresses many important global issues across emissions, packaging and environmental management in a thorough manner. Accordingly, the notion of sustainability is embedded in most aspects of the business and Qantas should be commended for this as it leads the Australian aviation industry,” she said.
“The judges were also excited by the company’s actions and efforts to educate its own 30,000 team members as well as its passengers.”
Qantas was recognised for numerous sustainability projects including:
– The first sustainable aviation fuel flights in Australia created from refined used cooking oil to power two commercial flights (Qantas Airbus A330 Sydney-Adelaide and Jetstar Airbus A320 Melbourne-Hobart) to raise awareness around the need for and potential of this new sustainable energy source;
– The construction of Australia’s largest commercial tri-generation plant at Qantas’ Mascot headquarters;
– Putting continued downward pressure on electricity, water and waste-to-landfill consumption metrics despite operational growth;
– Promoting the benefits of environmental sustainability to stakeholders including customers, investors and suppliers;
– The world’s largest airline carbon offset program by volume;
– A sector-leading approach to carbon transparency and sustainability disclosure;
– The only major airline in Australia operating an inflight recycling program;
– Public support for a global sectoral approach to carbon pricing;
– Investing in more fuel efficient, quieter aircraft through its fleet renewal program.