Qantas has been named one of the world’s leading airlines for environmental action in the annual Air Transport World (ATW) Eco-Aviation Awards.
ATW announced last night that Qantas had won the ‘Eco-Pioneer Airline of the Year’ category, in recognition of its long-standing environment strategy and leadership of the aviation industry’s efforts to become more sustainable.
Qantas’ comprehensive environment strategy has been in place for more than 10 years, with the goal of improving fuel efficiency, mitigating carbon emissions, reducing energy use, and engaging Qantas employees and community organisations.
Recent environmental milestones for Qantas have included Australia’s first commercial biofuel flights in April 2012 – leading into a major biofuel study with Shell Australia – and the opening of one of Australia’s largest commercial trigeneration plants to power the airline’s Sydney headquarters.
Qantas has also pioneered fuel-efficient flight navigation technology in the Australia/New Zealand region, first launching ‘Required Navigation Performance’ flights into Queenstown in 2006 before extending them to almost 20 ports in Australia.
Qantas’ Head of Environment, John Valastro, said the airline was delighted to have been recognised by Air Transport World.
“These awards are the aviation industry benchmark for sustainability, so to have been named a pioneer in this area is a great honour for us,” Mr Valastro said.
“Environmental sustainability is a guiding principle for Qantas as a business – it’s part of our responsibility to our customers, employees and the community.
“It is also a financial imperative, given that our annual fuel bill exceeds $4 billion and fuel accounts for 95 per cent of our emissions. We aim to lead by example – through our fuel efficiency and biofuel initiatives – but also to play a role in the industry forums dedicated to reducing aviation’s impact on the environment. Only through industry-wide action can aviation genuinely make progress towards the goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020.
“This award will provide inspiration as we move forward with the next phase of our environmental strategy, including making the case for commercial production of aviation biofuel in Australia.”
The ATW award follows Qantas’ recognition last year with a prestigious Banksia Environmental Award for sustainability leadership among large companies.