Global warming and climate change are issues of concern in every country worldwide. This has urged governments and international organizations to act against these dangers. Setting sustainability strategies in almost every industry was the most appealing solution. This applies to the aviation sector as well, which also needs a solid sustainable aviation plan.
In this article, iJET will analyze why is it important for aviation to have an effective sustainability strategy, how the sector can contribute to this global cause, and what are the key elements that contribute to achieve sustainable future for the aviation sector.
It has been a necessity to find an eco-friendly aviation plan to save the planet from disastrous consequences. This became important because commercial flights were responsible for around 2-3% of the global carbon emission, according to IATA.
Many environmentalists suggested that stopping flights or heavily reducing them is the solution. However, this would have severe effects on individuals, businesses, and worldwide economies. So, this solution is definitely not the answer. Instead, it was wiser to find a way to reduce airplanes carbon emission since CO2 is the main cause of climate change and environment destruction.
The good news is: This strategy of sustainable aviation was already founded by IATA since 2009!
IATA has set a strategy to reduce CO2 emission from air transportation, which introduced: three targets and four objectives to achieve them.
A collaboration of efforts and high commitment is required from all airlines and aviation stakeholders to achieve these three ambitious targets. The aviation industry needs to witness a commitment of the following four objectives:
Sustainable aviation fuel, also known as SAF, is the most effective type of environment-friendly fuels. It is a sustainable alternative for the regular types of jet fuel. Sustainable jet fuel could be made from almost any wasted material, like:
One of the ultimate benefits of sustainable jet fuel is that it reduces the life cycle emission of CO2 by up to 80%.
Until today, more than 250,000 flights were operated using sustainable jet fuel, according to IATA.
The essential need for sustainable jet fuel has been acknowledged by all the international aviation organizations, such as IATA & ICAO. We -at iJET– also look forward to reaching a world where sustainable jet fuel dominates the sector
Sustainable aviation fuel is not only effective in reducing aviation impact on climate changes, but it could also be used without the need for any modification on airplanes or engines, there is no need to produce alternative fuel aircraft with different specifications, nor to generate new fuel delivery methods.
In the current stage of developing and publicizing sustainable aviation fuel, it is now more expensive than traditional fuel due to the ongoing production process of the required technologies. However, when the industry completes its research and receives full support from international governments, sustainable aviation fuel will become less costly and flight operators will depend on it more. Fortunately, even at this phase, a lot of airlines and their passengers prefer to pay more for sustainable aviation fuel when they know how beneficial it is for the environment.
Food waste is considered as one of the emerging global issues according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Food waste has reached up to 1.3 billion tons per year, while the global target is to cut this rate to half by 2030 through reducing food waste, increasing the use of one-dish meals, and minimizing the role of plastic packaging in the aviation sector.
According to the statistics of IATA, aviation inflight catering costs about $15 billion, while the overall cabin waste reaches 5.7 million tons, 20% of those consist of non-consumed food and drink.
To reach the target set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a solid collaboration between airlines, flight service providers, and governments is essential.
In fact, the aviation sector has already started to witness strict actions to reduce waste and achieve sustainable aviation inflight catering. For example, 1300 tons of single-use plastic was eliminated from the flights of Air France. On the other hand, Etihad airlines asserted that it would reduce the usage of single-use plastic to 80% by 2022. In addition to many more similar pledges that promise a flourishing future regarding sustainable aviation fuel.
In the current time, it is the duty of airlines, flight operators, and aviation stakeholders to use sustainable jet fuel and support its utility, until governments collaborate to issue international regulations to globalize sustainable aviation fuel.