Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has won the ‘Environmental Sustainability Innovation of the Year’ award at CAPA’s annual Environmental Sustainability Awards for Excellence in Singapore, as well as the ‘Best Airline for Sustainability 2022’ award by Business Traveler USA.
The airline’s sustainability initiatives include the Greenliner programme that uses the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners as flying test-beds for new ‘green’ initiatives, and the Sustainable50 A350-1000 that launched earlier this year, focusing on Airbus and Rolls Royce. Etihad has also partnered with a range of organisations to reduce its CO2 emissions, the latest being with World Energy and SATAVIA to enable its ‘Book and Claim’ system for carbon off-sets.
Mariam Al Qubaisi, Etihad Airways’ head of sustainability and excellence said, “2022 has been an important year for us, with many milestones and achievements we are proud of. These two awards from CAPA Aviation and Business Traveler USA cap off a year where we were also named Environmental Airline of the Year 2022 by Airline Ratings. We enter into 2023 with a continued commitment to collaborating with our partners to support the industry in its mission to achieve net-zero by 2050.”
The CAPA/Envest Airline Sustainability Rating system rates and ranks each airline’s sustainability performance relative to other airlines. Marco Navarria, CAPA’s content and marketing director explained, “The CAPA Aviation Sustainability Awards for Excellence uses a range of independent data and analysis to recognise those airlines and partners in the travel chain who have demonstrated clear leadership, innovation and commitment to sustainability initiatives. These winners are helping to generate the positive momentum that is needed to drive the whole industry forward towards its environmental goals.”
Etihad also won the Best Airline for Sustainability 2022, presented by Business Traveler USA. The prestigious publication created this new category to recognize the impressive efforts made by the airline industry to reduce emissions.
Other sustainability initiatives at Etihad Airways include the 2021 launch of the first consumer-focused ‘green’ loyalty and rewards programmes to incentivise more environmentally friendly choices among its passengers.
The carrier’s ‘Conscious Choices’ programme offers loyalty points for passengers opting to offset the emissions from their travel and carry less baggage onboard. A corporate-focused programme, named ‘Corporate Conscious Choices’, was added to facilitate corporate partner sustainability goals, offering purchase options for SAF, carbon offsets and a ‘green’ surcharge.
The airline’s efforts are helped by its modern aircraft fleet, with an average fleet age of 5.8 years, and nearly 60% of its aircraft comprising new-generation, efficient widebodies. Etihad is also the first airline to secure commercial finance based on verified compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN SDGs). Most recently, the Etihad Mangroves Forest project was launched, with plans to establish carbon-absorbing forests in countries where the airline operates, beginning with a forest in the airline’s home of Abu Dhabi.