MIAMI – In a press release, Air Canada (AC) confirmed its major commitment to supporting climate change resilience across the sector.

The airline has set lofty climate goals, aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across its entire global operations by 2050.

To achieve this, AC has set total midterm GHG net reduction goals for its air and ground operations by 2030, relative to its 2019 baseline, and has planned to invest US$50m in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), as well as emission reductions and deletions. Michael Rousseau, President, and Chief Executive Officer at AC said the following:

“Economic growth and sustainability are equally important, and we have a strong track record for both. Despite the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain deeply committed to long-term sustainability. Climate change is critical, and we believe we can and must do more to address this for the future of our environment.”

“This is why we are further embedding climate considerations into our strategic decision-making, and undertaking a very ambitious plan that is meaningful, will support Canada’s leadership position on climate change, advance de-carbonization in the airline industry while keeping fares affordable for customers.”

Air Canada. Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways

Key Pillars

The Canadian airline dedicated to developing and implementing creative, long-term, and long-term emission reduction solutions. Like the airline, infrastructure, and energy industries shift toward low-carbon alternatives. Also, the airlines set absolute 2030 mid-term GHG reduction targets to ensure sustainable progress toward AC’s net-zero target. Moreover, AC has identified the following key carbon reduction pillars:

Fleet and operations: AC will continue deploying its newly modernized and energy-efficient Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body fleets that are more efficient. Airlines are expecting to reach 20 percent less fuel consumption per seat on average and emit approximately 20 percent less CO2 and 50 percent fewer nitrogen oxides than aircraft they replace.

Moreover, continue to integrate climate factors in route and fleet planning, phase out carbon-intensive ground equipment and further advance electric vehicles and seek other electrification opportunities.

Innovation: To enhance and help AC’s global business network, further examine the potential, safety, and efficiency of an emerging power, hydrogen, or hybrid operating technologies, as well as other developments such as short-haul transportation opportunities and electric drones.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels and clean energy: AC will invest US% 50m in SAF and other low carbon aviation fuel (LCAF) production, as well as assess the practical applications of renewable energy sources such as biogas and renewable electricity, and energy transition initiatives, to forward the work on sustainable aviation fuels.

Carbon Reductions and Removals: In addition to further improving its carbon offset policy for CORSIA enforcement, consumer offerings, and more, AC will look at carbon-negative emission technology and other direct emission reduction and elimination strategies. AC regularly publishes its carbon footprint, priorities, and climate security policy to the CDP, but beginning in 2022, it will also report to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) process.

Air Canada 787-9. Photo: Max Langley/Airways

Intensive Background

The carrier has developed a strong base in energy sustainability Via various extensive programs to reduce its environmental impact. In general, AC has increased its fuel efficiency by 43% since 1990. Considering fuel conservation measures, the airline reduced more than 135,000 tonnes of GHG from its air operations from 2016 to 2019, and its role in fuel sustainability includes:

Participating in eight biofuel flights and offering continuing constructive investment in the development of sustainable aviation fuel in Canada, including partnering with the Canadian government on strategy structure to enhance a Canadian-based sustainable aviation fuel industry.

Besides, The airline is the lead airline in Canada’s Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI). CBSCI defined a project for finding and addressing supply logistics problems that occur as aviation biofuels are deployed at major Canadian airports.

Contributing to the Civil Aviation Alternate Fuel Contrail and Emissions Testing project (CAAFCER) to test the advantages of biofuel use on contrail formation, which would benefit all aviation stakeholders as well as climate scientists. Using a technologically innovative livery paint and painting procedure that saves weight and fuel while having no chrome, lead, or other heavy metals, and is designed to last longer than normal paint.

More than 100 fuel-saving projects have resulted in continuous improvements such as profile departure, RNPAR (performance-based navigation), single-engine taxiing, and aircraft weight reductions such as the use of lightweight crew luggage, iPads for pilots instead of paper manuals, and lighter-weight plastic onboard carts.

The Vancouver Airport Authority named AC the YVR Green Excellence winner in 2020 and 2019 for green projects on Sea Island such as water and energy recycling, waste reduction, and the Richmond Ocean Shoreline Cleanup.

AC achieved Eco-Airline of the Year in 2018 for its fuel efficiency and creative sustainability programs. These included a US$10bn fleet upgrade, innovative aviation fuel investment and funding in Canada, and a fuel efficiency policy and route upgrades. The Air Transport World arranged the initiative.

The carrier reduced more than 60,000 tCO2e of emissions as a part of a long-running scheme that offers consumers carbon-neutral buying options. AC will update in the coming weeks the details and reports of climate strategy.

Featured image: Air Canada C-FSOI Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways