When we look at the Aviation Industry, there are many benefits, such as economic and societal that they bring to the table. Air travel has united the world; permitting businesses to trade internationally and allowing friends and families to connect overseas. But with these positive aspects, come the negative impact and damage they could be causing on the environment. So, we wanted to dive into what the aviation industry are doing to combat their impact on our environment and how they plan to become a sustainable sector?
According to Aviation Benefits Beyond Borders, air transport produced 895 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2018. However, that figure is compared to the 42 billion tonnes of CO2 produced by human activities throughout the year, which works out to around 2% of impact. Even with passenger numbers having increased to about 5% each year, the aviation industry has been able to reduce their emissions. This has mainly been achieved through a massive investment in new technologies and operations of implementing alternative procedures. But what’s the aviation industries plan for the future to meet net zero carbon by 2050 set by the Government?
One thing that couldn’t have been predicted was the COVID-19 outbreak which spread internationally, grounding air travel and improving air quality across the globe at the expense of the industries success. According to the Air Industry Review, “with lockdowns being enforced globally… several studies detected significant drops in pollution in China and Italy, two of the country’s worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak earlier in 2020.” Although, as advantageous as those circumstances were on the environment, when flights are finally back to the number they previously were, there will be a significant amount of work for the Aviation Industry to achieve their climate targets and keep pollution down.
Back in February 2020, before the global pandemic struck, UK Sustainable Aviation, a coalition of airports, airlines and aerospace manufacturers, formed a ‘Decarbonisation Roadmap’. This roadmap sets out how UK Aviation can welcome the increasing demand of passengers whilst also meeting their climate commitments by 2050. It outlines that the sector believes it can accommodate a 70% increase of passengers by 2050, whilst reducing carbon emissions from more than 30 million tonnes a year to net-zero. In order to achieve these targets, the Sustainable Aviation coalition have heralded new aircrafts, new engine technologies and smarter flight operations as the solution to support these transitions, as said by the Edie Newsroom. With these new procedures and technologies being the way forward for the aviation sector, sustainability plans will need to be pushed out throughout their supply chain to hit their net-zero carbon targets. However, this industries supply chain is extensive with many different areas interlocking and relying on one another, making this a very complicated process. Signifying it will be on the individuals within the supply chain to start making sustainable changes to help support this goal.
As providers of physical security measures for many Airports, like others we are committed to improving the impact we have on the environment. That’s why at least 90% of steel used for our products is recycled and our Temporary Fencing Cantilever bases are made from 100% recycled plastic. Alongside this, we have a dedicated research and development team who are constantly developing new ways in which we can help the planet.
After hearing the sustainability plans put forward by the aviation industry, do you think they will achieve this by 2050 or like many do you think these are ambitious targets that may not be met?