The next big breakthrough for carbon reduction is set to come from advanced, affordable, waste-based sustainable aviation fuels, or SAF. It’s ambitious, but we’re setting ourselves a target of powering our aircraft with at least 20% sustainable aviation fuel by 2035. We cannot do this alone, but if the right government support was in place commercial production could start as soon as the early 2020s. We’re calling for an urgent commitment to incentivise production towards jet fuels – as opposed to solely incentivising ground fuels – as this will help secure critical investment for the commercial plants we need.
We’re clear that the potential for carbon savings through SAF compared to current fossil jet fuels is huge – currently over 70%. The possibility of developing carbon neutral and even carbon negative fuels is also now within reach.
Through these and other measures, we’re pursuing breakthrough carbon reductions and supporting calls towards net zero. We can’t do it alone and we’re also calling for governments, banks and fuel suppliers to support these measures so we can together accelerate the change we all need.
What else are we doing?
Our new amenity kit has a lot less plastic. Read about it here
After the ‘big 3’ carbon reduction plan, our most important priorities are making sure we have sustainable supply chains in place and reviewing all our ground operations, and that involves every one of us here at Virgin Atlantic staying focused on waste, weight, energy and product reduction. Here’s just a few examples of what we’ve been doing:
– Reducing weight onboard through careful galley planning
– Eliminating single use products wherever possible
– Shifting our car fleet to fully electric and hybrid vehicles
– Moving our headquarters into sustainably designed premises and improving other buildings
– Via our partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association, we’ve been sourcing fair trade products, promoting higher animal welfare standards, and buying sustainably certified fish, seafood, beef, soy and palm oil (or finding better alternatives).
– Helping you, our customers, understand how you can contribute: for example, if every passenger reduced the weight of their bag by 1kg, we could save around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of 1,500 average cars.
– Helping you offset the emissions associated with your journey via our ClimateCare scheme, which finances renewable energy and natural resource conservation projects around the world.