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British Airways launches ‘BA Better World Sustainability Programme’ and a new Aircraft Livery

British Airways has announced the launch of ‘BA Better World’, the airline’s new Sustainability Programme, describing it as its ‘most important journey yet’.

British Airways states that this marked ‘a further commitment to put sustainability at the heart of its business, from reducing emissions and waste and positively contributing to the communities it serves, to creating a great place for people to work in order to build a resilient, responsible business’.

At an event at British Airways’ engineering base at London Heathrow this morning, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom unveiled a new look for one of its most fuel-efficient short-haul aircraft, an Airbus A320neo, which it has painted in its new BA Better World sustainability colours as part of a partnership with aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The airline states that it has ‘long been leading the aviation industry’s efforts to decarbonise’. In 1992, British Airways was the first airline to report its carbon footprint. It became the first airline to participate in UK emissions trading in 2002. In 2019, British Airways’ parent company IAG became the first airline group in the world to commit to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and last year, British Airways became the first major airline to voluntarily offset all emissions from its domestic flights.

Sean Doyle, CEO and Chairman, British Airways, said:

With BA Better World we’re on our most important journey yet – to a better, more sustainable future and one which will ensure the long-term success of our business. We’re clear that we have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet and have a detailed plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, including investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, improving our operational efficiency and investing in the development of sustainable aviation fuel and zero emissions aircraft. It is only through working in partnership with Government and industry that we’ll be able to reach our targets and I’m delighted that, thanks to our new collaboration with bp, we’re able to source enough sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all our flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during COP26, substantially reducing the emissions associated with taking our customers to and from COP26 by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. This commitment for COP26 is in addition to the mandatory carbon trading we already operate in the UK and our own further voluntary carbon offsetting of our UK domestic flights.

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British Airways also announced a new collaboration with bp to source sustainable aviation fuel in respect of all its flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK COP26 conference being held in Glasgow later this year, providing a lifecycle carbon reduction of up to 80% compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is blended with traditional jet fuel to comply with aviation fuel certification standards. The SAF sourced for the COP26 period provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel.

Photo: British Airways

Martin Thomsen, CEO of bp’s Aviation Division, said:

We’re thrilled to collaborate with British Airways by supplying sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all of its flights from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh for the COP26 event. Our companies have a long-standing relationship and will continue to work together on sustainable aviation fuel supply initiatives on an on-going basis. At bp we want to help decarbonize the aviation industry and we will continue to collaborate with industry stakeholders and governments to explore viable options to help scale up sustainable aviation fuel more broadly.

In a first in the UK, Airways also announced that from today, its passengers can purchase sustainable aviation fuel to reduce their carbon footprint via its not-for-profit organisation Pure Leapfrog. This is in addition to the existing option for passengers to offset their emissions.

Additionally, the airline states that the collaboration with bp forms part of British Airways’ long-term commitment to the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel. The airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), is investing $400m over the next 20 years into the development of SAF, with British Airways forming partnerships with a number of technology and fuel companies to develop SAF plants and purchase the fuel, including with Velocys in the UK and LanzaJet in the US. The airline, as part of an IAG commitment, recently stated it would power 10% of its fuel needs with SAF by 2030.

Julie Kitcher, Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communications at Airbus, and a member of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council, said:

We’re delighted to be partnering with BA on this journey and feel proud BA has chosen one of our A320neos to highlight the importance of sustainability for the future of the industry. The aircraft has 20% less fuel burn & CO2 emissions compared to A320ceo and 50% less noise so it’s a great choice and I am looking forward to seeing the new livery in the sky. BA is committed to a sustainable future and contributing positively to climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will achieve the ambition of a net zero carbon emissions industry by 2050 through cooperation and collaboration and this initiative is a clear example of that.

Furthermore, at today’s event, British Airways showcased some of the initiatives it has introduced to improve sustainability, both in the air and on the ground, including switching from diesel to renewably powered electric pushback vehicles and removing weight from its aircraft by introducing lighter seats and trollies, inflight magazines and paper flight manuals. It also outlined its efforts to remove single-use plastic and source more products made from recycled materials, including its First Class duvet and World Traveller Plus amenity kits.

The London-based carrier also announced a new BA Better World Community Fund ‘to further the positive work it does within the UK and global communities it flies to and pledged to take positive action in many other areas of its business’.

Meanwhile, Buy-On-Board has returned to British Airways’ short-haul flights and has also announced four new routes out of Belfast. The airline has reopened its First Class lounge at New York JFK for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began and has increased flights between India and London following a surge in demand. British Airways has also resumed flights to Phoenix, Arizona and Chennai, India & has reopened Concorde Room at London Heathrow and New York – JFK.

Featured image by British Airways

What do you think of British Airways’ new BA Better World Sustainability Programme? Let me know in the comments section below.

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