Air Canada has set its climate targets to realize a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) throughout its global operations by 2050.
Announced Monday (March 15), Air Canada has also set absolute midterm GHG net reduction targets by 2030 in its air and ground operations compared to its 2019 baseline, and has committed to investing $50 Million in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), and carbon reductions and removals.
"Economic growth and sustainability are equally important, and we have a strong track record for both,” said Michael Rousseau, president and CEO at Air Canada, in a statement. “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.”
Air Canada has identified the following key carbon reduction pillars:
Fleet and operations: Air Canada will continue deploying its modern, energy-efficient Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body fleets that are expected to average approximately 20 per cent less fuel consumption per seat and emit approximately 20 per cent less CO2 and 50 per cent less nitrogen oxides than aircraft they replace. The airline says it will continue to integrate climate factors in route and fleet planning, phase out carbon-intensive ground equipment, advance electric vehicles and seek other electrification opportunities.
Innovation: Further evaluate the viability, safety and performance of new electric, hydrogen or hybrid operational technologies, and other innovations, such as short-haul transportation opportunities and electric drones.
Sustainable aviation fuels and clean energy: To further its work on sustainable aviation fuels, Air Canada will invest $50 Million in SAF and other low carbon aviation fuel (LCAF) development, evaluate the practical applications of renewable energy sources such as biogas and renewable electricity, and energy transition measures.
Carbon reductions and removals: Air Canada will explore carbon negative emission technologies and other direct emission reduction and removal strategies in addition to further developing its carbon offset strategy for CORSIA compliance, customer offerings and more.
Details and updates to Air Canada's climate plan will be posted on aircanada.com in the coming weeks.
In 2018, Air Canada was named Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World for Air Canada's leadership in fuel efficiency and innovative sustainability, initiatives through a $10 Billion fleet modernization, sustainable aviation fuel development and support in Canada, and fuel efficiency program and route improvements.
Since 2007, a long-standing program offering customer carbon neutral purchase options has resulted in more than 60,000 tC02e of emissions offset, the airline says.
Additional information about Air Canada's ESG activities is detailed in the airline's Corporate Sustainability Report, Citizens of the World available here.
A video showcasing highlights of Air Canada's goals and targets is available online here.
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