Air Canada has been named the 2018 Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World in its 44th Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards, citing the carrier's commitment to emissions reductions through supporting the development of alternative fuels and its numerous green programs and partnerships.
The award is presented to an airline that practices and innovates in exceptional eco-operations. In choosing the 2018 winner, judges looked for an industry-leading commitment to technologies and efforts that increase operational efficiency and reduce emissions and dependency on oil. This includes pioneering solutions to environmental problems, environmental concern and action through community involvement, and best practices at airports.
Air Canada has a four-pillar approach to reduce emissions through technology, operations, infrastructure and economic instruments. Among other things, Air Canada is a partner in biofuel research in cooperation with the Canada Biojet Supply Chain Initiative (CBSCI) and the Civil Aviation Alternate Fuel Contrail and Emissions Research (CAAFCER). It has invested significantly with a $10 billion fleet renewal program that has given it one of the most modern, fuel efficient fleets in the world, while maintaining innovative recycling, scholarship and community activity programs, many aimed at involving employees in environmental activities. The airline has also adopted the collective International Air Transport Association reduction targets for greenhouse gases that include:
- Improving fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5 per cent per year from 2009 to 2020;
- Capping aviation CO2 emissions from 2020, or carbon-neutral growth; and
- Reducing CO2 emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 relative to 2005 levels.
"Air Canada has made sustainability central to its decision-making and business processes, and this includes acting responsibly with respect to the environment. We are very pleased that ATW has recognized the effectiveness of our environmental programs, including our participation in the development and support of alternative fuels in Canada, and our efforts to contribute to healthier communities. We have made great strides, improving fuel efficiency by 40 per cent since 1990, and this award will further spur us on to the goals we have set for ourselves to continually improve our environmental performance," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.
This ATW Eco-Airline Award is the second award won by Air Canada this year related to its sustainability programs. Air Canada's corporate sustainability report, Citizens of the World, was named the Best Sustainability Report in the Transportation Category by The Finance and Sustainability Initiative (FSI).