Whilst consolidating a commitment to establish a strong culture of planet friendly attitudes and practices as a responsible corporate entity and as individuals, SriLankan Airlines’ continues its efforts to achieve highest global standards in environmental management and conservation.
On World Environment Day (WED), the airline introduces a series of new tactical measures to double the awareness of the critical importance of the good health of the planet, emphasising the importance of instilling a corporate and individual mind-set to be ‘environment conscious’. ‘Green’ initiatives this week, commencing on WED, include, Tree Planting & Plant Distribution campaigns; Children’s Art Competitions relating to Environment Conservation; Photography Competition highlighting Environmental Destruction; Special awareness campaigns directed at the airline’s employees in the global network; and Sponsorship of external programmes to create awareness for school children to think ‘Green’. The airline’s Go Green Steering Committee is spearheading the campaigns this week.
Whether corporate or individual, the message is clear that the good health of the planet is everyone’s responsibility.
Collectively, world airlines have pledged to halve emissions by 2050 as CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions from aviation currently account 2 per cent of all global emissions with a prediction that it will reach 2.5 per cent by 2050. IATA sends a strong message to all airlines to achieve zero emission aircraft operations, in 50 years.
SriLankan Airlines formulated its Corporate Environment Policy in January 2009 to address a range of issues on an on-going basis. The focus has been on the most critical of areas of Aviation Fuel Management & Conservation through the adoption of best practices.
The performance of every aircraft is closely evaluated to ensure optimum operational efficiency. The measures adopted to reduce fuel consumption during ‘pushback’, taxiing, descend, landing, the use of ground power units while stationary and increasing efficiency through heightened engine maintenance and aircraft servicing, are some of the current measures. SriLankan’s initiatives were validated by an IATA team of fuel efficiency experts which served to be recognised as a significant effort to reduce carbon emissions.
SriLankan launched South Asia’s first ‘Planet Friendly Flight’ as an initial exemplary step towards influencing employees, customers and the general public to be collectively responsible for the environment and in what ways everyone could contribute to make a difference. A dedicated Environment Unit is constantly identifying areas of weight reduction on aircraft which has a considerable impact on fuel savings. The airline’s long-term intention is to transform all into ‘Planet Friendly’ flights.
SriLankan Airlines became one of the first airlines to completely satisfy a key environmental requirement of the European Union (EU) with regard to monitoring of aircraft emissions. It carried out comprehensive collection of emissions data from the entire fleet of aircraft throughout 2010 and the EU approved the benchmarking of this data, signifying acceptance of SriLankan’s Aircraft Emissions Monitoring System – a state-of -the-art system developed by the airline’s own Aviation Fuel Department in Flight Operations and in-house software experts. The system was further endorsed when it won a Merit Award at the National Best Quality Software for Innovations in Information Technology. The system monitors emissions throughout a flight and uploads data into the system, directly from the aircraft.
SriLankan Catering won two prestigious Mercury Awards in the global travel catering industry, presented by the International Travel Catering Association (ICTA) for Catering’s innovative Food Waste Sterilisation and Environment Conservation Programme.
On a national scale, SriLankan Catering has bagged the National Energy Efficiency Gold Award for its operational level environmental goals and practices.
SriLankan Airlines also meets stringent international noise standards and is constantly evaluating noise levels according to relevant requirements and operating limitations stipulated by aviation authorities. With the on-going re-fleeting with newer aircraft, the airline’s noise footprint will be greatly reduced in the future.
The initiatives in fuel conservation, energy saving, recycling and others have drawn the attention of conservationists. The airline is in discussion with the Environment Unit of the International Air Transport Association. SriLankan also became the first corporate sponsor of Rain-Forest Rescue International (RRI) to develop a partnership with a community based conservation agency. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and SriLankan are to develop a working partnership which will be a large scale conservation effort and carbon neutralising project.
Working together with the Aviation Authorities, and Sri Lanka’s Central Environmental Authority, the airline is engaging in discussions on eco-airport master plans and an environment policy for Sri Lanka’s aviation industry.
SriLankan’s current efforts are only a fraction of what the airline will strive to achieve in the future to create carbon offset programmes; promote Reduce, Reuse and Recycle methods (RRR); and instil eco-friendly lifestyles.
Future plans will include the establishment of engaging passengers in a carbon neutral scheme; establishing a highly fuel efficient fleet; eco-friendly procuring; engineering waste management system & developing the airline’s Carbon Neutral Programme.