Abu Dhabi’s Etihad reduces carbon footprint by 56% between 2018-2021
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Abu Dhabi’s Etihad reduces carbon footprint by 56% between 2018-2021

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad reduces carbon footprint by 56% between 2018-2021

Etihad aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050


Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group reduced its carbon footprint from 9,828,970 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018 to 4,310,592 tonnes in 2021.

Etihad added though that the 56 per cent drop could be attributed in part to “to reduced scheduled operations” as a result of the pandemic.

The details of its emissions was outlined in its Sustainability Report 2020-2021, outlining the impact the company has had on the environment, and detailing its sustainability strategy, represented by the Etihad Greenliner and Sustainable50 programmes.

The report demonstrates the potential advancements the airline aims to make on the sustainability front is expected to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in emissions intensity in its passenger fleet by 2025, cut 2019 net emissions by 50 per cent by 2035, and eventually help it reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“Our sustainability report highlights our insistence on harnessing the opportunities that are available today, and commits to continuing to find solutions for the future. We have been insistent that we continue to focus on the question as a long-term strategic priority for our business, spearheaded by the Etihad Greenliner and Sustainabile50 programmes,” said Tony Douglas, group CEO at Etihad Aviation Group.

Last year, Etihad Airways raised $1.2bn in the first sustainability-linked loan (SLL) tied to environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets in global aviation. The transaction was the largest sustainable financing in the airline’s history and followed two similar financing deals – a sustainability-linked transition sukuk in 2020 and a loan tied to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2019.

Read: Etihad raises $1.2bn in aviation’s first sustainability-linked ESG loan

In 2020, Etihad has issued a $600m sukuk linked to its carbon reduction targets. The carrier says that it is the world’s first Transition Sukuk and the first Sustainability-Linked financing in global aviation, under a Transition Finance Framework.

This week, the airline said that it is undertaking a week of intensive research and testing on over 30 flights to test operational efficiencies, technology and procedures that will reduce carbon emissions.

The programme includes over 20 commercial flights operating across Etihad’s network to test contrail avoidance technologies, in partnership with Satavia, a UK-based green aerospace company.

Etihad will also operate up to 13 dedicated EcoFlights, testing a range of flight and engine optimisation initiatives, with successful trials to be incorporated into regularly scheduled operations. Each of these flight tests are being conducted on Etihad’s fleet of fuel-efficient A350 and 787 aircraft, spearheaded by the Etihad Greenliner, and Etihad’s newest aircraft, the ‘Sustainable 50’.

In March, Etihad unveiled its new Airbus A350-1000 on a special inaugural commercial flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris. The aircraft is the first A350 to be operated by a UAE airline, and Etihad the first of five A350s set to join Etihad’s fleet over the coming months. The aircraft, named Sustainability50, carries a unique livery in recognition of the 50th founding anniversary of the UAE and Etihad’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered Airbus A350 is one of the most efficient aircraft types in the world, with 25 per cent less fuel burn and carbon-dioxide emissions than previous-generation twin aisle aircraft.

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