South African Airways (SAA) has become one of the first airlines in Africa and one of six in the world to achieve IATA (International Air Transport Association) Environmental Assessment Stage 1 status.
The achievement comes after IATA embarked on the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA), a two-year initiative to develop and establish an environmental standard and environmental management system for over 240 IATA member airlines. The aim of the two-year initiative is to create a minimum and recommended standard for airlines in areas such as general recycling, on-board recycling, efficient flight and airport operations, limiting and reducing carbon emissions, general energy efficiency as well as environmentally conscious procurement procedures.
“We are very proud of being one of six global airlines to achieve IEnVA Stage 1 status. As part of SAA’s Group Environment Strategy and in SAA’s continuous effort to become one of the world’s greenest airlines, our customers can fly SAA assured that we are taking great steps to establish ourselves as a market leader when it comes to environmentally friendly operations, efficient aircraft, green buildings and environmentally conscious employees,” said SAA spokesperson, Mr. Tlali Tlali.
SAA was one of six airlines invited by IATA to participate in this programme. Paul Steele of IEnVA elaborated: “I am delighted toannounce that SAA has satisfied the independent assessors and passed the IATA Environmental Assessment Stage 1. IEnvA is the first environmental management system applied to the aviation sector and enables an airline to improve its environmental management and follow best environmental practice. This makes SAA airline one of the world’s leading carriers in the areas of environmental responsibility and sustainability.”
SAA’s environmental goals include the following:
· complying with applicable regulations and other requirements;
· striving for the most efficient operations;
· working towards reducing carbon footprint;
· working towards minimising and preventing pollution;
· minimising waste and implementing recycling initiatives at SAA facilities and on-board aircraft;
· integrating environmental concerns with all SAA’s planning and decision making processes, by implementing effective environmental management systems;
· operating using the most energy and water efficient practices;
· encouraging improvement in the environmental performance of SAA’s suppliers through the development of environmental criteria within the framework of SAA’s procurement policies;
· increasing environmental awareness among employees by proactively communicating and promoting environmental issues and best practices that impact on SAA;
· working toward and finding new and innovative ways in which to improve SAA’s Environmental Programme; and
· working towards industry goals which are:
o a cap on aviation CO₂ emissions from 2020 (carbon neutral growth);
o an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020.
Statement issued by SAA