Our greenhouse gas emissions are by far our airline’s most significant environmental impact. 98% of our emissions footprint is the result of aircraft fuel burn. Please refer to our most recent annual report for the most up to date information regarding our emissions performance.
We are committed to reducing our emissions and our impact on the environment as much as possible through combined approach of fuel efficiency, sustainable aviation biofuel development and carbon offsetting.
- Fuel efficiency is critical to managing our carbon footprint in the short to medium term. Virgin Australia is already ahead of many of our industry peers in this regard as we already operate a young and fuel efficient fleet, with an average age of just 4.9 years. However, this also means that achieving substantial improvements in fuel efficiency represents a greater challenge. To ensure our fleet remains fuel efficient we have an extensive fleet renewal program.
- Sustainable aviation biofuel is arguably the greatest opportunity for airlines to mitigate their impact on the environment. Read more about Virgin Australia’s leading role in developing a commercial sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Australia.
- Carbon offsetting remains a key part of our overall sustainability strategy. Virgin Australia has been a leader in this field and in 2007 we launched the world’s first government certified airline offset program. Read more about our carbon offset program.
Virgin Australia is also a member of the Aviation Global Deal Group, a coalition of airlines, aviation industry companies and The Climate Group committed to supporting international efforts to develop an environmentally and economically sustainable global policy framework for reducing carbon emissions from the aviation sector. More information on the AGD proposals can be found at www.agdgroup.org.
Minimising the environmental impacts of our ground-based operations is also an important part of our sustainability program. We are currently assessing options to reduce emissions, resource consumption and waste. Our current performance and initiatives can be found in our latest Annual Report and we will continue to report to stakeholders annually on our progress.
We also recognise the impact aircraft noise can have on sections of the community. We aim to minimise noise from our operations by maintaining a modern technically advanced fleet of aircraft that are complaint with the ICAO Chapter 4 noise standards. We work closely with air service providers to design approach and departure paths which allow aircraft to utilise onboard equipment to fly high precision tracks that help to minimise the noise footprint over noise sensitive areas. We are also directly engaging with community groups affected by aircraft noise through the Community Aviation Consultation Groups and other forums at major Australian airports. Each group is independently chaired and provides an open discussion of airport operations and their impacts on nearby communities.