Put simply, the emissions associated with our jet fuel use are our single largest environmental impact, accounting for 98 per cent of our total emissions footprint.
Virgin Australia is seeking to minimise our emissions in a number of ways, in particular through our comprehensive fuel efficiency programs, through our focus on sustainable aviation fuels, and through improved cooperation with key partners.
We have a dedicated fuel efficiency team that use cutting-edge technology to monitor and reduce fuel use. Over the last few years a number of operational changes have been introduced including single-engine taxiing and a focus on reduced use of the Auxiliary Power Unit. These and other projects have resulted in significant fuel savings and reduced emissions.
Aircraft fuel efficiency can be affected by a range of factors such as weather and congestion. For this reason Virgin Australia invests heavily in systems to accurately forecast weather patterns and works closely with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to source the best available data to improve safety and the efficiency of flight plans. The coordination of airspace in Australia and our region is a complex and important task.
The international aviation industry has prioritised the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the targets set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA):
- 1.5% annual fuel efficiency improvement between 2009 and 2020;
- Carbon neutral growth from 2020; and
- A 50% reduction in total emissions from a 2005 baseline by 2050.
In October 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and its Member States developed a global market-based measure framework to guide the industry in meeting the targets set by IATA.
Virgin Australia continues to play an active role in developing the detailed components within this framework.
Sustainable aviation fuel
Sustainable aviation fuel presents a significant opportunity for airlines to reduce their impact on the environment. Read more about Virgin Australia's leading role in developing a commercial sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia.
We know that our customers share our passion for nature and the beautiful places to which we fly. Our destination stewardship approach is about protecting and enhancing these places. Read more about how Virgin Australia is making Destination Stewardship a key priority.
Offsetting the emissions associated with your flight is a great way to minimise the impacts of flying. Read more about our Fly Carbon Neutral program and other ways Virgin Australia is supporting projects.