Lufthansa, FedEx and Southwest among the winners of inaugural ATW Eco-Aviation awards
Fri 11 May 2012 – To coincide with ATW’s annual Eco-Aviation Conference in Washington DC next month, the magazine is hosting its first Eco-Aviation industry awards. The winners have already been announced and the top award, the Gold Eco-Airline of the Year, has gone to the Lufthansa Group for its “dedication to fuel efficiency” and the burnFair project involving daily biofuel flights conducted during the second half of 2011. The Silver award went to FedEx Express for its EarthSmart environmental performance programme and a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint across operations. Other awards will presented at the ceremony to Southwest Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest and Pratt & Whitney.
The winners, says ATW, have been chosen for “demonstrating leadership in eco-aviation”.
Lufthansa’s award, states the aviation industry publication, is in recognition of its “breadth and depth of environmental efforts across the entire company”. Cited are the airline group’s ongoing investment in fleet modernisation, including the addition of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental; the development of a more effective flight-route planning solution; humanitarian aid relief support; senior-level management involvement on a cross-departmental Sustainability Board; and the biofuel research burnFair project.
“Lufthansa’s comprehensive environmental and sustainability efforts touch nearly every corner of the airline and in many cases influence the entire industry,” commented ATW Executive Editor Karen Walker, one of the ATW editors on the judging panel. “For example, the long-term biofuel study that Lufthansa concluded in January will no doubt benefit the entire industry.”
FedEx is praised for its aim to create new ways not only to improve its own environmental performance, but also to point the way for other companies in the aviation and logistics industries and beyond. Noted are many efforts from optimised flight planning routes to the introduction of new fuel efficient and lower emission aircraft to the building of solar-powered ground facilities. FedEx’s 20 by 20 programme to reduce aircraft emissions by 2020 have, to date, achieved a 13.8% reduction.
The Eco-Pioneer of the Year award is to be handed to Southwest Airlines. “Since its launch, Southwest has always approached business differently from other airlines and its focus on efficiency made it an eco-pioneer long before environmentally-sound business practices were understood or recognised,” said the judges. Noted are the airline’s newest product, Evolve, an all-new, eco-friendly, cost-efficient cabin interior, and the Green Plane that was launched to test the latest on-board sustainable products and interiors.
DFW’s Eco-Airport of the Year award recognises the reduction of 52,000 tonnes of GHG emissions in 2011 as a result of the use of renewable wind energy, and the retrofitting of the airport’s Central Utility Plant to reduce GHG emissions by over 50% in the past decade.
The Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest (SAFN) project – a collaboration of Alaska Airlines, Boeing, the Ports of Portland and Seattle, Spokane International Airport and Washington State University to identify sustainable biofuel opportunities in the Pacific Northwest – has been chosen as Eco-Partnership of the Year.
Finally, Pratt & Whitney’s EcoPower jet engine washing system has been picked as Eco-Technology of the Year. The system is now certified under the Verified Carbon Standard, following a certification programme under taken by P&W, which now has the ability to certify the CO2 savings directly related to fuel burn reduction as result of EcoPower washing.
The awards will be presented at the end of the forthcoming ATW Fifth Annual Eco-Aviation Conference on June 21.