Six airlines achieve first stage assessment in IATA's new airline environmental management programme
Tue 11 June 2013 – Six airlines are the first to be certified under IATA’s Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) programme, a new voluntary evaluation system designed to independently assess and improve the environmental management of an airline. All six – Finnair, South African Airways, LAN, LAN Cargo, Malaysia and Kenya Airways – achieved Stage 1 status. The aim of the programme is to set common environmental standards based on recognised environmental management system (EMS) principles, such as ISO 14001, and have been developed by a joint team of environmental consultants and airlines. Airline assessments are undertaken by independently accredited Environmental Assessment Organisations that have demonstrated competencies in EMS auditing.
“Adopting standard IEnvA procedures allows an airline to focus resources on improving its environmental performance rather than designing an EMS from scratch,” said Jon Godson, IATA Assistant Director, Aviation Environment, in the latest edition of IATA’s magazine, Airlines International. “Airlines’ environmental policies, performance and reporting are coming under increasing scrutiny from regulators, passengers and investors. They need the means to respond in a clear and consistent manner.”
IEnvA has been developed in conjunction with airlines so that it addresses industry needs and specific concerns. As a result, it aims to bring benefits such as simplified regulatory compliance, a clear demonstration of good governance and financial savings from the better use of resources.
Although the programme provides support and guidance on the key aviation-related topics of air and noise emissions, other subjects such as cabin waste management, water scarcity, biodiversity and sustainable procurement are also addressed.
“Minimising our carbon profile and fulfilling our environmental responsibility is essential for accomplishing our business goals,” said Ville Iho, Finnair’s Chief Operating Officer. “In a clear and consistent way, this important new standard will help us and all airlines improve fuel efficiency, reduce waste and limit greenhouse gas emissions in our operations.”
The first stage of IEnvA allows an airline to set the framework for its EMS and identify and comply with its legal requirements and other obligations. The initial scope includes activities that all airlines carry out in-house, such as flight operations and corporate activities. The aim 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. New modules covering areas that might be outsourced, for example ground operations and aircraft maintenance (MRO), are under development.
There is an Environmental Standards Manual, guidance and support tools and an independent assessment by an accredited assessment organisation, with registration following the successful completion of an assessment. The manual includes a thorough review of airline environmental reports and recognised requirements and is reviewed by a core group of airlines.
Further down the line, the programme’s Stage 2 will permit an airline to determine the significance of its environmental aspects and set objectives and targets. It will also provide a framework for monitoring requirements, internal assessments and management review. At this point, airlines will need to demonstrate a functioning EMS, involving a more detailed and thorough assessment of the implementation of the EMS within the airline.
“We are very proud of being one of six global airlines to achieve Stage 1 status,” said South African Airways’ spokesman Tlali Tlali. “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.”