China Airlines and Virgin Atlantic top-scoring carriers in latest CDP corporate climate list
China Airlines Airbus A350
Tue 12 Feb 2019 – Taiwan-based China Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways both scored a creditable A- score in CDP’s Climate List for 2018, which rates the environmental performances of corporations worldwide. Tourism group TUI, which also includes five airlines, also scored A-. Formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP analysed over 6,800 responses from the world’s largest companies against a wide range of metrics that include transparency, target-setting and awareness of risks and opportunities. Other organisations scoring A- were Boeing and United Technologies, along with Munich Airport. Last year, International Airlines Group (IAG) became the first to achieve the coveted top climate leadership A ranking. Only 136 companies made the A List 2018, one of which was Finnish renewable jet fuel producer Neste.
The number of organisations reporting their environmental data to CDP has risen by 55% since 2013, which the non-profit global disclosure platform says highlights the increase in corporate transparency and measurement of environmental action. It works, adds CDP, with institutional investors with assets of $87 trillion to leverage investor and buyer power to motivate companies to disclose and manage their environmental impacts.
“As the recent report from IPCC showed, the next decade is crucial in our shift to a sustainable economy, and we believe corporates are at the heart of this transition. By ranking companies, we aim not just to highlight leaders’ best practice, but to inspire all businesses to aim higher and take more action,” said Dexter Galvin, Global Director of Corporates and Supply Chains at CDP.
“That the STOXX Global Climate Change Leaders Index – which is based on the CDP A List – outperformed the STOXX Global 1800 by 5.4% per annum from December 2011 to July 2018, demonstrates that the leadership on environmental issues shown by the A List goes hand in hand with being a successful and profitable business.”
One of the few organisations from the aviation sector to improve their score in 2018 was UK air navigation services provider NATS, rising from a C to a B grade (CDP ranks companies from A to D-). NATS started its environment programme in 2006 that was designed to reduce not just the environmental impact of air travel through the use of more direct routes and continuous descents, but also its own estate by encouraging recycling and energy saving measures. Since the programme began, NATS reports it has enabled savings of over 1.7 million tonnes of aircraft CO2 and reduced energy consumption on its estate by over 30%.
“At NATS we are very aware of how our business impacts the environment both in the sky and on the ground, so we’re really pleased to have been scored highly by CDP,” said NATS’ Head of Environmental Affairs, Ian Jopson. “NATS is always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint across our sites and operation, whilst also balancing other challenges such as managing the impact of noise on communities.”
CDP also runs the Supply Chain programme, now in its tenth year, which has 115 members worldwide representing $3.3 trillion in procurement spend. In 2018, these members made disclosure requests to 11,692 of their suppliers, asking them to provide details about relevant impacts related to climate change, deforestation and water. Over 5,600 companies based in 90 countries responded. Last year, 43% of the members confirmed that they currently deselect existing suppliers based on their environmental performance, and a further 30% are considering implementing this in the near future.
No organisation from the aviation sector is a Supply Chain programme member but aero-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce achieved an A grade in CDP’s Supplier Engagement Rating, which evaluates responding companies on their supplier engagement performance covering governance, targets, scope 3 emissions and value chain engagement. In addition, each company’s CDP climate change score was factored into their rating as an overall assessment of company performance on climate change.
Virgin Atlantic is also part of the CDP Supply Chain programme. The airline says its own supply chain programme focuses on improving the people, environment and animal welfare credentials of the products and services it designs, contracts and buys.
China Airlines is also listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index, which comprises the top 10% of the largest 800 companies in 20 emerging markets based on long-term economic, environmental and social criteria. In 2017, it was ranked top in the sector for its environmental policy and management/reporting.
List of airlines, airports, aviation and aerospace companies in CDP Climate List: