Etihad Airways partners with Abu Dhabi's Masdar to develop carbon and waste reduction initiatives
James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways (left) and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar (right)
Wed 22 Apr 2009 – In line with Abu Dhabi’s vision as a world leader in clean technology, Etihad Airways has signed a partnership agreement with Masdar, a multi-billion dollar, multi-faceted initiative to establish the emirate as a centre for future energy innovation. Masdar will work with Etihad to support the implementation of the airline’s environmental initiatives, particularly in relation to carbon and waste management. Under the agreement, Etihad will also support the bid of the United Arab Emirates to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Masdar will help Etihad develop carbon management solutions to ensure the airline complies with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme as well as support Etihad’s voluntary carbon reduction initiatives. It will also work with Etihad to enhance the airline’s waste management plans and energy saving initiatives.
Started in late 2003, Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines. Its fleet of 43 aircraft has an average age of three years, making it one of the youngest.
“As a new business, we are developing environmental policies to minimize our impact on the environment, in line with Abu Dhabi’s vision and commitment to sustainability,” commented James Hogan, Etihad’s Chief Executive. “This partnership with Masdar gives us the opportunity to benefit from their expertise and knowledge to help implement our environmental initiatives.”
The CEO of Masdar, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, said: “Etihad’s partnership with Masdar is a demonstration of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to environmental sustainability. This relationship demonstrates that synergies and complimentary expertise between companies can lead to innovative solutions.
“The airline industry is rapidly turning its attention to finding alternative fuels and emission reduction schemes. This partnership presents Masdar and Etihad with the opportunity to position Abu Dhabi at the forefront of this shift in finding solutions to the issues of climate change.”
Etihad recently appointed Linden Coppell, formerly with Cathay Pacific Airways, as its first Environmental Affairs Manager.
Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest petroleum producers, is looking decades ahead to when its greatest resource runs dry and has embarked on a multi-billion dollar push to establish the emirate as a centre for clean technology development and innovation. Its centrepiece will be Masdar City, a $22 billion, six square kilometre project designed by British architect Norman Foster to be the world’s first zero carbon footprint, zero waste development. The community is designed to accommodate 40,000 people and is due to be completed in 2016.
Plans also include a $250 million clean-tech investment fund and an energy engineering school linked with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At the recent World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi, the emirate announced that at least 7% of its electricity would come from renewable sources by 2020. It plans to invest $15 billion in clean energy, an amount equal to what President Obama has suggested spending annually for the entire United States.
Although it has its critics, the Masdar Initiative has won support from luminaries such as Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Nicholas Stern, the influential economist.