SAS to host session on aviation and environment issues at Copenhagen climate change business conference
Fri 22 May 2009 – International business leaders, politicians and climate change experts are gathering in Copenhagen for the World Business Summit on Climate Change starting on Sunday (May 24). During the event, SAS is hosting an aviation session, in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which aims to engage with policy-makers on aviation and environmental issues in the lead up to the United Nations climate change conference (COP-15) in December, also in Copenhagen. As Greening Partner to the summit, SAS is offsetting the CO2 emissions of all participants choosing to fly to the event with the airline.
“Our main hope is that the politicians in December can define a framework in which the international aviation industry can be developed in a sustainable way. Politicians should encourage investment in new technology such as biofuels in order to reduce the strain on the environment,” said Mats Jansson, CEO, SAS Scandinavian Airlines.
“It is a fact that aviation affects the climate. We neither can, nor want, to deny this fact, even though aviation is only responsible for 2-3% of global CO2 emissions. We would like to take the lead in terms of reducing CO2 emissions. We want our customers to be able to fly SAS with a clear conscience, confident that we are doing our utmost to minimize the impact of air travel on our climate.”
SAS has set a target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% in absolute terms by 2020, and says it has introduced over 50 initiatives in order to reduce fuel consumption by 6-7% by 2011.
The airline has also carried out nearly 3,000 ‘green approaches’ so far as well as other route planning efficiencies to save fuel and emissions. In an effort to reduce the weight of its aircraft, and therefore fuel consumption, SAS is using lighter weight materials and is currently replacing its aircraft seats with lighter versions.
Other SAS targets include achieving ISO 14001 environmental management certification by 2010 and being amongst the first airlines to use sustainable next generation biofuels.
The World Business Summit on Climate Change, organized by the Copenhagen Climate Council, aims to bring together CEOs, government representatives, scientists and thought leaders to put forward recommendations for the next global treaty on climate change. The goal, say the organizers, is to demonstrate how policy, coupled with innovative business models, can drive a sustainable transformation of the economy and stimulate job creation and low-carbon solutions. The event will be attended by senior UN officials such as Ban Ki-moon and Yvo de Boer, as well as Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, Rajendra Pachauri of the IPCC and former US Vice President Al Gore.