SAS Group claims airline first following successful completion of international environmental certification
(photo: Tommy Safstrom, SAS)
Thu 30 Sept 2010 – The SAS Group – which comprises SAS, Blue1 and Widerøe – has announced it has received both ISO 14001 and EMAS certification from auditors Bureau Veritas. The airline group says it is the only one in the world to hold both internationally recognized environmental certificates. EMAS is part of the European Commission’s ‘Towards Sustainable Development’ action programme. SAS Chief Commercial Officer Robin Kamark said many of its customers, particularly corporate, were demanding environmentally certified products and services. Amongst the Group’s environmental objectives is to halve the greenhouse gas emissions per revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) by 2020 compared with 2006.
The aim of the ISO 14001 standard is to map out and reduce a company’s environmental impact, and to ensure that there is an efficient management system in place that also includes environmental activities. In addition to what is already covered by ISO 14001, the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) requires that all employees are involved in environmental work and that the most important environmental aspects and the company’s environmental performance are published.
“The SAS Group now holds two internationally recognized environmental certificates, covering all aspects of the SAS Group’s business – everything from flight operations to administration. That makes us unique in the world,” claims Lars Andersen Resare, SAS Group’s Environmental Director.
Klaus Behrndt, Lead Auditor at Bureau Veritas, commended SAS’s effective implementation of its environmental management system, which also, says SAS, lays the foundations for reducing company costs. An example is the airline group’s fuel savings project, which reported a saving of 4.3% by the end of 2009 compared with 2005.
The SAS Group target to reduce RPK emissions by 50% by 2020 translates into overall savings of 20% based on a 4% growth in passenger numbers over the same period. SAS expects to achieve the goal through increased energy efficiency, renewal of its aircraft fleet, more efficient flight management and the future use of sustainable biofuels based on renewable sources. It aims to be amongst the first airlines to use such fuels when they become commercially available.
SAS has been actively involved in ‘green approach’ trials. “We have conducted around 5,000 of the most advanced Continuous Descent Arrival (CDA) procedures and over 20,000 ‘manual’ CDAs,” reports Lars Andersen Resare. “In addition, we have conducted a couple of hundred ‘curved approaches’.”