Aviation provides huge benefits to society, but the industry has recognised the importance of reducing carbon emissions and together have agreed a number of low carbon goals. These include carbon neutral growth from 2020 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. There is no single solution – a range of approaches to reduce, replace and offset are required.
As an industry leader in sustainable aviation our focus has been on three things – the supply of sustainable aviation fuel, carbon neutral fuelling operations and carbon offsetting for our customers.
When it comes to our operations, we have been actively investing to reduce our own carbon footprint for over a decade. And in 2016 we became the first aviation fuel provider to become carbon neutral globally across our 250 operated sites and achieved independent PAS 2060 certification. We’re not stopping there. We’ve got a 10-year carbon reduction plan to be even better. So what is involved in achieving carbon neutral operations?
Gigi Yuen, Air bp’s global carbon neutral leader, explores how we are balancing the challenge of satisfying customer demand and business needs with achieving carbon neutrality.
The emphasis of the Air bp carbon neutral operations programme right from the start has always been to first establish a reduction plan for our operations. Only after this do we offset emissions that remain. This has been the basis of the carbon management framework since 2014.
The initial challenge we faced was coming up with the methodology and framework to quantify our carbon footprint. Every location is different. We needed to consider the different geographies and understand our overall footprint.
The second challenge was to look at how we could reduce our direct and indirect emissions to achieve more energy efficiency in our operations. No two locations are the same so there's no 'one size fits all' model that can be applied. Working closely with our operations team and airports was - and still is - vital in developing innovative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint.
From fuel efficient vehicles to innovative technologies, here are some of the key initiatives we’ve used to achieve carbon neutrality across our global network of Air bp operated locations:
The final step, once we have looked at reducing our direct and indirect emissions, is to offset the remaining emissions. This carbon offsetting is supported by bp Target Neutral, which specializes in helping businesses to reduce, replace and neutralize their carbon emissions. Carbon credits are purchased from high quality carbon reduction projects around the world such as biodigester installations in China, which replace inefficient open fires with renewable biogas. These reductions balance out the remaining carbon emitted from our operations so the net impact on the climate is neutral.
Offsetting projects are selected based on their contribution to reducing carbon emissions and their potential to support the UN’s sustainable development goals. Offset projects often provide new employment and training and can improve health and gender equality. The reductions in carbon emissions are real, unique, permanent and importantly, would not have happened without access to carbon finance.
Every year we are audited to provide independent assurance that our global carbon neutrality declaration is valid. In addition, our refuelling services at all our operated Australian locations are certified carbon neutral by Australian National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).
Climate change is a global concern, and tackling it requires long-term collaboration from all sectors of society.
We are using the experiences gained in achieving carbon neutrality to support our customers in reducing their carbon footprint in many aspects of their operations: refuelling operations, waste reduction, new vehicle technology and improving infrastructure. Looking ahead, we're keen to work with airline operators and manufacturers to gain a better understanding of how electrification of aircraft could affect airport infrastructure and ground handling services.
Both governments and industry associations globally are making commitments to a more sustainable aviation future. It’s clear that collaboration will be key to how successful we are as an industry in achieving these goals. So while Air bp is playing a part in leading the way to a more sustainable future, we're doing so alongside other partners and stakeholders with a shared vision. Integral to the role we play is our ability to really listen to what customers need and want, and to try to ensure we deliver that in the most sustainable way possible.
For more on our carbon neutral operations click here.