11 June 2013
South African Airways (SAA) has become one of only six airlines in the world to be awarded “stage one” status in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) environmental assessment, the airline announced on Sunday.
The IATA environmental assessment is a two-year programme to develop and establish an environmental standard and management system for over 240 IATA member airlines.
The standard will involve general and on-board recycling, efficient flight and airport operations, limiting and reducing carbon emissions, general energy efficiency and environmentally conscious procurement procedures.
SAA was invited by IATA to participate in the programme.
“As part of SAA’s group environment strategy and in SAA’s continuous effort to become one of the world’s greenest airlines, our customers can fly assured that we are taking great steps to establish ourselves as a market leader when it comes to environmentally friendly operations, efficient aircraft, green buildings and environmentally conscious employees,” the airline’s spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, said in a statement.
The IATA environmental assessment is the first environmental management system for the aviation sector.
“I am delighted to announce that SAA has satisfied the independent assessors and passed the IATA environmental assessment stage one,” said IATA’s Paul Steele.
“This makes SAA one of the world’s leading carriers in the areas of environmental responsibility and sustainability.”
South African Airways aims to comply with applicable international regulations and integrating environmental concerns with all SAA’s planning and decision-making processes through the implementation of effective environmental management systems.
It also involves working towards industry goals such as a cap on aviation carbon emissions from 2020, with the aim being carbon neutral growth, and an average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year between 2009 and 2020.