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New INSIGHT: Sustainability Framework

Introducing a new framework to help us guide investment into air transport sustainability.

By Dr Cristina Garcia-Duffy

11 January 2021 10:00:AM
Read time: 3 mins

The scale of the global climate challenge, and the need to respond faster, require bold steps. Through the ATI Programme, we have already invested over £780m in technologies which address carbon dioxide reduction, with the rest of our portfolio addressing other sustainability targets. Despite the immense challenges on the air transport industry brought on by COVID-19, we expect the industry to recover and continue its growth path requiring even faster paced innovative technological solutions for future sustainability.

In 2020, we saw some aviation firsts: we were delighted to witness the hydrogen fuel cell powered flight by ZeroAvia, and we launched the FlyZero project, a UK-wide collaborative effort to determine the viability of a future zero carbon emission aircraft. Milestones like this demonstrate vision, appetite and drive to meet the challenges presented by climate change, and the environmental targets set by the UK. Future sustainability solutions must address the whole aircraft lifecycle and be scaled up to address the industry’s climate and wider environmental impacts.

In our latest INSIGHT paper, we set out a framework to guide investment into R&T projects offering potential sustainability solutions for air transport. We consulted widely with the aviation industry, and our framework reflects a broad spectrum of technologies and operational improvements that will aid in addressing the sector impacts.

This multidisciplinary approach gives us the best chance of achieving climate neutrality for the UK by 2050, addressing emissions and air quality impacts, reducing noise, and delivering sustainably manufactured aerospace products.

Our team are developing sustainability modelling tools which allow us and our project partners to ensure that investment leads to tangible benefits. We continue to make the case to government for sustained investment in green air transport technologies, improved operations, sustainable fuels and the introduction of other alternative energy sources.