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18 Feb 2015 09:00

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, was successful at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group’s first awards ceremony this week, where the airline received two awards for ‘Best Sustainability Communication Program’ and ‘Sustainability Manager of the Year’. 

The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG) is a membership organisation whose mission is to promote sustainability management in Abu Dhabi, by providing learning and knowledge sharing opportunities for government, private companies and not-for-profit organisations.
 
In the first category for Best Sustainability Communication Program, the airline was successful for its ‘BIOjet: Flight Path to Sustainability' program while Linden Coppell, Head of Sustainability at Etihad Airways, won the Sustainability Manager of the Year award.
 
The Biojet initiative was undertaken to create a commercially viable alternative to aviation fuel in Abu Dhabi, and saw vital progress made in the approval of a new technology pathway for aviation biofuel, which will be of significance to the global aviation industry.
 
A partnership was formed with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, engine maker GE and the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to enable the use of non-commercially approved biofuel for the BIOjet demonstration flight. Abu Dhabi’s national oil company, ADNOC, was involved in the production process while Takreer, the refining arm of ADNOC, provided expertise within their research centre to undertake the final distillation process so the fuel could reach jet-fuel standard.
 
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer for Etihad Airways, said: “As a company, our airline has a commitment to putting sustainability at the core of its business, integrated into day-to-day operations and embedded in our business planning. With our continuing expansion, we must also be prepared to play a part in the sustainability challenges that lie ahead. The Biojet program was a great example of how working in partnership can deliver real solutions and develop our industry thinking. I’m also delighted for Linden, her team and the rest of the employees within the company who have worked hard to make our CSR objectives a reality.”
 
Linden Coppell has driven the biofuel agenda for Etihad Airways, starting with ensuring founding member status of the Masdar Institute-led ‘Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium’, alongside Boeing and UOP Honeywell.  While the Biojet program provided a further means of developing and establishing aviation biofuels here in the UAE.
 
Linden and her team also developed and formalised several of the company’s community ‎initiatives including the launch of ‘iVolunteer’, which attracted over 500 members in its first few months, and allowed several employee groups to work on projects in developing countries.
Linden Coppell said: “Etihad Airways is widely regarded as a leading innovator within the global airline industry, a reputation that extends beyond its world-class product and service offering, and into core areas such as sustainability. Our focus on operating in a responsible manner is unwavering and principles from Etihad Airways’ ambitious sustainability strategy have been fully integrated across our business.”

The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group was established in June 2008 as a forum of members who have signed the ADSG declaration, committing to adopt best practices of sustainability management and reporting and to actively participate in ADSG activities. The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group Awards were established to recognise sustainability achievements across the GCC region and to encourage innovation and initiatives in promoting sustainable development.

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