12 Jun 2014 16:00
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, was named winner of the ‘Sustainability & Environment Award’ at Ireland’s inaugural Aviation Industry Awards 2014.
The awards, sponsored by
the Irish Aviation Authority, were launched this year to celebrate excellence
within the country’s aviation sector, with winners being announced during a
gala ceremony in Dublin this week, attended by more than 500 senior aviation
Beatrice Cosgrove, Etihad
Airways country manager for Ireland, collected the Aviation Industry Awards 2014
trophy from Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.
An expert panel of judges
selected Etihad Airways as winner of the ‘Sustainability & Environment
Award’ in recognition of the airline’s success in “significantly improving
sustainability and environment performance in the sector” through a diverse
range of CSR initiatives, run internally and in collaboration with external
partners over the past 18 months.
Recent achievements have
included improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions through
optimised flight planning techniques and the use of lighter, more durable
containers to reduce aircraft weight, as well as significant investments in
modern, more efficient aircraft.
Partnership projects have
included BIOjet Abu Dhabi, launched earlier this year in partnership with
Boeing, Takreer, Total and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to
support a sustainable aviation biofuel industry. The ground-breaking initiative
was unveiled one day after Etihad Airways conducted a demonstration flight with
a Boeing 777 powered in part by the first UAE-produced aviation biofuel from an
innovative plant biomass-processing technology.
Etihad Airways is also a
founding partner of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) and
has committed over US$2 million to the initiative. In January 2014, SBRC
announced an important discovery that desert plants fed by seawater can produce
biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks.
This is an important
initiative not only for aviation, but for other research that may help in the
development of additional pathways towards alternative energy for the future.
The initiative is in line with the Abu Dhabi government’s intent to support
renewable energy and is helping to create innovative technologies and concepts
that can be replicated around the world.
Linden Coppell, Etihad
Airways Head of Sustainability, said: “Our sustainability strategy has
supported a 24 per cent efficiency improvement across our passenger fleet since
2006, double the industry target of 1.5 per cent efficiency improvement per
year. Such results have a global impact and we are delighted to be awarded in
Ireland, one of our most important markets.
“There are many exciting
plans ahead to build on these achievements, especially with the ground-breaking
biofuel projects we operate alongside industry and other partners. We see
collaboration as essential to effecting real change in reducing our
Etihad Airways' sustainability efforts have resulted
in a number of prestigious awards over the past year, including the Global CSR
Leadership Award, the Aviation Business Corporate Social Responsibility Award,
and TravelPlus’ Best Ethically Sustainable Amenity Bag Award.