Air Canada’s 2022 Sustainability Report Suggests Promising Future in target of net zero emissions

Air Canada’s most recent Citizens of the World Sustainability Report highlighted their achievements in reducing the environmental impact of its carriers and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Air Canada's Citizens of the World highlighted their progress toward net zero emissions.
© CNW Group / Air Canada

Laisser Moins, En Faire Plus / Leave Less, Do More

The bilingual slogan of the Canadian Flag Carrier’s ‘Leave Less’ program sets their goal of releasing less carbon and waste into the atmosphere and working toward a more environmentally friendly future.

In March 2021, the airline announced its Climate Action Plan, which set a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The airline has a budget of $50 Million to achieve this goal. Last year, the Canadian Carrier invested a further 6.75 Million toward Carbon Engineering, whose Direct Air Capture technology works to remove carbon dioxide from the Airspace. Another $5 Million went to Heart Aerospace, a developer of electric aeroplanes.

The airline was the recipient of two awards commending its efforts so far this year: the Business Travel Sustainability Award for American Airlines in May and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Fly Quiet Award due to their efforts to reduce noise pollution.

Compared to 2019, the airline highlights a decrease of about 28% in scope 1 emissions in 2022 and falls of 18% and 39% in scope 2 and 3, respectively. 57.4% of total waste – including carpets, uniforms, and electronics – was diverted from landfills and reused for new products.

Development and testing underway for an electric plane at Heart Aerospace.
Development and testing underway for an electric plane at Heart Aerospace. © Heart Aerospace Media

The SAF Challenge

Sustainable Aviation Fuel, or SAF, is listed by the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, as one of the key elements to achieving its 2050 goal. The International Civil Aviation Organization names SAF at the forefront of the new technologies that, alongside carbon removals, will bring the airline to 87% of its aim of net zero carbon emissions. However, SAF has yet to be available in Canada.

However, Air Canada announced that it was working alongside both provincial and federal Canadian governments to establish a SAF industry in the country.

Air Canada celebrated Earth Day 2022 by flying four flights from San Francisco with Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
© CNW Group/Air Canada

An Environmentally Friendly Future Closer to Net Zero

The carrier began using Renewable Natural Gas for its headquarters in 2022 and promises to expand this use the following year. There will be further development of electronic ground equipment for use in 2023. By 2030, the airline hopes to achieve an estimated 30% reduction in the use of greenhouse gases compared to 2019.

Do you think Air Canada’s target of Net Zero Emissions by 2050 is achievable? 

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Bella Pelster
Bella Pelster
I'm a Londoner with a huge passion for travel, history and sustainability. In my spare time I love reading novels (any genre, any author) and watching television and films (mostly the sopranos)!