Malaysia Airlines Launches its Sustainability Blueprint

by Chantal Welch
Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of national carrier Malaysia Airlines, has announced this week it’s launching the MAG Sustainability Blueprint. This new initiative aims to promote socio-economic development and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A35-941

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-323 © Dzulkeffly Jaafar

Aviation Sustainability: A Long-Term Strategy

For airlines around the world, sustainability is a long-term strategy. The challenge for them is to ensure a cleaner and smarter future. There’s a need for the global aviation industry to take action because it produces around 2% of all human-induced CO2 emissions. It’s responsible for 12% of all CO2 emissions from all transport sources, in comparison to 74% from road transport.

The global pandemic has brought sustainability to the forefront, as public awareness around climate change continues to rise. Airlines have recognised that they must act now and make significant changes for a better future. To address the issue, airlines have innovated and created initiatives to make aviation more sustainable and reduce carbon emissions.

Aviation Sustainability

A bright and sustainable future lies ahead © Emiel Molenaar

How Are Airlines Becoming More Sustainable?

In recent years, the aviation industry has actioned a variety of sustainable initiatives. Reducing the amount of single-use plastics onboard has been an approach many airlines have taken. On a recent flight from London to Sydney, Qantas trialled using a refillable water bottle for each customer, offering an efficient alternative to replacing plastic cups. These initiatives are extremely popular with eco-conscious travellers.

Offsetting flights is another initiative offered by airlines to passengers who want to cover the emissions of their trips. Focusing on the environment, easyJet has launched a program to plant trees to offset their flights’ carbon emissions. As demand for flights has fluctuated during the pandemic, airlines have also been using data and technology to reduce routes. Reducing aviation emissions by encouraging people to use alternative forms of transport is a strategy Air France has championed, with the airline recently announcing its plans to ban short-haul domestic flights.

All-Electric Air Mobility

All-Electric Air Mobility © Joby Aviation

Keen to be green, there are several high-profile aviation projects to create hybrid and electric aircraft now in progress. Hybrid and electric planes have the potential to replace regular planes for short-haul in the future. Another big development for cleaner flights has been Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), a clean substitute for fossil jet fuels. Earlier this year Japan Airlines operated its first commercial flight using SAF and KLM has also incorporated it into its operations.

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines aircraft on the runway © Malaysia Airlines

Creating a Sustainable Tomorrow

Championing Sustainability is a key focus for the Malaysia Aviation Group, as it seeks to integrate sustainability through minimising environmental impacts, positively enhancing the communities it operates in, ensuring safety excellence, ensuring compliance within the organization, and driving profitability.

MAG’s newly launched Sustainability Blueprint will act as a driver to accelerate and support its sustainability initiatives into the future. The Blueprint will also work towards bringing several aspects of the business up to industry-leading standards, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

MAG’s Group Chief Executive Officer Captain Izham Ismail said:

“As we look forward and seek to create a brighter future for the national aviation services group, we have to be conscious and work towards creating a future that also elevates and protects the communities we are present in. In the long run, our sustainability initiatives will drive us to be a more responsible, efficient and effective organization, with the character and mindset to be environmentally responsible, the leadership to empower and develop our workforce expertise, the responsibility to spearhead safety leadership, the experience to go above and beyond compliance, and the ingenuity to maintain and grow profitability and resilience. Together we will create a greener world, to ensure the lives we touch may continue to flourish, and actively play our role as the national carrier and helping the nation fly ever higher.”

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A35-941

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A35-941 © Dzulkeffly Jaafar

Aviation impacts the environment in many ways and climate change is one of the defining issues of our era. It’s encouraging to see airlines committed to climate action on their journey towards sustainability.

What are your thoughts on airlines’ initiatives to become more sustainable? Let us know in the comments below!

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