Air Canada has set a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) throughout its global operations by 2050.
To reach this, the airline has set GHG net reduction targets for 2030 to ensure progress towards its ultimate goal, and has committed to investing $50 million in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and other low carbon aviation fuel (LCAF) development.
“Despite the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain deeply committed to long-term sustainability,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada.
“Climate change is critical, and we believe we can and must do more to address this for the future of our environment. This is why we are further embedding climate considerations into our strategic decision-making, and undertaking a very ambitious plan that is meaningful, will support Canada’s leadership position on climate change, advance de-carbonization in the airline industry while keeping fares affordable for customers.”
Air Canada has released a video highlighting its goals and targets.
Air Canada says it will concentrate on reducing carbon emissions in the following key areas, in addition to its investment in SAF:
Fleet and operations – AC says it will continue modernizing its fleet with energy-efficient Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. These planes consume 20 per cent less fuel per seat and emit approximately 20 per cent less CO₂ and 50 per cent less nitrogen oxides than aircraft they replace. Air Canada will also work to phase out carbon-intensive ground equipment, further advance electric vehicles and seek other electrification opportunities.
Innovation – Evaluate new electric, hydrogen or hybrid operational technologies, and other innovations like short-haul transportation opportunities and electric drones.
Carbon Reductions and Removals – Air Canada will explore new technologies to reduce and remove carbon emissions, in addition to further developing its carbon offset strategy for compliance with Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
Air Canada has already made strides in energy sustainability and initiatives to reduce its environment footprint. Since 1990, it has improved fuel efficiency by 43 per cent and from 2016 to 2019, reduced more than 135,000 tonnes of GHG from its air operations through fuel efficiency initiatives. Since 2007, a program offering customer carbon neutral purchase options has resulted in the offset of more than 60,000 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent.
Additional information about Air Canada’s ESG activities is detailed in the airline’s Corporate Sustainability Report, Citizens of the World.