Our Commitment to the Environment
As part of our commitment to the continual improvement of environmental performance, we have taken a number of measures to address key areas of environmental concern linked to operations, both on the ground and in the air. Information on our key environmental activities and performance is published in the Singapore Airlines Sustainability Report 2012-13.
Some of our environmental initiatives are detailed below:
Harapan Rainforest Initiative
Singapore Airlines is pleased to be the exclusive airline partner for the Harapan Rainforest Initiative, a groundbreaking project aimed at conserving and protecting over 100,000 hectares of one of the most biodiverse rainforests in the world. Located at Indonesia's Jambi and South Sumatra provinces, the Harapan rainforest is managed under a 100-year licence awarded by the Indonesian government to a consortium of international non-governmental organisations including BirdLife International, Burung Indonesia (BirdLife Partner) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (BirdLife Partner in the UK).
The Harapan Rainforest is one of the few remaining tracts of lowland rainforest in Indonesia, which could otherwise face illegal logging or be converted to either oil palm or timber plantations. Over 290 bird species and 55 mammals, including the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and Malayan tapir, call the rainforest their home. The Initiative also plays a significant role in engaging the local indigenous Bathin Sembilan community by providing social development and employment opportunities.
For more details on the Harapan Rainforest Initiative, visit http://harapanrainforest.org/.
Embracing new technology and Green initiatives on the ground
Singapore Airlines embraces new technology from aircraft and engine manufacturers. We often order new aircraft types before they’re built, because we believe in backing manufacturers to develop innovative technology. As such, the Airline operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies. We also take pride in being the first to operate the Airbus A380, one of the cleanest and greenest aircraft in operation today. In addition, firm orders have been placed for the Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 787-10, which are made from lightweight carbon composites and have high fuel efficiency. On the ground, the Airline continues to do its part for the environment with electronic ticketing across its network –- an initiative that not only reduces costs but saves trees as well. We embrace energy and resource conservation, in addition to green building designs at the workplace to reduce energy usage and waste generation.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG)
Over the longer term, biofuels derived from sustainable oil crops such as jatropha, camelina and algae, or from waste biomass, may hold potential for use in aviation. In August 2011, Singapore Airlines joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG) to accelerate the development and commercialisation of lower-carbon renewable aviation fuels derived from environmentally and socially sustainable sources. As a member of SAFUG, we are committed to working with key stakeholders on the potential future use of sustainable fuels in aviation.
Fuel Productivity Initiatives
Our aircraft fleet renewal policy, improvements in flight operation procedures such as continuous descent operations, and participation in route planning/restructuring at international levels place us at the forefront of technology and fuel efficiency. Other initiatives include airframe and engine performance improvement packages, usage of lightweight crockery and cargo containers, reduction of operational items, as well as employment of mobile ground power units and pre-conditioned air units to reduce on-board auxiliary power units. These measures further improve our overall fuel efficiency.
Participation in the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) Programme
In January 2010, Singapore Airlines partnered aviation authorities in Singapore, the US and Japan to carry out the first multi-sector demonstration green flight under the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) programme. SQ 11, which operated from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo, employed a series of efficiency measures for all phases of the flight, and operated under optimum air traffic conditions with the help of air traffic controllers. As a result, it was able to use around 6 per cent less fuel than normally required for a similar flight.
In May 2011, regular ‘green’ flights across Asia and the Pacific were introduced through the ASPIRE programme. The non-stop flights between Los Angeles and Singapore, operating under enhanced gate-to-gate air traffic management operational procedures, reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions by some 3.8 tonnes per flight.
Commitment to Achieving Carbon-Neutral Growth
Singapore Airlines will continue to stay at the forefront of aviation’s drive towards carbon-neutral growth with the aim of a sustainable future for the airline industry. To this end, the Airline supports the International Air Transport Association’s commitment for the industry to achieve carbon-neutral growth through a set of three sequential goals: - 1.5% average annual improvement in fuel efficiency from 2009 to 2020; - Carbon-neutral growth from 2020; and - 50% absolute reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions through technological, infrastructural and operational measures. We will also support cost-effective market-based measures at a global level to maximise environmental integrity while minimising competitive distortion and administrative complexity.