Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, has achieved a major milestone in its sustainability journey, achieving advanced ratings for key criteria in the BlueSky Sustainability Verification Program assessment. The carrier was the first Middle Eastern airline to join the program, which aims to assess, verify and validate the sustainability performance of air cargo carriers.
Etihad Cargo completed an evidence-based desktop verification assessment in which independent validators assessed the carrier's sustainability initiatives and programs against eight key objectives. These eight objectives fall under three main themes, including environment, society, and culture and leadership, and encompass 30 specific actions the air cargo industry should prioritize to maximize its contribution to a sustainable world and minimize its negative environmental impact.
Upon completion of the desktop verification assessment, Etihad Cargo received a dashboard outlining the assessment results. The carrier achieved an advanced rating for the decarbonization objective, demonstrating the airline's progress in investing in and deploying sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), upgrading aerial fleets and ground vehicles to reduce carbon emissions, reducing energy consumption across its operations, and optimizing fleet utilization.
Etihad Cargo also scored highly in its performance in the area of partnerships. In recent years, Etihad Cargo has taken strides in its decarbonization journey to deliver its pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 through partnerships and industry collaboration. In addition to signing an airline collaboration agreement with Neste to promote the update of SAF, the airline became the first international airline to receive a delivery of SAF in Japan and is working with other global suppliers to secure SAF. Etihad Cargo has also joined forces with CEPSA to advance the research and development of SAF and develop energy alternatives.
The carrier's efforts to protect local and international wildlife, including flora and fauna, were recognized by a strong performance rating for biodiversity protection. The ratings for other criteria, including waste management, supporting economies, livelihood and social well-being, efficiency and workforce, demonstrate Etihad Cargo's significant progress towards achieving its sustainability targets.
"The assessment results Etihad Cargo has achieved are a great achievement," said Martin Drew, senior vice president – global sales and cargo. "While the air cargo industry is moving in the right direction, there is still much to do if the sector is to reach its net-zero targets by 2050. Etihad Cargo is committed to establishing partnerships and developing initiatives that will contribute to a greener future for the air cargo community, and the BlueSky Sustainability Verification Program is a valuable tool in identifying strengths and areas for improvement. The results will act as an enabler for Etihad Cargo to further advance its sustainability efforts, and the carrier is actively targeting year-on-year progress."
Glyn Hughes, director general at TIACA said, "I would like to congratulate Etihad Cargo for their TIACA BlueSky assessment results, achieving an advanced rating in the critical area of decarbonization, which is a testament to the strategic focus and successful execution of a number of programs and initiatives designed to reduce the impact on the environment while continuing to serve global air cargo markets."
TIACA's BlueSky assessment is designed to be renewed every two years. Etihad Cargo will utilize the personalized dashboard and assessment results to support the carrier's sustainable transformation and will continue to enhance its dedicated cargo sustainability strategy and roadmap.