Emirates, which is on the way to make a big difference with its initiatives on in-flight and ground handling services, continues its activities around the theme of There Is Only One World as part of 2022 World Environment Day.
Carrying out an environmental strategy focused on three areas: reducing emissions, responsible consumption, and protecting wildlife and natural habitats, the airline received advice from an in-house team of sustainability experts from the early stages to improve the products and services offered on board. The team’s approach, which sticks to the waste management hierarchy, is primarily based on the prevention of waste and then on evaluating whether the generated waste can be reused. If reuse is not possible, waste is disposed of responsibly as a last resort.
Accordingly, plastic straws and tea spoons were replaced with supplied paper and wooden alternatives. Each of Emirates’ comfortable and sustainable blankets in Economy Class, popular with passengers, is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles. Thanks to these initiatives, Emirates will prevent 150 million disposable plastic products from going to waste by the end of the year.
Emirates’ new travel kits for Economy Class, launched this year, were also evaluated for sustainability before boarding. Made of washable kraft paper, these reusable gift packs contain durable travel gear made from environmentally friendly materials. The packaging used for dental care kits, socks and eye masks is made of 90 percent rice paper. Toothbrushes are made from a combination of wheat straw and plastic, while socks and eye masks are made from rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate).
The airline’s gift toy bags for young Emirates passengers, gift packaging for babies and plush toys are also made from recycled plastic bottles. In this context, the entire life cycle of the product was taken into account, hanging tags for bags, gift packages and toys were produced from recycled cardboard, and non-toxic, soy-based inks were preferred for printing.
Emirates seeks to reduce resource consumption as much as possible in all in-flight products. Working with a wide network of suppliers, the airline sources its resources locally or regionally where appropriate to minimize the environmental impact of the supply chain. Suppliers are also evaluated in line with sustainable procurement standards that combine the airline’s social, ethical and environmental performance factors.
Paper menus offered on Economy Class flights were replaced with digital menus in April 2020, thus saving 44 tons of paper per month, not only reducing paper consumption but also contributing to Emirates’ overall efforts to save fuel and reduce emissions by getting rid of excess weight. Now, passengers can access the menus on their phones with the on-board Wi-Fi service.
Emirates continues to work to explore opportunities for reuse and recycling as far as possible. Glass and plastic bottles are sorted on board before being sent to recycling facilities in Dubai. As a result, Emirates and Emirates Flight Catering prevent around 150.000 plastic bottles and 120 tons of glass from being wasted monthly.
Emission reduction: Emirates currently operates with a focus on reducing fuel consumption and using its fleet in the most efficient and responsible way. In addition to the airline’s own operational efficiency efforts, partnerships with airline navigation service providers have also played an important role in launching new fuel and time-saving routes.
Ground handling services: Investing in solar energy systems to generate clean energy at its major facilities in Dubai, including the Emirates Engine Maintenance Centre, Emirates Flight Catering and, most recently, the Emirates Sevens Stadium, among other initiatives, Emirates has saved more than 4 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions annually with these projects. prevents.
Emirates will also be running a trial run of an electric bus capable of traveling up to 100 kilometers on a single charge, to transport passengers from remote stations for a period of six months from next week. These buses will operate completely carbon-free with an intelligent energy-saving system.
Conservation of wildlife and natural habitats: Emirates also continues its tradition of supporting and conserving biodiversity.
For over 20 years, Emirates has invested and continues to invest over AED 28 million to help maintain a sustainable and balanced ecosystem in the DDCR (Dubai Desert Conservation Area). Covering almost 5 percent of Dubai’s total terrestrial area, DDCR protects the extraordinary wildlife and vegetation of the UAE’s exciting ecosystem.
Emirates also supports the preservation of Australia’s pristine wastelands with the wildlife-themed Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley resort located in the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains region.
Emirates, one of the leading institutions in the field of international aviation, also resolutely fights the illegal wildlife trade. One of the first signatories of the 2016 Buckingham Palace Declaration, Emirates is also a member of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce. Emirates does not tolerate in any way the transport of prohibited species, iconic items from wild animals and any product related to illegal wildlife activities.