On September 17th, Norwegian Air Shuttle has launched a new environmental sustainability strategy beginning immediately. Some of its goals are to cut CO2 emissions by 45 percent, remove all non-recyclable plastics and recycle all single-use plastics. All of this is in line with the 1.5°C target established in the Paris Agreement.
“At Norwegian we take our responsibility towards the environment seriously,” Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said. “That is why we must look to the future and implement a strategy that produces immediate and tangible benefits for the environment today. Norwegian wants to instigate a positive change across the industry in this field that will benefit not only the environment but also our customers and our business.”
1. Sustainable aviation fuels
To limit global warming to 1.5°C, carbon emissions must be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2018). Norwegian is committed to improve the carbon efficiency of our operations and will reduce our carbon emissions by 45 percent per passenger kilometer (RPK) by 2030 – compared to 2010 levels. This will be achieved through both fleet renewal and sustainable aviation fuels.
The airline commits to use between 16 and 28 percent sustainable aviation fuels by the end of the decade, depending on the level of fleet renewal. The target amounts to up to 500 million liters of sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.
To achieve this important goal, it is also crucial to get in place a regulatory framework that actively rewards carbon efficiency and increases both the production and use of sustainable aviation fuel.
“We encourage producers to ramp up production of sustainable aviation fuels,” Schram said. “Norwegian will engage with producers to kick start this vital contribution to the industry and take advantage of the emission savings that these fuels offer.”
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2. Removing all non-recyclable plastics
Initial elements of the sustainability strategy will also include a 100 percent reduction of non-recyclable plastics and 100 percent recycling of single-use plastics by 2023.
“We’ve taken the decision to reduce and recycle plastic waste,” Anders Fagernæs, Norwegian Head of Environmental Sustainability, said. “We want to promote sustainable aviation fuel and continuing to fly one of the world’s youngest fleets to achieve a 45 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.”
3. A solid foundation
Norwegian is already one of the world’s leading fuel-efficient carriers due to its modern fuel-efficient aircraft. Norwegian was the first airline to sign the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) pledge, committing to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The airline was also voted the world’s most fuel-efficient airline on transatlantic routes in 2015 and 2018 by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and since 2010 the airline has reduced its emissions by 28 percent.