easyJet Reaffirms Its Sustainability Commitment With New 2035 Milestone

Plenty of airlines are making and renewing sustainability commitments this year. COP26 has generated interest in this, but the whole industry has already set strong targets for emission reductions. European airline easyJet has already made significant sustainability commitments. It now goes a step further by joining the Race to Zero scheme to achieve net-zero by 2050.

easyJet
easyJet is already a sustainability leader – it has now made further commitments.  Photo: Getty Images

Joining Race to Zero

On November 10th, easyJet announced that it is joining the UN-backed Race to Zero scheme. This sets ambitious goals of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It also gives an interim target for emission reduction to be reached by 2035. More details on the roadmap to this are expected over the coming months.

Race to Zero is a broader scheme operating across industries that aims to reach net-zero by 2050, with specific interim targets set for different areas.

Commitment to sustainability

Making this step to join Race to Zero is by no means the start of easyJet’s sustainability commitment. It is one of the airlines leading the way at the moment in this area. In November 2019, it became the world’s first airline operating net-zero carbon flights.

easyJet SAF
easyJet has already made carbon offsetting and SAF progress. Photo: easyJet

Speaking about how Race to Zero is an important part of this sustainability journey, airline CEO Johan Lundgren explained:

“Joining Race to Zero is a major milestone in easyJet’s net-zero journey and I’m very proud to be able to make this announcement today.

“Climate change is an issue which we all have to tackle – including us at easyJet. We have a responsibility to minimize the impact of our flights, and we are working very hard to make this happen; from efficient flying and fleet renewal to being the only major European carrier that is offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all its flights on behalf of all its customers.”

easyjet, UK green list, Future Flying
CEO Lundgren has reaffirmed easyJet’s commitment with new targets. Photo: Getty Images

Hydrogen and electric power

Looking forward to 2050 and these targets, new technology is likely to be part of the changes. Carbon offsetting, and the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel use, can only go so far. easyJet recognizes this and is currently looking at electric and hydrogen options for the future. The airline is working with both Airbus and Wright Electric on this currently.

Speaking about this in September, Lundgren told Simple Flying,

“This is an exciting time for the industry where true zero-emission flight is within reach. Hydrogen and electric powered aircraft are already flying, with companies like Airbus committed to scaling the technology for commercial flights and aiming for entry into service in the 2030s. So, we all need to play our role to ensure that the infrastructure is ready for these exciting new aircraft.”

 

ZEROe
Airbus is developing ZEROe aircraft – easyJet could be a user. Photo: Airbus

As easyJet and other airlines have acknowledged, there is still a lot of work to be done in this area. Airbus, as a manufacturer, is aiming to have the first of its ZEROe aircraft flying by 2035. But, for wider success, strong commitment from industry and governments is going to be needed.

To hear more about easyJet’s plans for the future – including its low-carbon commitments – join Simple Flying at the Future Flying Forum on November 11th, in discussion with easyJet CCO Sophie Dekkers.

Feel free to share your thoughts about easyJet’s commitments and its work to meet them in the comments. 

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