Finnair Aims To Cut Emissions By 50% In Just 5 Years

Today, Finnair has unveiled an incredibly ambitious sustainability strategy, which aims to take the airline to complete carbon neutrality by 2045. Even more astounding, the carrier is targeting a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions from its 2019 baseline by 2025 – just five years away!

Finnair is looking to the future with ambitious carbon reduction goals. Photo: Getty

Carbon neutral ambitions

Nordic carrier Finnair has today revealed its plan to tackle flight shame and CO2 emissions completely by 2045. The airline wants to be carbon neutral within 25 years, a goal which it says outstrips the commitments made by the rest of the aviation industry.

As well as this, Finnair is targeting a reduction in CO2 emissions of 50% by 2025. The five-year goal is measured against 2019’s baseline figure, and will require the airline to undertake a host of carbon reduction efforts if it is to achieve this aim.

CEO of Finnair, Topi Manner, commented on the strategy in a statement, saying,

“Aviation is a fast-paced industry subject to many changes, and everything impacts it. Maintaining a long-term perspective at all times, in all market situations is key. The plans we announced today prepare us for the next 100 years of Finnair’s future.

“Our number one goal is to reduce our own CO2 emissions by investing in new aircraft technology, by flying fuel-efficiently, by decreasing aircraft weight and by increasing the use of sustainable aviation fuels. We are also investing in innovation and research to create future solutions that support our long-term target of carbon neutrality.”

The airline notes that initiatives like CORSIA are fundamental to it achieving its goals.

Finnair CEO Topi Manner
Finnair CEO Topi Manner says the plans prepare the airline for the next 100 years. Photo: Getty

How will Finnair get there?

Finnair has defined a number of key actions that need to be undertaken in order for the carrier to meet its carbon neutral goals. These include:

  • Investing in its fleet to the tune of €3.5 – €4bn ($4 – $4.5bn), with a target that this should reduce CO2 in European traffic by 10 – 15%
  • Investing in sustainability to the turn of €60m ($68m)
  • Reducing weight on flights, including removing retail sales from short-haul aircraft and increasing its focus on pre-orders
  • Boosting operational efficiency to drive down CO2 from every flight
  • Increasing the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) through its new partnership with Neste
  • Encouraging passengers to offset carbon emissions from flights, and offsetting all CO2 of corporate customers itself from 1st September
  • Introducing new ticket types to allow customers to purchase biofuels, with every continuation matched by an equal purchase from Finnair
  • Taking at least 50% of single-use plastics out of the business by the end of 2022, which will remove 230 tons of plastic waste
  • Reducing food waste by 50% in the same time period, as well as introducing more vegetarian and vegan meals over the course of this year

As well as these ambitious targets for inflight operations, Finnair says it is committed to driving down CO2 in its non-flight operations too. On the ground, it will increase the use of renewable energy in its real estate and vehicle fleets, a move that it claims will make its non-flight operations completely carbon neutral by 2022.

Finnair’s ground based operations will be CO2 neutral by 2022. Photo: Getty

Finnair’s Vice President of Sustainability Anne Larilahti said,

“The ambitious targets we have announced today are achievable through the tangible steps which we know will make a real contribution to CO2 reduction.

“By working together with our customers, partners and our employees we can embrace this challenge with confidence. We want to encourage innovation and engagement, from our customers to our staff to our supply chain to show Finnair can lead the way to make a real difference.”

What do you make of Finnair’s CO2 targets? Achievable, or too much of a stretch? Let us know in the comments.