Japan’s All Nippon Airways Signs Up To Net Zero Emissions By 2050

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has today announced new Environmental, Social, and Governance goals for 2050. The updated goals build upon those announced in July 2020 and include the aim of becoming a net zero carbon dioxide emission airline by 2050.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways Signs Up To Net Zero Emissions By 2050
All Nippon Airways has pledged to be net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. Photo: Kaoru Nagasawa via Flickr

In July 2020, ANA announced it would actively work to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2050, compared to its level in 2005. However, the airline has now upgraded this aim to become a net zero CO2 airline.

In a statement released by the airline, President and CEO Shinya Katanozaka said,

“Sustainability and innovation are both central components of our vision at ANA HD, and we are excited about the opportunity to make meaningful change as we work to advance our ambitious ESG agenda. Achieving net zero emissions will require us to pursue a number of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint across the organization, but our entire team is committed to doing all we can to make ANA HD an example of sustainability in our practices.”

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What will ANA do to achieve this goal?

As technology moves on, airlines are becoming more sustainable simply because it makes financial sense. Fuel is one of the major costs for all airlines. So, operating fuel-efficient aircraft makes good businesses sense even if the environment is not a concern.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways Signs Up To Net Zero Emissions By 2050
ANA will also look at how its ground operations and maintenance can help reduce carbon emissions. Photo: Melvinnnnnnnnnn via Flickr.

But ANA will be proactively looking to make positive changes to reduce its carbon footprint. Firstly, the airline plans to increase its usage of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF is more expensive than traditional jet fuel, but it is better for the environment. Hopefully, as more airlines use it, it will become more available and more affordable.

In addition, ANA will also invest in aircraft with higher fuel efficiency. As mentioned above, more fuel-efficient technology means less fuel burn, which means airlines can reduce the amount they spend on fuel. That’s a win for the environment and a win for the airline.

ANA also highlighted how improved operational and maintenance procedures could have a massive impact on the carbon footprint. By streamlining ground operations and ensuring aircraft are well maintained, the airline can cut carbon emissions significantly. The remaining focus will be on working with carbon offset programs.

ANA has also made shorter-term pledges for the year 2030, which include reduced carbon emissions as well as cutting food waste. Photo: Getty Images

2030 vs 2050

As well as setting long-term targets for 2050, ANA is looking to 2030 to measures its progress. By the year 2030, ANA hopes its CO2 emissions from aircraft operations will be less than or equal to the emissions created in 2019. While this might not sound very impressive, if the airline grows its network and operations it will need to become more environmentally conscious to remain at the same level.

However, non-aircraft operations will be reduced by at least one-third of 2019 levels, and a massive 70% will be cut from resource waste. By 2050, the airline hopes resource waste will be at zero. When it comes to food wastes, ANA will aim to have reduced wastage to 3.8%. In 2019, this was 4.6%. It has a further aim of cutting this to 2.3% by 2050. This will effectively halve its food waste over the next 29 years.

What do you think of ANAs new environmental aims? Do you think they are doing enough? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.