Etihad Airways, the UAE's national airline, has won two awards for its sustainability initiatives.
It won the Environmental Sustainability Innovation of the Year award at Capa’s annual Environmental Sustainability Awards for Excellence in Singapore, as well as the Best Airline for Sustainability 2022 award by Business Traveller USA.
"These two awards from Capa Aviation and Business Traveller USA cap off a year where we were also named Environmental Airline of the Year 2022 by Airline Ratings," said Mariam Al Qubaisi, head of sustainability and excellence for Etihad Airways.
"We enter into 2023 with a continued commitment to collaborating with our partners to support the industry in its mission to achieve net zero by 2050."
Etihad's sustainability initiatives include the Greenliner programme using the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners as flying test beds.
Since 2019, when the Greenliner programme began, Etihad and Boeing have operated several flights with the Boeing jet focusing on plastic-free in-flight products, optimised airspace management, flight deck tools for more eco-friendly take-offs, noise reduction and the use of sustainable fuel.
The Sustainable50 A350-1000 launched earlier this year focusing on Airbus and Rolls Royce.
Airbus says the jet offers 25 per cent less fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions than previous-generation twin-aisle aircraft. It has also slashed its noise footprint by 50 per cent, which is why Etihad has named the jet Sustainbility50.
In 2021, Etihad launched the first consumer-focused green loyalty and rewards programmes to incentivise more environmentally friendly choices among its passengers.
The carrier’s Conscious Choices programme offers loyalty points for passengers opting to offset the emissions from their travel and carry less baggage onboard. A corporate-focused programme, Corporate Conscious Choices was added to facilitate corporate partner sustainability goals, offering purchase options for sustainable aviation fuels, carbon offsets and a green surcharge.
In August, the airline said it would adopt a mangrove tree for every Economy Space seat sold on its flights, meaning those seats will eventually become carbon neutral.
Economy Space is at the front of the economy cabin and offers more than 10cm of extra legroom for an additional cost.
According to Etihad, one mangrove tree will, in its lifetime, remove the same amount of carbon dioxide as that created during a seven-hour flight.
Last month, Cepsa, a Mubadala group company, and Etihad signed a preliminary agreement to accelerate the decarbonisation of air transport by researching and producing sustainable aviation fuels.
These fuels will be produced from circular raw materials that do not compete with food resources, such as used cooking oils, non-food animal waste or biodegradable waste from various industries.
They will make it possible to reduce aircraft emissions by up to 80 per cent compared with conventional kerosene, Etihad said.