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At British Airways our promise of ‘To Fly. To Serve’ embodies who we are and what we do. We want to ensure our promise extends beyond our everyday operation and that our commitment is one that lasts. To do that we have one overarching goal: Responsible Flying.
We want to use the power of flight to spread social and economic benefits to people. We want flying to be both an inclusive and responsible practice that is actively involved in caring for our people and our planet.
British Airways has led the way on sustainability for 25 years since we established our Environment function in 1989. In 1992 we became the first airline to produce an environmental report and in 2002 we were the first airline to take part in carbon trading. We actively strive to help set the standards for safe and responsible aviation in the future.
Our corporate responsibility programme is set up to address both our impact on the planet and the people with whom we interact. It incorporates five pillars or commitments:
Flying Start is the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief UK. It is committed to helping children who live challenging lives in the UK and around the world. Through generous donations from customers and fundraising endeavours of colleagues, Flying Start raises money for children’s projects in the cities we fly to.
For more information on the partnership please visit Flying Start
Our Work experience programmes offer a unique insight into the world of aviation. Our recently accredited Gold Standard Programme provides five-day placements covering a variety of areas across the airline including Head Office, Engineering and Operations. We make it a priority to invest in developing students’ employability skills, with dedicated mentors throughout the business. Work experience is an ideal way for students to gain real insight into the schemes that British Airways offers young people, including apprenticeships as well as entry level careers.
For more information on work experience in British Airways, please visit our careers website.
Our aim is to ensure that all customers’ journeys are as comfortable as possible. Prior to travel, customers have access to travel health advice on ba.com. Further information is also provided in the Highlife magazine and we offer a range of audio visual wellbeing content on our in-flight entertainment systems.
BA takes the health of colleagues as seriously as its customers
We assist colleagues in taking a holistic approach to building their physical, mental and social health. We do this through our wellbeing programme underpinned by the BA wellbeing portal, which provides information and tools aligned with the factors of wellbeing including fitness, nutrition & lifestyle.
Ensuring our colleagues feel valued for who they are is a passion that drives all our work. We have employee networks in the areas of ethnicity, LGBT, gender, working carers and faiths. British Airways recognises the value these groups have in guiding our business and also ensures through training and development that all our colleagues are continuing to build a diverse and inclusive culture. We are also committed to increasing the diversity of our engineering and pilot communities and in particular the number of women entering and succeeding in STEM careers.
In 2016 British Airways came sixth in the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers list.
At British Airways we are committed to operating our business in a responsible way. We wish to create a respectful environment for customers and colleagues. Additionally we expect our partners to uphold our high standards and values.
British Airways always seeks to build relationships with suppliers who share our values:
British Airways are proud to be members of Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), a not for profit membership organisation that strives to improve supply chain standards.
We always aim to treat our suppliers fairly by undertaking a fair and transparent tender process and paying our suppliers on time and not extending payment terms.
Throughout our operation, across our people, customers and suppliers, we strive to uphold our responsible flying ethos.
We are committed to ensuring that aviation reduces its impact on climate change and are determined to do everything we can to achieve the global goal of keeping temperature rises well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
Our climate action plan includes:
We support a cap on emissions from 2020, with the aim of reducing net carbon dioxide emissions by 50% in 2050.
We believe sustainable low-carbon fuels have great potential to reduce our carbon footprint and we aim to accelerate their use in aviation. We are working on a number of projects that can harness new ways to convert carbon from waste and create clean burning fuels for our aircraft and our ground fleet.
New aircraft impact
Our latest Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner are designed to significantly reduce carbon emissions per person. The A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft, with 16% less emissions per seat than the Boeing 747-400 it replaces, with the Boeing 787 20% more fuel-efficient than the Boeing 767 it replaces.
Responsible regulation (2020 Global Deal)
We were the first airline to participate in carbon trading in 2002 and have consistently campaigned for this policy across the globe. By working with our industry associations, we have proactively developed solutions to help governments prepare for aviation emissions caps from 2020.
Customer Carbon Fund
Customers can help us reduce the impact on climate change by donating to our community renewable energy projects in the UK and overseas. British Airways customers have supported more than 18 projects so far, impacting the lives of 180,000 people and resulting in energy savings of over £1 million. From schools in the UK to sustainable agriculture projects in Kenya, all of the projects provide vital support to local communities and help reduce carbon emissions.
The funds are managed by PURE, a not-for-profit charity working with communities in the UK and internationally to provide opportunities to own, generate and benefit from clean, green power. Examples include promoting the use of solar-powered heating and lighting, installing small scale wind turbines for schools and promoting energy efficient measures such as LED lighting.
For people who live close to airports, noise is often the most significant environmental impact. We have achieved our goal of reducing average noise per flight by 15% and have now set a new goal of a further 10% reduction (versus our 2014 performance) by 2020. We are delighted that our focus on improving noise performance has been recognised in the Heathrow Airport Fly Quiet League, where our short haul fleet has consistently ranked highly.
In line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management we are improving operational procedures to reduce noise and introducing modern, cleaner and quieter aircraft. From 2013 we started replacing our older aircraft with a newer fleet e.g. the Airbus A380 produces a quarter of the noise of the Boeing 747-400 it replaces.
Improving air quality
Improving local air quality is a significant issue for people living in urban areas. Air quality is affected by a number of source emissions, but the main issues are oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and small particles in the air called Particulate Matter (PM).
We focus our efforts to improve the local air quality around the following areas:
At British Airways we have to deal with waste from a number of different areas, including Hazardous and Clinical waste. We aim to reduce the amount of waste that has to go to landfill by recycling as much as we possibly can and processing non-recyclable waste by other preferential methods. BA staff have worked hard to reduce the total amount of waste generated from our operations from a high in 2006 of 4500 Tonnes to 1500 Tonnes in 2015.
At our main bases of Heathrow and Gatwick, we have targets in place to increase our recycling to 50% total waste by the end of 2016. Non-recyclable waste from Heathrow and Gatwick is processed through a waste-to-energy plant. The amount of waste we send to landfill has reduced from a high in 2006 when 68% of BA waste was going to landfill, down to 0.55% in 2015. We also reuse as many materials as we possibly can including office furniture, computer and communications equipment.
Our engineering department has an impressive 85% recycling rate. This is achieved primarily through the refurbishment of parts from aircraft and the recycling of materials.
On board recycling
We recycle as much on board waste as is allowed within the constraints of environmental and legislative rules. Working with our catering partners we are constantly attempting to reduce the amount of catering waste produced from flights as well as looking to select ingredients from sustainable sources.