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.
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 manner by creating a respectful environment for customers and colleagues. We recognise the cultural diversity of our customers and aim to provide a thoughtful and responsive service, taking time to listen and understand what matters most and developing products and services to meet different needs.
All our colleagues receive training on diversity and inclusion to equip them with the knowledge and skills to provide a uniquely personal service to our customers.
We are committed to upholding local and international laws on anti-discrimination and expect both colleagues and customers to behave in accordance with these requirements.
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.
British Airways seeks to conduct business activities in an environmentally responsible manner and is committed to:
Through our environmental management system we set corporate objectives related to our key environmental risks and impacts:
Climate change is the most urgent sustainability challenge facing our industry and British Airways is determined to find solutions to address aviation emissions. Our approach to climate change focuses on:
IAG (the parent company of British Airways) reports detailed climate and emissions data through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and is the only commercial airline group in CDP’s Climate 'A' list of the top five per cent of global companies. It has also been awarded 'most improved' organisation in the UK in 2017.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel
We believe sustainable low-carbon fuels have great potential to reduce our carbon footprint and we aim to accelerate their use in aviation. We have entered a partnership with Velocys, a renewable fuels company, to design a series of waste plants that convert household waste into renewable jet fuel to power our fleet. The first plant will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household waste per year, destined for landfill or incineration, including nappies, plastic food containers and chocolate bar wrappers, and convert it into clean-burning, sustainable fuels.
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. Between 2017 and 2022, British Airways will introduce 72 new aircraft, including the Airbus A350, the Boeing 787-10 and the Airbus A320neo, bringing further environmental benefits.
Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
We were the first airline to participate in carbon trading in 2002 and have consistently campaigned for this policy across the globe. By working collaboratively with governments and our industry associations we helped to develop the first global carbon pricing system – CORSIA. Under CORSIA, airlines will be required to buy carbon offsets to compensate for their growth in CO2 emissions, ensuring collective achievement of carbon neutral growth from 2020. Carbon offsets are generated through the implementation of carbon reduction projects, often in developing countries.
Visit our Carbon roadmap to 2050
Customer Carbon Fund
Customers can help us reduce the impact on climate change by donating to the Carbon Fund, which provides funding for community renewable energy projects in the UK and overseas. British Airways customers have supported more than 26 projects so far, impacting the lives of 250,000 people and resulting in community benefits of over £1.5 million. From schools in the UK to sustainable agriculture projects in Kenya, all of the projects provide vital support to local communities and reduce carbon emissions.
The funds are managed by Pure Leapfrog, a not-for-profit charity working to provide opportunities for communities 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.
We are committed to minimizing the impact of noise from aircraft activities on local communities and have set a goal to reduce our average noise per flight by 13% (versus our 2015 performance) by 2020. British Airways regularly monitors the noise performance of its aircraft fleet and pro-actively engages in noise management forums that bring together regulators, airports, communities and other stakeholders.
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.
Improving local air quality is an important issue for people living near airports. Air quality can be affected by a number of source emissions such as road vehicles, aircraft, industrial processes and construction activity. The key pollutants of concern are nitrogen oxides (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:
Waste management and recycling
We aim to reduce the amount of waste that has to go to landfill and we have a goal to recycle 50% of waste by 2020 at our main bases in Heathrow and Gatwick.
Non-recyclable waste from Heathrow and Gatwick is processed through a waste-to-energy plant. We also reuse as many materials as we possibly can including office furniture, computer and communications equipment.
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.