Nov 07. The aerospace Industry is at the heart of the battle to be green. With increasing concerns linked to fossil fuel use, “Peak oil”, climate change and aviation’s growing environmental impacts, the primes and their key suppliers are keen to ensure that their future success isn’t limited by the failure of their supply chain to recognise the risks and opportunities and adapt accordingly.
* Aircraft contribute to climate change through carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) and other impacts on the atmosphere.
* Aircraft operations, including airports and supporting services, also contribute to climate change through their ground-based operations and surface access requirements.
* Whilst aviation is recognised as not being the worst polluter, it is however one of the fastest growing contributors to climate change, as air passenger traffic is predicted to more than double in the UK over the next 25 years.
* In the Energy White Paper and more recent Climate Change Bill, the Government commits to reducing UK emissions of greenhouse gases by 60 percent by 2050. Industries with rising emissions will increasingly have to justify their use of a shrinking resource.
* Recent surveys have shown that over 60 percent of the public is already concerned about aviation’s contribution to climate change.
* Some primes now openly advise that environmental performance, particularly to a recognised standard such as ISO 14001 (2004), is desirable in their suppliers.
Best practice in environmental performance is becoming a key product and service differentiator and a valuable opportunity to develop competitive advantage. The marketing industry sees the environment as the “low hanging fruit” of product differentiation. FAC is helping its members to go beyond just price and offer a future that meets the industry’s “sustainable development” objectives and provides them with competitive advantage.
To enable its members to meet these new objectives, for instance as set out in the industry’s proposals in “Sustainable Aviation” (http://www.sustainableaviation.co.uk/), FAC has been working with sustainable development specialists The Olive Consultancy for two years. Olive represents FAC at a number of industry forums, including the SBAC’s Environmental Working Group and on the Sustainable Aviation Board, driving innovation, ensuring members are kept informed of developments and to help influence decision-making.
FAC is offering aerospace focused sustainability performance training programmes to enable member companies to meet these new challenges. Collective learning will keep costs down and enable attendees to develop best practice with their peers and customers. In addition, FAC and Olive have established two Envirowise and SEEDA sponsored “Resource Efficiency Clubs” specifically for aerospace manufacturers in the South East. These groups of businesses receive both collective and bespoke assistance to achieve sector leading “sustainability” and their own Environmental Management Systems to the ISO 14001 (2004) standard. This will help to secure the long-term prosperity of the aerospace manufacturing industry in the South East. In addition, working with the SBAC and FAC, Olive are establishing a SEEDA funded centre for excellence in Sustainable Procurement that will help businesses to respond to the public sector’s emerging Sustainable Procurement requirements.