Flying is fantastic, it allows us to explore, relax and restore ourselves and it leads to amazing memories with old and new friends.
But at the same time, carbon emissions from air travel contribute to climate change and we have a responsibility to minimise the impact of our flights. At easyJet, we do this in two ways, by working tirelessly to minimise carbon emissions today and pursuing zero carbon emission solutions for the future.
In the short-term we are focused on being as efficient as we can, flying our aircraft in ways which avoid noise and unnecessary use of fuel, and flying them full of passengers. Airbus NEO aircraft continue to join our fleet. These aircraft are at least 15% more fuel efficient than the aircraft they replace and also have a 50% noise reduction. All these measures mean that since 2000 we have reduced our carbon emissions per passenger, per kilometre by one-third, and we’re always looking for new ways to take action.
Our pathway to Net Zero
In November 2021, we joined the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign. With this, we committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In advance of that, we have also committed to reaching an interim, science-based carbon emissions intensity improvement target of 35% by 2035, which has been validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We’ve published our roadmap on how we plan to achieve both.
Pioneering future travel
Ultimately, we believe that aviation needs to make radical changes and our ambition is to achieve zero carbon emission flying. Therefore, we are working with partners across the industry, including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Wright Electric, to accelerate the development of zero carbon emission technologies such as hydrogen, so that, in the future, we can fly our passengers on aircraft which don’t create carbon emissions.
Together with Rolls-Royce, we are pioneering the development of hydrogen combustion engine technology, capable of also powering an easyJet sized aircraft in the future. Hydrogen has zero carbon emissions and the potential to also significantly reduce non-CO2 effects from aviation. And when we speak about “easyJet-size aircraft”, this means we’re addressing the narrowbody aircraft segment, so, similar to the size of aircraft in our current fleet, which is absolute key to achieving decarbonisation at scale. We are thrilled to announce that our partnership has already achieved a world first – by successfully running a modern aero engine on hydrogen.
We were also the first airline to support Airbus’ ZEROe programme to develop the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft, and have signed a letter of intent with Airbus to support the development of carbon removal technology. This technology captures carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and then securely stores it underground. We’re one of the first airlines across the globe to support this promising nascent technology which is recognised by climate scientists as crucial to achieving net zero targets.
Reducing our impact today for a better tomorrow
We recognise that sustainability is a holistic issue, and it goes beyond the reduction of carbon emissions. That’s why we are focussing on all elements of environmental protection.
We continue to reduce the amount of plastic onboard our aircraft. For example, in our FY22 financial year we removed 11.5 million items of single-use plastic, introduced a recycling programme for our dry stores and made packaging changes which could save two tonnes of plastic waste annually. Since 2020 we have tracked the avoided use of 48 million items of plastic across our inflight service.
We also introduced new crew uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. Forty-five bottles go into each outfit – with the potential to prevent 2.7 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfill or in oceans over five years.
Thanks to achieving IATA IEnvA Stage 2 accreditation, we are the first low-cost carrier worldwide to have a fully IATA IEnvA certified Environmental Management System (EMS).
For flights booked until 31 December 2022, we will also continue to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used on all our flights on behalf of all our customers, with flights covered well into 2023.
From 1 January 2023, we are introducing a voluntary option. Since the launch of our carbon offsetting scheme, we have offset almost 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions to-date (19 Nov 19 – 30 September 22). For more information, please click here.
For more information on the measures we are taking to reduce our carbon emissions please visit the sustainability chapter of our annual report.