Virgin Atlantic Reports Carbon and Noise Reductions

(3BL Media/Just Means) - Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline has some good news. The company posted its latest figures on greenhouse gas emissions and it has gone down by 12 percent. ​The ​Virgin Atlantic’s 2015 “Change is in the Air” Sustainability Report, which contains all this information and more, covers the airline’s progress in social responsibility and sustainability issues.

The reduction was achieved in parallel to an increase in the number of flights and passengers since 2007, the baseline used as reference. And how did that happen? Virgin Atlantic invested $7bn in more efficient aircrafts, such as Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 787-9 fleet. By the end of 2014, Virgin Atlantic had taken delivery of its first two of at least 17 “Dreamliner” aircrafts, which it claims is about 30 per cent more efficient than the aircraft they replaced at the time.

The company's main goal is to achieve 30 percent savings in CO2 for every tonne of passengers and cargo flown between 2007 and 2020, ​and these latest figures show the company is well on course to reach its goal.

​The company is also reducing the noise its aircrafts make and last year it reduced the average noise per machine by over 2dB. Virgin Atlantic ​is ​the first airline to set itself noise targets and implement an Aircraft Noise Management Strategy, ​and ​for that reason it ​received the Quiet Mark certification and an award for its ​stance on this issue.​

Besides improving its environmental impact, the report also charts the work the company does with Free the Children​​​, which works to eradicate child exploitation across the globe. In 2014 the Virgin Atlantic Foundation distributed over £1.4 million (over $2.2 million) from on​-​board customer donations, staff fundraising, volunteering time and flights.

The airline ​also supported​ the UK’s “We Day” in March 2015 for the second year. 12,000 students and teachers from schools across the UK earned their way to the SSE (Wembley) Arena to hear inspirational speeches, musical performances and celebrate positive social chang​e.

Virgin Atlantic has also implemented energy-saving measures on the ground, having achieved a reduction of energy use across all its UK sites by 23 percent since 2008-09, which is more than 12 percent above the target it had set.​

​Another victory is the diversion of almost all of its ground waste (92 percent) from landfill. Food waste is now separated and sent to anaerobic digesters. The airline also recycles as much aircraft waste as possible through innovative measures such as recycling aircraft seat foams into carpet underlay.

The report describes several other achievements related to sustainable food served in flights, conservation projects, and development projects in developing countries such as India, China, Ghana and Kenya.

Image credit: Virgin Atlantic