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China Airlines Commits to Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050

Published: Oct 26, 2021

To heed the global call for carbon reduction, China Airlines has officially set its business operations target for “net-zero carbon emissions” by 2050. As the first airline in Taiwan and the second in the world to have obtained both the environment management system (ISO 14001) and energy management system (ISO 50001) certifications, China Airlines already passed its 2020 carbon targets with flying colors. This year, China Airlines passed the highest standard for greenhouse gases as well set the benchmark for sustainable development and governance as an international enterprise.

China Airlines underwent rigorous independent third-party verification by DNV this year and received the statement of “Reasonable Assurance,” which is the highest possible level for ISO 14064-1:2018 Greenhouse Gases Inventory. In 2009, China Airlines became the first transportation company in Taiwan to introduce the ISO 14064-1 GHG inventory management mechanism in its entirety. Each year an inventory check is conducted for all GHG emissions from aviation fuel consumption worldwide and all domestic ground operations. This year, China Airlines responded to the overhaul of GHG verification standards and growing stakeholder concern by expanding and optimizing existing operations. Corporate environment and supply chain management mechanisms were also integrated to implement energy conservation and carbon reduction management for key emission hot spots.

In line with international trends in carbon reduction, China Airlines adopted the concept of Science-based Targets (SBT) by defining separate voluntary GHG reduction targets for flying and ground operations. A total of 73 initiatives were implemented in 2020, with GHG emissions from ground operations amounting to 20,632 tons CO2e, which exceeded the original target of reducing 38% from base year of 2009. As part of its social responsibility to protect the Earth's environment and maintain sustainable development, China Airlines worked actively with international organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) and SkyTeam to advocate for environmental protection and sustainability. China Airlines also set a target of reaching “net zero carbon emissions” from business activities by 2050. The carrier hopes to work with government and industry stakeholders in the aviation industry including the domestic government, airline regulators, fuel vendors, and ground service providers. By creating an environment that fosters environmental sustainability and international competitiveness, China Airlines will continue to push for positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

China Airlines proactively initiated the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework in order to strengthen the corporate mechanism for responding to climate change risks and opportunities. Another initiative is the ECO Travel carbon offsetting program for environment-friendly travel. China Airlines’ longstanding efforts with sustainable development have received extensive domestic and overseas recognition including being selected as a constituent stock in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4Good Emerging Index annually, as well as the winner of the Taiwan Corporate Sustainability and Global Corporate Sustainability Awards. Despite the challenges facing the airline industry as a result of COVID-19, China Airlines continues to introduce new initiatives aimed at implementing its sustainable development policy and goals. (2021/10/26)