We acknowledge that climate change presents challenges, but also offers opportunities for our businesses. More than ever, we have both the economic and environmental incentives to implement more sustainable solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and help to mitigate climate change. At Swire we manage our long-term impact by investing in innovative strategies that can help us to achieve these reductions.
Although the Aviation Division accounts for the majority of our emissions, we encourage all operating companies to set targets to lessen emissions; our group-wide strategy for achieving this goal has three components: Reduce, Renew and Offset.
- Cathay Pacific has set a target of improving average fuel efficiency by 2% per annum between 2009 and 2020. This exceeds the agreed industry target of 1.5%. In 2015, fuel efficiency improved by 3% in relation to traffic carried (revenue tonne kilometre (RTK)) over 2014. This initiative supports the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) target of carbon neutral growth from 2020. The airline manages its emissions by using more efficient aircraft and engines, by improving operational efficiency, through monitoring fuel consumption, reducing weight and washing engines, and by improved route planning and airport procedures.
- Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO) has a Fuel Efficiency Management System which provides real-time fuel consumption information. This enables vessels to operate at optimal speeds to minimise consumption.
- Cathay Pacific has a minority investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. (Fulcrum), a US-based biofuel developer pioneering the conversion of municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel. An offtake agreement with Fulcrum will see Cathay Pacific receive 375 million US gallons of sustainable jet fuel over 10 years, starting from 2019. According to Fulcrum, jet fuel produced by their waste-to-fuels process will reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by more than 80% when used in aircraft or road transport, as compared with traditional fuels derived from crude oil and other fossil sources.
- In 2013, Swire acquired Argent Energy, which pioneered large-scale commercial biodiesel production in the UK in 2005. The award-winning Scottish company produces biodiesel from used cooking oil from the food industry, tallow from the meat industry, and sewer grease.
- Swire Pacific Offshore's (SPO) forest conservation project in Paraguay has been developing, for internal use, an average of 12,000 dual accredited (VCSA and CCBA) REDD + Voluntary Carbon Units each year since the end 2010. Around 20,000 verified carbon units (VCU) had been registered in SPO's Environmental Registry account by the end of 2015.
- James Finlay Kenya is in the process of developing a project to generate carbon credits from clean biomass cooking stoves.
- Cathay Pacific offset 15,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015 through its FLY greener programme. These offsets are relatively small in terms of the airline's carbon footprint, but play an important part in raising awareness of climate change amongst passengers and staff.