GE Aerospace Survey: Aviation Unites for Net Zero 2050
As the Paris Air Show approaches, a global survey involving 325 aviation decision-makers from six countries reveals a consensus regarding sustainability within the industry.
The survey, which Ipsos carried out on behalf of GE Aerospace, emphasises the need for quick support to meet the aviation industry's 2050 sustainability goal.
Results show that a significant majority of companies are translating sustainability commitments into tangible actions. Around 76% of respondents believe that sustainability has fundamentally reshaped the industry, and many companies with sustainability strategies in place anticipate an increase or stability in their sustainability investments, despite challenges such as rising inflation and the risk of recession.
According to the survey, meeting the industry's sustainability goal is the biggest challenge respondents face, outpacing supply chain concerns (19%) and labour issues (11%).
This aligns with the industry's collective aspiration to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. An overwhelming 88% of organisations have already implemented sustainability strategies, with a majority indicating that these strategies have significantly or moderately impacted their operational practices (74%), investments (73%), and hiring processes (62%).
Allen Paxson, Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Programmes Strategy at GE Aerospace, emphasises the industry's dedication to achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
Paxson also acknowledges the need to expedite efforts and ensure active participation from all key stakeholders. As GE Aerospace, along with its partner engines, powers a significant portion of global flights, the company acknowledges its responsibility to meet industry expectations sustainably and efficiently for its customers.
While 46% of respondents believe the industry will achieve its net zero goal by 2050, 32% express doubt, and 22% remain uncertain.
On average, respondents predict that the target will be met by 2055, and they identify rising costs, budgetary constraints, supply issues, and energy resources as the major obstacles.
When asked about external pressure to accelerate sustainability, 29% of respondents point to government interventions (followed by investors at 17%), with 61% expressing a preference for incentives and policy support over mandates and regulations.
Respondents rank increased investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as the most crucial role for the government in reaching the 2050 sustainability goal.
Respondents emphasise that advancements in fuels and engines will play a pivotal role in achieving net zero emissions.
One European sustainability executive highlights the immediate promise of transitioning to SAF, stating, "SAF is probably the leading alternative at the moment that meets the requirements we need in the short term, but the scale and cost of production is a huge barrier that we've got to overcome."
GE Aerospace has been testing SAF since 2007, and currently, all GE Aerospace and partner engines are capable of operating on approved SAF blends.
The company, together with its customers and partners, is at the forefront of developing more efficient equipment, having invested $2 billion in aviation research and development in 2022.
CFM, a joint venture between GE Aerospace and Safran, aims to achieve a 20% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions in the next engine generation through its Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines (RISE) programme.
Additionally, GE Aerospace is collaborating with NASA and Boeing on the Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration project, which aims to develop a megawatt-class hybrid electric powertrain. CFM is also planning to conduct ground and flight tests with Airbus using a hydrogen combustion engine.
To learn more and access the survey results, click here.
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Source: GE Aerospace