Tiaca's Bluesky Sustainability Verification Programme Welcomes Etihad Cargo as First Middle Eastern Carrier

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by KnowESG
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Etihad Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group's cargo and logistics arm, has strengthened its sustainability journey by becoming the first Middle Eastern carrier to join The International Air Cargo Association's (TIACA) BlueSky programme.

Following the March 2022 launch announcement and a successful pilot programme of the air cargo industry's first multi-sector sustainability verification programme, Etihad Cargo is one of the first participants to join the programme's live operations. Organisations from the airline, airport, ground handler, and general sales and service agency sectors are also represented.

The first phase of the programme consists of an evidence-based desktop verification process in which participants can assess their progress against eight critical sustainability criteria, including decarbonisation, waste elimination, biodiversity protection, support for local economies and communities, improvement in impact on society, efficiency and profitability, employee engagement, retention and development, and partnership building.

Etihad Cargo will receive a personalised dashboard after completing the tailored assessment procedure that will show the carrier's performance against the criteria. Later stages of the programme will offer the option of a complete onsite audit with an in-depth report highlighting areas for improvement.

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Cargo, said: 

"Sustainability remains a key pillar of Etihad Cargo's agenda. Although the air cargo industry has historically been considered less sustainable than other methods of transportation, the sector is making great strides in developing more sustainable solutions and is investing in fleet modernisation, fuel efficiency, sustainable aviation fuel and carbon compensation initiatives.

"Participating in TIACA's BlueSky programme is just the latest step Etihad Cargo has taken to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The assessment process will enable Etihad Cargo to more effectively measure the carrier's performance and track its sustainability progress as it continues on its sustainability journey, which will benefit Etihad Cargo's customers and the wider air cargo industry."

Etihad Cargo has undertaken various green initiatives over the past year, including the replacement of 3,000 containers from its original aluminium unit load device (ULD) fleet with environmentally friendly lightweight ones. 

On a typical wide-body flight, using these lighter ULDs can result in a weight savings of about 200 kg, lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The airline has also signed an agreement with B Medical Systems to develop and launch the world's first airline-specific passive temperature-controlled solution for the transport of life-saving drugs, vaccines, and high-value pharmaceuticals. 

These temperature-controlled container units do not require an external power supply because they use passive cooling technology. They can maintain temperatures ranging from -80 to 25 degrees Celsius for five days while cutting carbon emissions significantly.

Source: Etihad Cargo

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