The procurement, usage and disposal of materials such as paper, plastic and food is a necessary component of an airline’s complex operations, and Cathay Pacific recognises the environmental impact of using and disposing of such materials. In an operation the size and scale of Cathay Pacific, the production or provision of a wide range of products and equipment is inevitable at every touch point. In light of environmental concerns, the airline has been as cautious, proactive and as innovative as possible in relation to waste management and the sourcing of materials.
The airline has put in place a number of environmental inflight initiatives to manage a range of waste materials, including glass bottles, aluminium cans, plastic and paper products, and blankets and sleeping suits. While some items are donated to local NGOs, others are collected and recycled into materials that have a useful function in society. Turning glass bottles collected from flights into paving bricks for pathways and roads is just one example.
Cathay Pacific has also been working to enhance the sustainability of its supply chains through close collaboration with suppliers. Initiatives in this area include the increased use of sustainable materials, utilising regenerated waste materials such as discarded fish nets to produce inflight carpets, the use of 100% organic cotton for First Class sleeping suits, lighter cups and the use of biodegradable plastics.
Cathay Pacific Head of Environmental Affairs Evelyn Chan said: “We are constantly examining options to reduce resource use and waste or make better use of materials from sustainable sources. We envisage a sustainable supply chain within Cathay Pacific and already have medium to long-term programmes in place to minimise our impacts and be responsible stewards of these resources. Our goal is to embed best-in-class practices across all aspects of our business and operations, both on the ground and in the air.”
Cathay Pacific is committed to helping passengers live a Life Well Travelled at the same time as embedding sustainable practices into its operations. The airline will continue to look for opportunities to overcome existing challenges in the pursuit of reducing inflight waste, working closely with suppliers to offer more creative and useful sustainably sourced products and services to its customers.