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Cathay Pacific’s sustainable initiatives continue to make impressive progress 2015 Sustainable Development Report highlights the airline’s latest measures

Cathay Pacific Airways has launched its 2015 Sustainable Development Report, which outlines the various sustainable development measures undertaken by the airline and the Cathay Pacific Group’s Hong Kong-based subsidiaries. The theme of the report is “Together for Tomorrow”.

Cathay Pacific is committed to sustainable development as it believes it is the right thing to do for the planet, its people and communities.  

The airline has been enabling its customers to travel well for seven decades, providing superior products and services both on the ground and in the air. Cathay Pacific wants to sustain its ability to provide such premium services for the long term. This means using resources responsibly, being purposeful in reducing the waste it produces, fostering meaningful collaborations, and being single-minded in fulfilling its commitments.

The airline’s sustainable development strategy focuses on five key aspects – operations, staff, customers, suppliers and infrastructure. The company’s teams’ efforts to achieve common long-term goals for a sustainable future have garnered impressive results over the years and continued to bear fruit in 2015.

“This year’s report is a reflection of our continued efforts to ingrain the value and practice of sustainability into our day-to-day business,” said Arnold Cheng, Cathay Pacific Director Corporate Affairs. “Introducing new fuel-efficient aircraft to our fleet, improving the efficiency of the recycling process of our retired aircraft and inflight materials, reducing food wastage by creating new charitable partnerships, as well as introducing sustainable sourcing initiatives, are just some of the major projects Cathay Pacific has worked hard to implement in 2015.

“We have made significant progress, but as sustainability issues become more complex in nature, the solutions we develop need to be more innovative. The challenges we are likely to face are not small, but I am confident we are equipped and prepared to meet them,” added Arnold.


Highlights of Cathay Pacific’s sustainability progress in 2015 include:

Climate Change – 2.7% Fuel Efficiency Improvement over 2014

The Group’s fuel efficiency in 2015 improved by 2.7% in relation to passenger and cargo traffic carried (measured in revenue tonne kilometres, or RTKs) in 2014. The airline aims to improve year-on-year CO2 emissions by 2% per RTK by 2020, based on 2009 levels, well exceeding the agreed industry target of 1.5%. In 2015, the airline took delivery of nine new aircraft and retired four Airbus A340-300s and four Boeing 747-400s, which has been a significant factor in improving fuel efficiency.

Along with the substantial progress made over the past 12 months, Cathay Pacific has seen its fuel efficiency improve to 24.8% per RTK since 1998.

Similarly, Cathay Pacific’s passenger-focused carbon offset initiative, FLY greener, was the first of its kind to be launched by an Asian carrier and continues to increase the travelling public’s awareness of climate change issues.

As the first carrier to invest in a biofuel developer, Fulcrum Bio Energy Inc., in 2014, construction of its first waste-to-fuel plant commenced in 2015. When production begins, the plant will annually convert more than 163,000 tonnes of prepared municipal solid waste feedstock into approximately 12 million gallons of renewable synthetic crude oil, which will be further refined into low-carbon jet fuel.

Waste Management – Recycling our Retired Aircraft and Inflight Materials

With 11 A340-300s due to retire by 2017, the airline began working with a company specialising in end-of-life solutions in order to improve the recycling efficiency of these aircrafts' materials. Four of the A340s were retired in 2015 and have since undergone the recycling process. Up to 90% of their components can be recycled, reused, or recovered, minimising waste sent to landfills to less than 10%.

The airline began donating unopened juices, cereals, and pre-packaged food regularly from inbound flights. Cathay Pacific Volunteers were mobilized to support this initiative jointly organised by Cathay Pacific Catering Services Limited and Feeding Hong Kong, a local food bank. 60 welfare centres received 116,000kg of food and beverages.

Cathay Pacific collected around 488,000kg of glass, 23,000kg of aluminium cans and 37,000kg of plastic from its flights for recycling into useful materials such as eco-paving bricks.

Sustainable Sourcing – Innovative Carpets Produced from Regenerated Materials

The airline began fitting its current Economy Class cabin with carpets produced from regenerated nylon waste materials such as discarded fishing nets, fabric and other textiles in 2012. After three years, the new carpets have been installed across the entire Cathay Pacific and Dragonair wide-bodied passenger fleet, including the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

Biodiversity – Embargo on All Hunting Trophies

The airline announced an embargo on the transportation of all hunting trophies and racing greyhounds exported from Australia to all destinations in addition to their import to Hong Kong from all origins.

For a full detail of the Group’s sustainability efforts, explore the report’s interactive site at