Leading Commercial Airlines and EcoVadis Launch The Sustainable Airlines Initiative

Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic recently announced the launch of the Sustainable Airlines Initiative (SAI) in partnership with EcoVadis. Driven by members’ commitment to improve sustainability performance, the SAI will work to accelerate sustainable practices through close collaboration with trading partners to build transparency and scale positive impact across their value chains.

“Commercial aviation is critical for our economies and a conduit for connecting billions of people. The environmental and social crisis the planet is facing has elevated the need for innovation not only in more sustainable fuel but also in more sustainable and ethical business practices across the industry value chain,” said Annette Quincy, Director of Sector Initiatives at EcoVadis. “Through SAI, members entrust EcoVadis to coordinate their collective efforts so they can enhance supply chain visibility and drive improvement towards a more sustainable future for all.”

SAI seeks to solve core sustainability challenges faced by its value chain, including strengthening supplier engagement rates, accelerating suppliers’ performance improvement curve, and enhancing supplier engagement with a focus on key industry categories.

To achieve these goals, SAI selected EcoVadis to provide a common voice, standard and platform to improve sustainability performance throughout the industry’s value chain. EcoVadis will equip SAI with a proven sustainability rating methodology, tailored supplier assessments and scorecards and data mining solutions to track and improve the sustainability performance of industry suppliers.

The EcoVadis Sector Initiative features are built as an antitrust-compliant network and allow for more efficient supplier onboarding, transparency, collaboration and analytics. These capabilities give SAI visibility across the aviation supply chain’s sustainability performance. SAI members will meet every quarter to exchange sustainable procurement best practices and to determine supplier-oriented improvement action plans. This results in a unified path for SAI members to make a positive impact within their community and on the environment and society.

“Achieving Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050 is critical for our future, and for this the full participation of the entire supply chain is necessary. On top of fleet renewal, the incorporation of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and operational measures, SAI is one of our concrete sustainability initiatives. It sends a strong and unified call for action to our supply partners whilst also making it easier: an assessment for one airline is an assessment for all airlines in SAI. We are encouraging other airlines to join us and accelerate together our journey towards more transparent supply chains,” said Jurriaan Lombaers, SVP Procurement at Air France-KLM.

“At Virgin Atlantic, we’re on a mission to achieve Net Zero by 2050, recognizing the pivotal role we have to play in reducing our direct impact. Equally, understanding how our supply chain contributes and identifying opportunities to work towards future improvements is key. We’re proud to be accelerating this with the foundation of the Sustainable Airlines Initiative, alongside our joint venture partners,” said Caz Johnson – Procurement and Working Capital Director at Virgin Atlantic.

“In order to be an industry leader in creating a more sustainable future of travel, we know we must also lead in setting a standard of transparency and accountability with our business partners. The Sustainable Airlines Initiative enables Delta to send a strong signal to suppliers around our belief in the importance of engaging with partners who share in our values and will help to drive transparency at scale throughout our supply chain. We are thrilled to be founding members of the SAI alongside our partners at Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic, as we believe this is an important step in creating industry-wide positive impact through value chain engagement,” said Niteen Suresh, Managing Director, Supply Chain Management at Delta Air Lines.

The three SAI founding members collectively rated more than 700 suppliers upon the initiative’s founding in March 2023. SAI plans to expand this number to gain greater insight into the sustainability performance of its supply chain and drive maximum improvement.

The group welcomes new members from commercial passenger airlines who want to capitalize on the power of collaboration and advance their most strategic supply chain sustainability goals.

For more information about SAI, visit: the Sustainable Airlines Initiative Website

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