Monday, 02 March 2015

Exceptional Environmental Efforts place SA Airways (SAA) as One of only Two Global Carriers to Achieve IEnvA Stage 2 Recognition

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SA Airways, along with Finnair, has been awarded IEnvA stage two recognition as a result of its environmental sustainability standards and practices.

Johannesburg, South Africa – This week,South AfricanAirways (SAA) became one of only two global carriers (alongside Finnair) to achieve Stage 2 status of the IATA Environmental Assessment Programme (IEnvA); a comprehensive airline environmental management programme.

IEnvA seeks to introduce sustainability standards that cover all areas of an airline’s operations including air quality and emissions, noise, fuel consumption and efficient operations, recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, biofuels, and many more. SAA was also one of six airlines to participate in the initial phase (Stage 1) of the programme in June 2013.  

IEnvA is a stringent environmental assessment programme that is based on recognised international environmental management systems such as ISO 14001. It was jointly developed by leading airlines and environmental consultants. SAA has been part of the process from the programme’s genesis and currently chairs the IEnvA Oversight Working Group.   

SAA conducted its Stage 2 assessment in record time, six months prior to the two year deadline. “Participation in the programme and this achievement affirms SAA’s commitment to answering its dual mandate and as a leading African and global airline,” says SAA Acting CEO Mr Nico Bezuidenhout. The IEnvA standards will serve as guidelines for 240 other airlines around the world.   

SAA’s participation in the programme forms part of the <i>Long-Term Turnaround Strategy</i> with a dual mandate focus. Last year, the airline launched the first African biofuels project, which focused on the transformation of tobacco oil into jet fuel, with sector role players. “Responsible environmental management has the potential to deliver commercially beyond the clear social and environmental benefit. Projects such as the tobacco biofuels venture could provide several future commercial impetus ranging from input cost benefits through to the value of technology,” adds Mr Bezuidenhout.  

The initiative was followed by the introduction of new fuel efficient navigation approaches (RNP-AR: Required Navigational Performance, Authorisation Required). “The enhanced aircraft approaches’ fuel savings provide immediate bankable fuel savings.” Inside the organisation there is also an on-going drive to embed a culture of environmental sustainability with policy directing the airline toward ultimate emission reduction leadership in both continental and global aviation industries.  

SA Airways plans to continue demonstrating its commitment to its mandate concomitant to the carrier’s environmental programme. “IEnvA is a robust programme that effectively cuts through the complexities of the aviation sector. It is inspiring to our staff, a positive step for the industry and attractive to travellers. The initiative will ultimately be good for business and is a step toward ensuring future-proofing of aviation,” says Mr Bezuidenhout.   

Note to journalists:

IEnvA has been developed in conjunction with airlines so that it addresses industry needs and specific concerns. IEnvA assesses environmental performance against sustainability standards across a broad range of disciplines including (but not limited to) the management of air quality and emissions, noise, fuel consumption and operational efficiency, recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, and biofuel utilisation. As a result, IEnvA helps airlines to simplify regulatory compliance, demonstrate good governance and achieve financial savings by ensuring the better use of resources. IEnvA implementation followed a phased approach due to the complexity and global presence of airlines as well as the number of role players and touch points. There are two implementation phases:  

Stage 1: 

Stage 1 ensures that an airline has developed the foundation and framework for its environmental management system. Stage 1 also certifies that an airline has identified and complied with its environmental legal requirements.   

Stage 2:

IEnvA Stage 2 assessment, the highest level of IEnvA achievement, ensures that an airline has implemented all of the IEnvA Programme Standards, has identified and mitigated its significant environmental impacts and has set performance targets. Stage 2 also certifies that an airline has developed processes for monitoring and reviewing its performance against its targets and objectives, thus driving environmental efficiency.   

About South African Airways (SAA) 

South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 57 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, SA Airlink and its low cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and ten intercontinental routes from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; and Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for twelve consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on-time airlines.    

Issued by SAA Communications  

For more information, contact:

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Tel: +27 82 333 3880

South African Airways is a Star Alliance member that offers flights to 38 destinations worldwide. Domestically, SAA operates 544 flights a week between Johannesburg – Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth. Regionally SAA offers 24 destinations across the African continent and its international network creates links to all major continents from South Africa through 10 direct routes. In the regional category, SAA has received the Skytrax ‘Best Airline in Africa’ Award for 11 consecutive years.