Emirates has participated in the World Environment Day 2022 theme – Just One Earth with initiatives in the air and on the ground.
Accordingly, the airline’s environmental strategy focuses on reducing emissions, consuming responsibly and preserving wildlife and habitats.
When it comes to in-flight product and service development, an in-house team of sustainability experts will provide their input from the early stages. Following the waste management hierarchy, the team’s approach prioritizes waste containment. The products are then evaluated to see if they can be reused. Otherwise, it will be recycled, and the final option is responsible disposal.
In this direction, plastic straws and stirrers have been replaced by substances derived from wood and paper with a clear origin. Emirates’ cozy blankets in economy class are made from 28 recycled plastic bottles each. As a result, Emirates will save 150 million single-use plastics from landfills by the end of the year through this initiative.
Emirates’ new Economy Class amenity kits introduced this year have also gone through sustainability assessments before they are put on board. These reusable kits are made from washable kraft paper and contain travel essentials made from eco-friendly materials. The packaging used for the dental kit, socks and blindfolds are made from 90% rice paper. The toothbrush is made from wheat straw and plastic, and the socks and eye patch are made from rPET (recycled polyethene terephthalate).
For Emirates’ younger customers, the airline’s complimentary toy bags, baby kits and plush toys are also made from recycled plastic bottles. Keeping in mind the entire product lifecycle, swing tags for bags, kits and toys made from recycled cardboard and non-toxic soy-based inks were selected for printing.
Emirates reviews every product on board to reduce resource consumption. It works with multiple suppliers, sourcing locally or regionally to minimize the environmental impact on the supply chain. Suppliers are also evaluated against the airline’s standards for sustainable sourcing.
Economy class paper menus were replaced in April 2020 with digital menus, saving 44 tons of paper per month. Passengers can view the menu on their phones via the in-flight wi-fi. In addition, glass and plastic bottles are sorted on board before being sent to a recycling plant in Dubai. As a result, each month, Emirates and Emirates Flight Catering move approximately 150,000 plastic bottles and 120 tons of glass out of landfills.
Emirates has always focused on operating its fleet in the most efficient and responsible way possible, cutting fuel consumption. In addition to efforts to improve operational efficiency, partnerships with navigation service providers are also key to implementing routes that save fuel and time.
In addition, Emirates is investing in solar power to generate clean electricity at its main facilities in Dubai, including the Emirates Engine Service Center, Emirates Flight Servicing, and most recently, the Emirates Sevens Stadium. These structures save more than 4 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Besides, Emirates will test electric buses for six months to carry passengers from distant stations and can travel up to 100km on a single charge. They are completely carbon-free and operate on a smart energy-saving system.
Emirates also continues its tradition of supporting biodiversity and conservation. For more than 20 years, the airline has helped support a sustainable and balanced ecosystem in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) through an ongoing investment of more than AED 28 million. Representing nearly 5% of Dubai’s total land area, DDCR protects wildlife and vegetation in the vibrant ecosystem of the UAE.
Emirates also supports the protection of Australia’s wilderness and bush through the Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley conservation-based resort, located in the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains region.
As a major international airline business, Emirates is committed to combating the illegal wildlife trade. Emirates has zero tolerance for carrying prohibited species, hunting trophies or any products associated with illegal wildlife activities.