Sustainably maturing, the air cargo industry witness an increase in sustainability pressure

The third annual Air Cargo Industry Sustainability Survey by The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), revealed that the sustainability pressure has increased by nine points compared to last year.

This pressure  has been driven by expectations from customers (78 percent), employees (69 percent) and business partners (62 percent).  

Sustainability remains a broad concept with many ways to define it for the 258 companies having participated in the survey. However, environment still dominates how industry defines it. The pressure from regulators is increasing year on year: only 37 percent of the respondents in 2021 were indicating regulatory pressure while it is now 55 percent.”

Companies are now seeing a clear link between their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) actions and reputation (85 percent) and attractiveness (67 percent) but less so for their profits (44 percent).

As per the report, 57% of the companies now have dedicated teams and 47% of companies have set budgets to drive sustainability, while 70% announced increased sustainability budgets as compared to last year.

 “Pressures to be sustainable continue to increase from all stakeholders. Among them are regulators, adding sustainability focused laws in different parts of the world. They are aligned with overall companies’ objectives of addressing regulation, together with maintaining commercial and financial performance.”

Glyn Hughes, Director General, TIACA.

Other key findings of the survey include:

*52% of companies produce a sustainability report

* A reduction in energy consumption in operations have been indicated by 9% of the companies

* To decarbonise, Airlines, ground handlers and freight forwarders made large investments in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

 *Overall SAF commitments make slow progress and are led by large companies

* A 78% increase in digitalisation is observed as the concept matures across the board and

*Improving efficiencies and operational excellence, remains priority for 79% of air cargo companies.

The report also urges to focus on areas beyond the defined People, Planet and Prosperity categories, and ask the industry to take the following actions:

*Set your sustainability agenda

*Ramp up the sustainability resources

*Address workforce challenges with people-focused strategy

*Build trust in your business by joining the BlueSky program

*Raise sustainability awareness; and

*Get ready to address customer requests and regulation

 “The third annual report clearly demonstrates that we as an industry are moving forward when it comes to increasing sustainable air cargo but there is a lot more work to be done. Assessing your company’s progress when it comes to sustainability helps highlight where improvements can be made and TACA’s BlueSky Program is just the tool to help.”

Steven Polmans, Chair, TIACA.

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