A Sustainable Future

 

There’s strength in togetherness. That’s why our member airlines are working side-by-side to share knowledge and best practices to reduce air travel’s impact on the environment. We’re passionate about doing more to reduce our carbon emissions and protect the world we connect.

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Aiming High

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) provide a blueprint for a better future for everyone. SkyTeam and its members are basing their efforts on six of the UNSDGs that we have selected to guide our mission to reduce our impact.

  1. Gender equality
  2. Affordable and clean energy 
  3. Decent work and economic growth 
  4. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  5. Responsible consumption and production 
  6. Climate action

Our sustainability standards

Nine sustainability standards are guiding SkyTeam’s path to offering the most seamless and responsible travel experience of any global airline alliance. The Sustainable Flight Challenge is just one of our many initiatives that are making meaningful contributions to a more sustainable operating model.

Marking a first step towards setting an alliance-wide shared sustainability ambition, the primary goal of the standards is to support member airlines in making a positive impact. Our focus areas land within three pillars and are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). In the future, we envision these sustainability standards becoming a minimum membership requirement for airlines wanting to join SkyTeam.

Employee welfare & equality
  Being a great, safe place to work contributes to the health and wellbeing of our people, which comes full circle in the excellent service they deliver to our customers. We embrace diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels across our organizations – for example, by becoming the first global alliance to sign up to IATA’s 25by2025 to help close the gender gap in aviation.

Track and improve employee satisfaction

Track and improve employee satisfaction

By using tools such as the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), we can keep track of our employees’ wellbeing and overall satisfaction, and how likely they would be to recommend their workplace to others.  

Increase women in senior positions (IATA 25by2025)

Increase women in senior positions (IATA 25by2025)

We have unanimously signed up to IATA 25by2025, a global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) initiative that is helping to create a greater gender balance in the aviation industry by increasing the percentage of women in senior positions and under-represented areas.  

 

Operating footprint
    We’re working to minimize our footprint by reducing the environmental impact of our operations. This includes plans to reduce the amount of airline waste going to landfill and saying no to unethical cargo. We’re taking stakeholders who share our vision on our journey, including customers and suppliers.  

Waste reduction

Waste reduction

We’re working across our operations, from catering and engineering to cargo and on-board services, to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and incineration, helping to further reduce our carbon footprint. 

More sustainable supply chains

More sustainable supply chains

We are responsible for ensuring suppliers align with our sustainability journey, so we’re working to implement Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards and certification across our supply chains. As part of this process, SkyTeam and our member airlines are also improving how we measure and report our own ESG performance. 

Saying no to unethical cargo

Saying no to unethical cargo

To protect endangered plants and wildlife and help stop the trade in non-responsibly sourced gems and precious metals, we are taking measures to ensure the cargo we carry across our network is ethical.   

 

Energy and climate action
    Together with our members, we’re charting a flight path towards net-zero emissions by 2050. This includes rolling out innovations to improve operational efficiency and making longer-term commitments for the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). To support ground operations, we’re increasing our use of clean energy sources, such as harnessing renewable power at our facilities and electrification of ground support vehicles.    

 

Low emissions ground support equipment (GSE)

Low emissions ground support equipment (GSE)

Using electric and low carbon fueled GSE, such as baggage tractors, belt loaders, ground power units and push back tugs, will help reduce the overall footprint of ground operations at our hubs. 

Renewable energy at airline facilities

Renewable energy at airline facilities

We’re seeking more sustainable alternatives for lighting, heating and air-conditioning, working towards increased use of renewable energy sources at our facilities.

Reducing emissions intensity

Reducing emissions intensity

In many ways, this is our key standard, as it measures our carbon emissions per flight. Operational efficiency improvements - like reducing aircraft weight and flying optimized routes - help us reduce the amount of fuel consumed in our daily flight operations and help lower our overall emissions intensity. 

Adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Using SAF instead of fossil-based jet fuel will have the biggest impact on reducing aviation’s CO2 emissions in the short to medium term. We’re committed to powering more of our operations with sustainable fuel sources that have a lower lifecycle carbon footprint than conventional fuel.

The Sustainable Flight Challenge

It’s time to reshape our industry’s future. That's why The Sustainable Flight Challenge is harnessing the power of friendly competition to drive the changes needed to reduce our industry’s footprint. Launched in May 2022, this first-ever initiative saw 16 participating airlines collectively find new ways to reduce CO2 emissions, while generating hundreds of innovative solutions to share across the alliance.

The Sustainable Flight Challenge will run annually, bringing SkyTeam members and industry partners together to help make air travel more sustainable at every step.

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RISE: Creating female leaders of the future

We are proud to be the first airline alliance whose members’ CEOs unanimously signed up to IATA’s 25by2025 initiative to help close aviation’s gender gap. To strengthen this commitment, SkyTeam created the RISE leadership development program to help women soar at our member airlines, each of whom nominates female candidates to participate each year. RISE (Reach, Inspire, Soar, Empower) brings together female talent to create an international network of women through collaborative projects and engagement. 

The annual program comprises several high-quality training elements aimed at enhancing skills in leadership, communication, network-building, personal branding, and media presence.

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Sustainability initiatives by SkyTeam members

Below you will find links to each member’s website where you can learn about their sustainability initiatives and commitment to creating a more sustainable future for aviation.

Sustainability in Action

SkyTeam members are committed to making changes and investments to help them fly more sustainably. Here are some of latest stories about the work they are doing to reshape the future of air travel.  

Air France to match its customers' voluntary contributions to the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Virgin Atlantic flies world’s first 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel flight

Tugs, tractors and belt loaders nearly all electric at two Delta hubs

Delta to launch innovation lab to accelerate the more sustainable future of flight

First 100% SAF engine test in Amsterdam: a step towards sustainable flying

ITA Airways launches new carbon program in collaboration with CHOOOSE