Slashing our waste to reduce our impact on the planet.
In the process of carrying 50 million people each year, we deal with more than 30,000 tonnes of total waste. That’s the same weight as about eighty 747 jumbos.
In FY19, we announced our commitment to reducing 75% of Qantas Group onshore waste to landfill (including quarantine) by 2021, as well as the removal of 100 million single use plastic items. While we were on track to achieving our waste targets, from March 2020 COVID-19 health and safety requirements meant we had to temporarily pause some of our initiatives.
The Group is reviewing our waste strategy and ensuring that sustainability remains central to the Group’s recovery. In the meantime, we continue to find opportunities to improve, and in September 2021 started phasing out plastic cutleryOpens external site in addition to having already removed plastic drinking straws, stirrers and non-compostable hot cups.
World’s first zero waste flight
In May 2019Opens external site, Qantas operated the first-ever commercial no waste to landfill flight. Flying from Sydney to Adelaide, flight QF739 would typically generate 34kg of waste to landfill – or 150 tonnes of waste annually. By substituting our inflight products with sustainable alternatives, removing 1,000 single use plastic products, and the cabin crew staff disposing of the remaining waste via compost, reuse or recycling pathways, just 600g of waste was generated from the flight.
Disclaimer: ^Waste reduction target applies to waste to landfill generated in Australia. There is some waste that we cannot currently recycle or reuse. Some of this is beyond our control due to quarantine restrictions or regulatory requirements. There are also some single use plastics (such as wrapping for hygiene purposes and some heat resistant containers used for on-board food preparation) that don’t currently have a practical or sustainable alternative. Qantas and Jetstar are working with manufacturers and other airlines to innovate and to further reduce waste to landfill.
Over the past several years we have also introduced new programs and technologies to reduce our use of electricity and water including adopting LED lighting technology, procuring energy efficient electrical appliances, installing water efficient fixtures, and replacing inefficient cooling towers across our property assets.
These initiatives resulted in the Group achieving its on the ground targets in August 2019, almost one year ahead of our 2020 timeline and achieving a 5.5 star NABERS Energy rating at our mascot head office.