Our planet

Our commitment to minimising the impact we have on the environment at every step – in the air and on the ground.

Our approach

As we carry Australians to their destinations, we’re conscious of working to minimise the impact we have on the environment.  While the COVID-19 crisis is compelling Qantas to restructure many parts of the business, we’re committed to continuing to leading the way on sustainable aviation through emissions and waste reduction initiatives. As we move forward, sustainability will be central to the Group’s recovery. 

Key among our commitments are:

  • Capping our net C02 emissions at 2019 levels and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. 
  • Committing $50 million over the next 10 years to the development of a sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia.
  • Reducing 75 percent of our waste to landfill by end-2021 and removing 100 million single-use plastics from our operations every year by end-2020.

More than 85 percent of Qantas Frequent Flyers believe that businesses play a key role in helping society manage our climate risk.

The Qantas Group operates integrated management systems that satisfy safety, health, security and environment legislative and regulatory requirements. Our environment activity is supported by robust governance processes to ensure performance and risks are monitored, which includes oversight by the Qantas Board Committee for Health, Environment, Safety and Security.

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Our initiatives

Our targets

Qantas recognises human-induced climate change as a significant issue for the aviation industry. 

Aviation produces around 2 per cent of all global CO2 emissions. The industry has been on the front line of the global business response to climate change, becoming the first industry to voluntarily commit to emissions targets out as far as 2050. Going above and beyond the standard the industry has set.

two hands holding fruit

Focus, measurement and transparency are integral to our continued environmental improvement, in the air and on the ground. 

Our targets: in the air

In the air IATA targets
Target Strategy to deliver Performance to target (FY19)
1.5% average annual fuel efficiency improvement. Fuel efficiency through fleet modernisation and operational improvements. Step change to come in FY21 through introduction of B787-9s retirement of B747s.

5.4% improvement against 2009 baseline. 

Fuel efficiency has been impacted by the reduction in flying due to COVID-19. 

Cap emissions at 2019 levels. In addition to fuel efficiency measures, utilise sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsets  where possible. Due to COVID-19 , we have revised the baseline from 2020 to 2019 to better represent normal operating conditions. The Group remains committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. 
Net zero emissions by 2050. Continual investment in new aircraft technology,  sustainable aviation fuels and carbon market industry development. Group emissions for 2019/20 were 33 per cent lower than 2018/19 level in line with reduced operating conditions.

Our targets: on the ground

On the ground Qantas Group targets
Target Strategy to deliver Performance to target (FY19)
75% reduction in waste-to-landfill by end of 2021 (2018 baseline). Through waste operational and packaging improvements and investment in new technologies.

Waste-to-landfill declined by 32 percent compared to the Group’s 2018 baseline. 

The Group was on track to achieve its waste and single-use plastics targets in March 2020. 

Due to COVID-19, initiatives linked to these targets have been temporarily suspended. The Group is reviewing its waste strategy to respond to the new operating conditions.

Remove 100 million single-use plastics from our service by 2020.

See our performance against these targets

The Group achieved its targets of a 35 percent reduction in electricity consumption and a 20 percent reduction in water consumption since 2009, ahead of the 2020 timeframe. New targets are under development.

In 2017 we committed to aligning our reporting on climate change related issues to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. For more information see our reporting approach.

Global industry leadership

We’re leading the way on sustainable aviation through our commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, while capping our net C02 emissions at 2019 levels and implementing ambitious airline waste reduction targets. We anticipate that these targets will encourage further collaboration between the industry and researchers, technology firms, investors, government and other stakeholders.

Together with IAG Group, we co-Chair the oneworld alliance sustainability best practice group. In September 2020, the oneworld alliance was proud to announce it is the first airline alliance in which all member carriers are committed to net-zero emissions by 2050.

In 2019, we committed to invest $50 million over the next decade to develop a sustainable aviation fuels industry in Australia. We continue to work with Australian federal and state governments to design policies that support commercialisation of aviation biofuels in Australia, which is currently sub-scale.

In 2016, an historic agreement was reached to meet the industry’s commitment to carbon neutral growth from 2020. The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), commencing in 2021, will require airlines to purchase offsets to meet their share of the industry’s growth emissions. Qantas strongly advocated in support of the Australian Government opting into the first phase of the scheme to avoid the alternative patchwork approach to carbon pricing.

The Qantas Group commenced reporting its international emissions for CORSIA compliance from 1 January 2019, complementing the reporting of domestic emissions it has been conducting under the Australian Government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme since 2009.