Waste, energy and water
Slashing our waste with the most ambitious targets for an airline globally.
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.
It is quite literally a waste and we have a responsibility to our customers, shareholders and the community to reduce it.
In FY19, we announced our commitment to reducing 75% of Qantas Group onshore waste to landfill (including quarantine) by 2021. That includes the removal of 100 million single use plastic items.
Since then, we have achieved several milestones including rolling out organic waste disposal pathways at our onshore lounges, removing almost 10 million single-use plastics items from our service, introducing compostable packaging to our inflight service and completing the world’s first zero waste flight.
The Qantas Group was on track to achieve its waste targets however several waste initiatives have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. The Group is reviewing its waste strategy to ensure that the principles of a circular economy remain central to our sustainability strategy and the Group’s recovery.
^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.
We're also introducing 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 it’s 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.
These targets included;
- 35 percent reduction in electricity by 2020,
- 30 percent reduction in water by 2020,
- 30 percent reduction in waste-to-landfill by 2020 (based on 2009 levels).
Australia Post Partnership
In September 2019, Australia Post implemented carbon neutral delivery of every parcel sent through Post Offices and the MyPost system across Australia. This significant announcement was made possible through Australia Post’s partnership with the Qantas Future Planet program which procures carbon offsets from reputable Australian and overseas projects, to compensate for corporate emissions. The purchase of carbon offset credits now matches the environmental impact of each parcel transferred and delivered through Australia Post.