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 has compelled Qantas to restructure many parts of the business, we’re still committed to continuing to lead the wayOpens external site in a new window on sustainable aviation through emissions and waste reduction initiatives. As we recover, the focus our sustainability goals will sharpen.

Key among these goals are:

  • Capping our net emissions at 2019 levels and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. 
  • Committing $50 million over the next 10 years towards the development of a viable sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia.
  • Continue to find innovative ways to reduce our waste to landfill footprint and single use plastic use.

More than 80 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.

Our initiatives

Our targets

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

Aviation produces around 3.5 percent of all global emissions, with the industry on the front-line of the global business response to climate change. Qantas was one of the first airlines to voluntarily commit to net zero emissions by 2050. 

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

Waste-free flight

Our targets: in the air

In the air IATA targets
Target Strategy to deliver Performance to target (FY21)
1.5% average annual fuel efficiency improvement. Fuel efficiency through fleet modernisation and operational improvements.

Fuel efficiency metrics have been impacted in FY21 by the reduction in flying due to COVID-19. 

Accelerated retirement of remaining Boeing 747 fleet will have a positive impact when international flying returns.

Cap emissions at 2019 levels. In addition to fuel efficiency measures, utilise sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsets where possible.

In FY20 we revised our 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. We had a very significant reduction in emissions in FY21 due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and reduction in flying.

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.

In March 2020, the Group was on track to achieve its waste and single-use plastics targets. 

However, 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.

See our performance against these targets

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.

Our net zero commitment

The Qantas Group is a proud leader in sustainable aviation. In 2019, we were one of the first airlines globally to announce our commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and capping our net emissions at 2019 levels. The path towards decarbonisation will require collaboration between the industry and researchers, technology firms, investors, government and other stakeholders.

In September 2020Opens external site, the oneworld alliance became the first airline alliance in which all member carriers are committed to net zero emissions by 2050. Together with IAG Group, we co-chair the oneworld alliance sustainability best practice group.

In 2019, we committed to invest $50 million over the next decade to develop a viable sustainable aviation fuels industry within Australia, and have since partnered with bp Australia to explore how we can work together to achieve this goal. We continue to work with federal and state governments to design policies that support the commercialisation of aviation biofuels in Australia.

CORSIA

The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was a historic agreement reached by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2016 to meet the industry’s commitment to carbon neutral growth. Commencing in 2021, CORSIA requires airlines to purchase carbon offsets to meet their share of emissions growth from a 2019 baseline. 

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.