In order to accelerate its commitment to sustainable aviation, Malaysia Airlines has joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Pioneered by UNEP and the UNGC Secretariat, the initiative aims to promote environmentally sound practices in the aviation sector.
The Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), which is the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, stated that signing up for the initiative shows commitment to aligning its operations to the UNGC principles aimed at making a positive impact on society through responsible and sustainable practices. These operations mainly include undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and encouraging the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Other airlines that have joined the UNGC are United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Ryanair, and Air France-KLM.
Malaysia Airlines launched its Sustainability Blueprint in April 2021, which sets out a path to becoming a truly sustainable airline. The Blueprint incorporates sustainability initiatives across all three pillars of good governance, environmental performance, and social impact. In addition to supporting the United Nations’ 13th SDG (Climate Action), initiatives target three other SDGs: Goal 5 (Gender Equality), Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), and Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).
Additional programs include tracking the Group’s greenhouse gas emissions through a carbon accounting program, a fuel efficiency program, and fleet renewal. The mainline carrier’s fleet currently consists of 89 aircraft (16 of which are wet-leased turboprops) with an average age of close to 11 years. The youngest in the fleet are six A350-900s. Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines recently signed an MoU with Airbus for no less than 20 A330neo widebodies. Further, The airline has programs in place to install solar panels, reduce waste, and utilize electric ground support vehicles to reduce emissions from ground operations.
The aviation industry is getting swept into the international movement to reduce CO2 emissions. By using renewable jet fuels derived from such things as algae, waste carbon, or corn-based ethanol, it can make its mark on climate change mitigation while saving money and staying competitive. Airliners that have used biofuels for their commercial flights include Azul Airlines, British Airways, Jet Blue, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Australia, and Virgin Atlantic.
Other airlines have also been making significant investments in sustainability. Alaska Airlines announced last year that it had finalized an agreement with biofuel company Gevo Inc. to purchase its most significant sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) offtake commitment to date – 185 million gallons of SAF over five years starting in 2026. This agreement was developed alongside others in the Oneworld alliance, developed to be the first choice airline alliance for the world’s frequent international travelers.