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Etihad Leading the Way in Sustainability

Etihad Airways is jet-setting ahead in terms of sustainability with a trail of delivered initiatives in its wake.

Etihad Trailblazing Yet Again

From replacing a single-use utensil, supporting carbon-absorbing Mangrove Forests, introducing electric tractors servicing over a third of flights, to partnering with NASA, Boeing and Safran to enhance safety, reduce CO2 emissions and noise, Etihad Airways is trailblazing once again.

It has launched the first aircraft carbon offset programme in the Middle East and was the first airline to secure commercial finance based on verified compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The airline also raised US$1.2 billion in the first sustainability-linked loan tied to environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets in global aviation.

Commitment to Sustainability

Etihad Greenliner and Sustainable50 programmes showcase the airline’s commitment to sustainability and decarbonisation solutions. Etihad’s sustainability strategy is to become the world’s most comprehensive industry-wide testing and innovation programme. The airline has set out a clear and ambitious path forward with emissions targets to be made through a wide range of initiatives –  reduce in emissions intensity in its passenger fleet by 20% by 2025, cut 2019 net emissions by 50% by 2035, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The airline has also restructured Etihad’s fleet strategy to focus on modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, with the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 as the backbone of its fleet.

Etihad – A Natural Partnership

Etihad has continued efforts for Wildlife, Conservation and Protection of Biodiversity and Animal Welfare. It has set up the UAE Anti-Wildlife Tracking taskforce with the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment in the UAE and the Royal Foundation in the UK.

It has announced Etihad Mangroves Forest project to establish carbon-absorbing forests in every country Etihad operates. In addition, it became the official airline sponsor of the BGCI Global Biodiversity Standard.

Sustainable Economy – An Elevated Experience

This May, Etihad Airways unveiled its new Economy class soft furnishings and tableware which will be launched later this year. The primary objectives of these projects are sustainability and improved guest experience.

The Economy class experience will have a 35% larger pillow with a 200 thread-count cotton cover made locally in the UAE and a soft blanket made from recycled plastic on all flights.

The dining experience features reusable tableware made from recycled high-quality plastic and eliminates the use of single-use plastic. The tray, serving plates and their lids are part of a closed loop recycling system. At the end of their lifecycle, they are collected, washed, ground and reused to make new replacement products.

Etihad is also introducing quality stainless-steel cutlery into the Economy cabin which upgrades the experience and also reduces single-use plastic.

In 2019, Etihad committed to removing 80% of single-use plastic from its operation by the end of 2022 and the new inflight equipment ensures the airline meets this sustainability goal. Where possible, Etihad is also moving towards locally produced items.

In July 2022, Etihad Airways has been awarded the AirlineRatings.com ‘Environmental Airline of the Year’ for 2022.

The full 2020-2021 Sustainability Report is available here https://www.etihadaviationgroup.com/en-ae/sustainability

Allie Sheehan
Allie Sheehan
I have worked in the travel industry for seven years, from working in American Holidays and The Travel Corporation I have a wealth of knowledge of all aspects of travel. Before joining ITTN I worked for Facebook which gave me the inside knowledge of the wonderful world of social media. I have a BSc in Event Management and am also a qualified beauty therapist (which definitely comes in handy in this business). Recently I joined the AWTE Ireland committee and I am enjoying working with and connecting with the network of women in travel.


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