The Environment

Environmental Performance

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Environmental Performance

As a responsible business, effectively managing and continuously improving our environmental performance is important to us. It is our commitment to identify the relevant areas for action and reporting by engaging and responding to our stakeholders.

We are developing performance targets for ground activities, including our CO2 emissions, energy efficiency and resource consumption, to help us better manage our carbon and resource use. These targets will be adopted and reported in 2011.

Key issues raised by stakeholders on our Environmental Performance
Overall performance. Inflight waste. Resource efficiency. Air quality and noise impacts. Responsible sourcing.

We endorse ICAO's Balanced Approach to controlling noise around airports by: (1) reducing noise at source; (2) regulating land-use around airports; (3) adapting operational procedures; and (4) implementing operating restrictions. We have been working with the Hong Kong CAD for several years on noise mitigation.

Our new Airbus A350-900s are designed to reduce aircraft noise. The 32 new aircraft, expected to be delivered from 2015 onwards, can achieve 14dB less noise than the ICAO Chapter 4 noise limitations. These aircraft can also utilise automatic Noise Abatement Departure Procedures (NADP) which optimise flight paths to reduce noise over densely populated areas.

In 2010, fines relating to noise infringements at London Heathrow airport increased compared to 2009 due to operational factors, including continued congestion problems which often delayed our latest departure into the most noise restrictive night period. We did not receive any fines from JFK airport, New York, for the second year running, although we received noise notifications from Frankfurt and Brussels airports.

We are continuously working to improve our performance through better planning and by deploying the most suitable aircraft to certain routes at certain times where possible. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2010, we made arrangements to increase the use of quieter Boeing 777-300ER aircraft instead of the Boeing 747-400s on more of the Hong Kong to London flights to alleviate noise impacts around London Heathrow airport during landing and take-off. As a onsequence, noise levels have improved on this route and comparatively fewer fines were received during this period compared to the third quarter.