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Looking Forward - Implementing our Sustainable Development Strategy

2010 was a remarkable year for Cathay Pacific, with the Group reporting a record attributable profit of HK$14 billion, a 9.1% increase in passenger numbers and a cargo tonnage increase of 18.1% over 2009 figures. This is an incredible achievement, made possible by a great team effort across our network. However, we recognise that we operate in a highly competitive and often volatile global market and so it is important that we keep looking to the future and positioning ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities and build resilience to address the challenges that lie ahead.

One of these challenges is moving the business to a more sustainable path - to build a sustainable future for Cathay Pacific. Our goal is to continue to grow and succeed, but in order to do so we recognise that we need to address the issues facing the broader environment in which we operate. We need growing regional and global economies that will improve the quality of life and, at the same time, we need to preserve nature and to use its scarce resources in the most efficient way. These issues can be addressed by integrating the three sustainability pillars into our business: continued economic development, social responsibility, and environmental management.


We are addressing the impacts of our business across these sustainability pillars. For example, we are already mitigating our environmental impact through our fuel efficiency initiatives and making plans to do even more in the future when biofuels become commercially viable. Aviation is an integral part of the world's economy; it enables all of us to explore other countries, to connect with families and friends, and to have access to time-critical, high-value goods such as medicines and food. It employs 5.5 million people and generates at least US$ 425 billion in gross domestic product. Even with teleconferencing, shipping and rail transport, there is no other industry that can serve the world in such a time-critical, personal and long-distance fashion as the airline industry does. Our challenge now is to ensure that we continue to provide these valuable services, increasing economic and societal benefits but with the least impact to the environment.

Our Sustainable Development Strategy will help Cathay Pacific respond to this challenge. Our long-term objective is to be a sustainable airline and we believe that this strategy is the 'flight plan' to lead us to this goal. Our various internal departments and subsidiary companies have worked hand-in-hand in developing action plans to implement the Sustainable Development Strategy, finding innovative solutions in all aspects of our business. And we are seeing encouraging results already - from small steps such as using biodegradable bags, to big-ticket items such as purchasing and effectively deploying the most appropriate fuel-efficient aircraft. We realise that there are no quick-fix solutions to some of the bigger sustainability challenges such as replacing conventional fuel with sustainable biofuels, but we are working on strategies and connecting with companies and organisations that can help us to turn these ideas into reality.

We believe that the Cathay Pacific culture - one of resilience, teamwork and a can-do spirit - will, in conjunction with our business partners in aviation, enable us to realise our goal of becoming a truly sustainable airline.

John Slosar
Chief Executive