Our Approach to Managing Our Business Towards a Sustainable Future

At Cathay Pacific, we are committed to a journey that leads to a sustainable future. This means that our company continues to deliver financial rewards for our shareholders and brings about the benefits of the aviation industry, while not compromising the quality of life of our staff, our passengers, the communities we serve and the state of the environment.

As an airline, we face many challenges. We operate in a region that will see the biggest growth in our industry – which is positive for our business, but also brings about increased impacts on the environment and communities. Aviation is increasingly under global scrutiny due to the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels, climate change impacts, increasing regulations, consumer and investor needs and other risks and liabilities associated with air transport operations. Our staff and customers expect us to be the best in everything we do; stakeholders increasingly look at how we manage our business.

In response to these increasing pressures and expectations, we have developed a Sustainable Development Strategy to embed best-in-class environmental and social practices across our business operations to ensure that our business, and the industry at large, is here for the long term.

Sustainable development underlines the core value of the Swire Group, which is also implemented across the Cathay Pacific Group. We recognise the growing and urgent need for society to address the global challenge of climate change.

“As a Group we should always seek to be ahead of legislation rather than reacting to it: that even if the environmentally ‘clean’ way of doing something is more expensive and therefore on the face of it uneconomic, we should always, regardless of mandatory legislation, have a close look at the overall feasibility of adopting such a practice, both from the point of view of general public good and enlightened self-interest.”

Sir Adrian Swire in 1989

We appointed engagement specialist firm, Edelman, to conduct an independent review of our Sustainable Development Strategy and activities to date. We invited comments from our directors on the Management Committee, some of whom are on the Board, on why they think sustainable development is becoming an increasingly important issue to Cathay Pacific:

“We have to integrate sustainable development into our corporate strategy. This is an issue whose time has come.”
“We need to give clear directions to managers [with regards to our position on sustainable development] so that they can make decisions.”
“Our young employees do not want to work for a company that doesn’t care about these issues.”
“Rising fuel costs and emerging carbon regulations make a stronger case for biofuels and greater fuel efficiency.”

Our approach to managing our business is simple: to ensure we have the right infrastructure to facilitate the required improvements that may emerge in future. We do this by:

Each of these areas is explored in detail in separate sections of this report.

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  • Sustainable Development Report 2010
    [website | pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2009
    [website | pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2008 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2007 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2006 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2005 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2004 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2003 [pdf]