In the past few years, we have initiated a number of resource use and waste management initiatives with a full list detailed in the factsheet.
We are constantly examining options whereby we can reduce resource use and waste, or use materials from more sustainable sources. Below are a number of initiatives which progressed in 2014:
- All boarding passes for Cathay Pacific and Dragonair flights were switched to FSC paper. In addition, all Cathay Pacific Cargo charity calendars were produced on FSC paper.
- Waste separation at the year-end appreciation party attended by 9,000 staff and friends, where over a tonne of recyclables consisting of plastic, glass bottles and food were collected.
- Trial of a comparison tool for the purchasing of single-use plastic items (more details are provided in the Sustainable Sourcing).
- Partnering with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong Government and other stakeholders to support efforts to make the Hong Kong Sevens tournament a greener “mega” sports event.
- The new 9oz plastic cup used in Economy Class is 33% lighter than the previous cup and is more elastic, durable and recyclable.
In 2014, data from our existing environment, health and safety (EHS) database (from 2009 onwards) was migrated to the new Swire Group sustainability management system, Resource Advisor (RA). The new system is web-based and will replace the previous EHS system to facilitate collecting, consolidating, analysing and reporting our environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance across the Group’s diverse businesses located in different jurisdictions. It will help monitor our progress against our commitments in a more comprehensive and robust manner.
We continued with recycling initiatives inflight as well as in the offices, covering aluminium cans, plastic bottles, cups, and glass bottles.
Recycling from inbound Cathay Pacific flights in 2014 consisted of:
- Aluminium cans: 15,243 kg
- Plastic bottles: 18,592 kg
- Plastic cups: 22,360 kg
- Glass bottles: 524,530 kg
The material of the new 9oz plastic cup used in Economy Class enabled them to be recycled together with the First and Business Class plastic covers for plates and bowls.
We undertook trials with Cathay Pacific Catering Services (CPCS) in donating unopened and unconsumed tetra pack juices from inbound flights to Hong Kong to local food bank, Feeding Hong Kong.
Plastic stretch wrap is used commonly in the air freight industry to bind pieces of a shipment together and protect shipments against externalities such as weather. Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL) thus commenced collection of the stretch wrap for recycling.
Inflight Waste Recycling (Kg)
We are aware that plastics take a very long time to degrade, we realise that it contributes to a significant amount of waste, and releases toxins into the environment. Following a review in 2012 of plastic material usage throughout our operations, we decided to focus our efforts on single use disposable items as this is an area where we believe there is potential for reductions. We are looking at using alternative packaging material instead of plastic, as well as engaging with our suppliers to reduce excessive packaging. In 2014, we piloted a simple comparison tool to inform the purchasing decision of single-use plastic items by providing more information on product sustainability. More details are provided in the Sustainable Sourcing section.
The Cathay Pacific Group, through Cathay Pacific Airways, Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Catering Services (CPCS), serves around 93,400 meals per day. We recognise that food waste is unavoidably created every day through our operations. We have implemented a number of measures to reduce food waste where we can, such as reusing food offcuts, recycling used cooking oil, donating surplus meat and vegetables from Cathay City to the food rescue programme Food Angel, and better flight meal planning. In 2014, we ran a trial with CPCS to donate unopened and unconsumed TetraPak juices from inbound flights to Hong Kong to a local food bank, Feeding Hong Kong. Fair Trade coffee was also served in Economy Class for the first time this year.