Resources and waste management

Our strategy to resource use and waste management is as follows:

  • Identify impacts per operational area: resource use and waste generated at all operational points, concentrating particularly in areas that are offered to customers where there is significant single-use waste generated.
  • Identify mid-term goals: we have developed internal guidelines on resource use (for example on the use of paper and plastic) and simple comparative tools to help departments make decisions regarding which materials to choose. We will continue to work internally to develop guidelines for other resources.
  • Identify solutions, trial and then full implementation: work with departments that are responsible for these items either individually or as part of a working committee. For example, most of our inflight measures are initiated by the Inflight Services Department Environmental Working Committee since 2005 (although there have been environmental-related projects in place since the mid-1990s).
  • Monitor progress: we monitor all environmental, health and safety data through a robust sustainability management system, Resource Advisor (RA). The system is web-based and it facilitates the collecting, consolidating, analysing and reporting of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance across the Group’s diverse businesses located in different jurisdictions. This helps to monitor our progress against our commitments in a more comprehensive and robust manner.

Paper and wood products

Since the 1990s, we have implemented paper recycling campaigns and encouraged the use of alternative paper sources in our operations, both inflight and in our offices. Migration to electronic means of communication to improve operational efficiency has also facilitated in the reduction of paper consumption in many areas since the 1990s, and many of our systems are moving towards electronic storage devices.

As a matter of policy, all marketing collaterals and office paper from Hong Kong are from sustainable and certified sources. We are working on implementing this policy throughout all our operations around the world over the next few years.

Use of Sustainable Paper Sources in the Cathay Pacific Group

Sustainably sourced and certified paper Recycled Paper
  • CPCS customer newsletter “Food for Thought” (2010)
  • All paper marketing collaterals (2010)
  • Calendars and diaries (2010)
  • Cargo calendars (2014)
  • Sales marketing leaflets (2010)
  • Copying and printing paper at Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, CX Holidays, HAS and Vogue offices (2010-2011)
  • Hand towels in Cathay City toilets (2012)
  • Boarding passes (2014)
  • Maps of Hong Kong International Airport (2015)
  • Cathay Pacific monthly staff newsletter “CX World”
  • Dragonair monthly staff newsletter “Dragonews”
  • Cabin Crew Newsletter
  • Hand towels in Cathay City toilets (2012)
  • Toilet paper in Cathay City toilets – 80% recycled content (2012)
  • Meal tray cards (2010)
  • Safety cards on all aircraft (2011)
  • Cathay Pacific/Dragonair branded inflight magazines (2013)
  • Meal boxes on regional routes (2013)

We incorporated the use of sustainable wood through refurbishments in our buildings, offices, and airport lounges in accordance with green building standards and principles. Procuring wood products for furniture from a sustainable source ensured they were from a forest that is responsibly managed.

Cathay Dragon introduced an app-based paperless reporting platform for its cabin crew for report submission in December 2016. Cabin crew can now submit a variety of previously paper-based reports through an e-reporting platform. The digitalisation of the reporting system not only aims to reduce overall paper consumption, but also considerably reduces the weight of documents that are brought onto the aircraft – a small but effective contribution in reducing carbon emission.


Plastics are versatile, cost-effective, and lighter than most materials, and for these reasons we use them throughout our operations in different forms. However, plastics take a very long time to degrade and thus are responsible for a significant amount of waste, as well as for releasing toxins into the environment. Our efforts have been focused on tackling these single-use disposable items.

In recent years, we have received considerable attention for our use of plastics inflight. Opinions have been consistent amongst our different stakeholders, including passengers, staff and environmental organisations. Our recycling initiatives are described in later sections.