Corporate Social Responsibility

Strengthening governance

With the global aerospace sector’s long-term, complex and capital-intensive nature, Airbus puts a priority on enterprise risk management – which is a system for effectively identifying potential events that may affect the company, manage risk to be within the defined tolerance, identify and manage opportunities, and provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of targets. 

Enterprise risk management is becoming progressively more integrated into Airbus policies and processes, with implementation tools that include training, internal controls, IT systems and more. 

A similar focus is given to ethics and compliance, ensuring Airbus’ business practices conform to applicable laws and regulations, as well as ethical business principles. Airbus views this commitment as a source of competitiveness, and accordingly has reinforced its resources in recent years. 

Of particular importance for Airbus are export compliance, respecting and following all export/import compliance laws affecting its technologies and products; and business ethics, as part of its goal to eliminate bribery and corruption risks. 

Fostering innovation

The Airbus Concept Plane – shown here above a virtual London – illustrates what air transport could look like in 2050.

Airbus’ innovation drives its competitive advantage and fosters profitable growth. Through innovation, Airbus also improves the value it offers to customers – delivering better products and services, all at a lower cost. It is for this reason the company plans to make incremental improvements across existing aircraft programmes and technologies, while investing in the pioneering innovations that will shape the jetliners of tomorrow. 

For Airbus, innovation also provides the key to improving air transport’s environmental performance – which is among the company’s top-level considerations moving forward. Such a philosophy helps to differentiate products, improve efficiency and ensure compliance with regulations.

With sustainable mobility being a core tenet of its innovation, Airbus develops and integrates new aircraft technologies that facilitate commercial aviation growth without increasing emissions. These include aircraft design improvements, enhancements to infrastructure and operations, and the development of sustainable fuels. Similarly, Airbus is working to make its manufacturing processes more eco-efficient as well – improving both industrial efficiency and environmental impacts.  

Developing and engaging people

Airbus takes a strategic approach to its highly-skilled workforce, identifying the competencies it will need for future programmes and planning the necessary recruitment, training and career development efforts accordingly. Such competency management transforms business strategy into a forecast for skills requirement. 

Effective employee recruitment is another major piece of the equation, which is why Airbus has worked to position itself as a global employer of choice – putting an emphasis on cooperative social dialogue, diversity and inclusion, engagement and leadership, health and safety. 

Once a new company employee enters the workforce, Airbus builds upon their key competencies – including technical abilities, languages, leadership and “soft” skills – through mentoring, coaching and on-the-job development. 

Building supplier partnerships

Suppliers provide a large proportion of the value in Airbus products, underscoring the importance of a strong partnership between these two parties. To facilitate this, Airbus continually seeks better ways to work with its suppliers – aiming to integrate them more effectively into programme development, while identifying new suppliers to support growth in international target markets.  

Part of Airbus’ focus is on better supply chain management, which is being achieved through processes and tools that foster partnership, risk mitigation and supplier performance development. 

To that end, the new Procurement Operational function within Airbus’ Commercial Procurement Department achieved remarkable results in 2013 – its first year of operation: the number of missing airframe parts dropped approximately 50 per cent, while key performance indicators such as supplier delivery, supplier rejection rates, outstanding work and cost of non-quality showed a consistent pattern of improvement.

In addition, the “Extended Enterprise” philosophy – which Airbus shares with its Airbus Group parent and fellow divisions – is designed to foster risk-sharing partnerships with major suppliers, and is backed by a series of tools to ensure control and transparency.  

Active corporate citizenship

More than 700 Airbus employees from A380 Final Assembly line in Toulouse participated into a charity run in June 2014.

As a responsible corporate citizen and industry leader, Airbus works with key stakeholders and local communities to build and maintain long-term relationships across three primary areas: humanitarian assistance, youth development and research support. 

Airbus’ charitable efforts are coordinated by the Airbus Corporate Foundation, which brings together the international employee network with associations and other international organisations. These activities comprise humanitarian relief flights to ferry food and medical supplies to disaster zones worldwide using flight test aircraft and teams – 12 of which were performed in 2013, marking the organization’s most active year to date. This activity included deliveries to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, as well as relief flights to Turkey, Thailand, Jordan and Dubai. 

A further example of Airbus’ strong corporate citizenship is its long-standing support for multiple poverty-alleviation projects in China, where the company has helped build hospital and school facilities, as well – including an Airbus A380 Garden at Malipo Middle School, built as part of activities for the Green Wave Day. 

In France, multiple Airbus sites actively support charitable organisations such as the European Leukodystrophies Association (ELA) – which assists families affected by leukodystrophies, a group of rare genetic diseases that destroy the central nervous system in children and adults. During two separate events in June 2014, more than 1,000 employees from three of Airbus’ Toulouse-based facilities raised awareness and funding with a special charity walk/run – in which each participant tracked their distance with a pedometer. In total, Airbus employees took over 4 million steps in two days – which set the bar for the company’s corresponding contribution to ELA.

Other examples include the Give for Kids initiative, in which Airbus employees donated more than 10,000 books and toys to needy children during November 2013 alone; and France’s Restos du Cœur (Restaurants of the Heart), an organisation to assist the poor through access to free meals. 

Airbus also puts a priority on supporting disadvantaged and disengaged young people, with an emphasis to help improve their education. A primary example is the “Flying Challenge” developed in partnership with the United Way, which seeks to inspire young people through tutoring and coaching sessions. 

In addition, a number of research projects have been supported by Airbus, helping to make notable progress in areas generally related to aviation. As part of this effort, the company launched a programme that aims to raise awareness of biodiversity issues among people. Through the biodiversity program, groups of Airbus employees have participated in a conservation project in India that consists of the installation of an environmentally-friendly and sustainable energy source in a rural village – reducing both deforestation and the need for liquefied petroleum gas.