Eco-Initiatives at Airbus
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Eco-initiatives

Setting and reaching environmental targets

Airbus facilities in Spain have implemented several initiatives in support of the company’s Blue 5 targets for VOCs.

As part of the focus to improve its overall environmental performance, Airbus has put an emphasis on maximising the use of eco-efficient technologies, buildings and processes at the company’s production sites around the globe.

To manage this effort, Airbus launched Blue5, which draws the roadmap for reducing the environmental footprint of its manufacturing activities. 

Airbus’ Blue5 initiative deals with five areas of environmental focus for sustainable manufacturing, each of which has made significant gains in recent years:

 

 

 

Better aircraft

For its aircraft product line, Airbus continues to work on quieter and more fuel efficient jetliners. Its A380 is a benchmark for fuel efficiency and low noise levels, and such new-generation jetliners as the A350 XWB and A320neo are pushing this envelope even further.

Better buildings worldwide

Airbus manufacturing locations around the world employ a mixture of eco-efficient construction and power solutions to reduce energy consumption. This includes geo-thermal systems that use pipes to gather natural heat from the ground and biomass-powered boilers using carbon-efficient fuels for fewer emissions. In Tianjin, the China A320 Family production facility’s energy consumption is enhanced by 2.1 km. of skylights for natural lighting. 

In Toulouse, France, the A350 XWB final assembly facility has been outfitted with 22,000 square-metres of photovoltaic cells, which convert light energy into useable electricity. This allows the building to produce the equivalent of 56 per cent of its energy needs.

Airbus has invested in eco-efficient technologies throughout this Final Assembly Line (FAL). The building reused up to 10,000 m3 of existing materials from the taxiway previously on the site – thus reducing the volume of deliveries required from quarries.

Designed along lean manufacturing principles, the A350 XWB final assembly line utilises natural light entering through large glass panels and skylights to reduce energy consumption and guarantee the best possible working conditions. In total, there are 6,300 square metres of windows to provide this light – an area equivalent to 24 tennis courts.

Supplying the future

Airbus suppliers are expected to comply with the company’s environmental policy and to provide reliable environmental data on the products delivered.

Commercial jetliners are highly-complex products, integrating hundreds of thousands of components. Collaborating with the entire supply chain is vital to ensuring that each aircraft delivered meets the highest applicable environmental standards.

At Airbus, environmental criteria are included when selecting suppliers and environmental requirements are further introduced in contractual agreements. 

The company also strives to develop joint initiatives throughout the industry, particularly to improve the overall environmental performance of the aerospace and defence industry in the most effective, consistent and cost-efficient manner possible.

Airbus is a founding member of the IAEG (International Aerospace Environmental Group) in order to harmonise industry responses to existing and emerging environmental regulations, align aerospace environmental standards and work on a common approach and expectations for the supply chain. 

The company leads or participates in various European and international environmental working groups such as ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), ATAG (Air Transport Action Group), ICCAIA (International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations), and the ASD (AeroSpace and Defence industries association of Europe).