… / FAQs



What percentage of each aircraft’s components can be recycled?

As much as 85 per cent of each aircraft’s components can be safely and effectively reused, recovered or recycled. Airbus and TARMAC AEROSAVE have proven a successful way of dismantling and recycling the entire product range of Airbus’ aircraft in an environmentally and financially viable approach.

Category: Environment
What do you call a “Perfect Flight”?

A “Perfect Flight” can be achieved through the combination of all best practices currently available, such as operating the most eco-efficient aircraft, using sustainable alternative fuels and implementing a truly streamlined Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.

For example, in October 2011 Airbus and Air-France completed a commercial flight putting into practice multiple elements from the Airbus Aviation roadmap: alternative fuels, optimised ATM. The flight from Toulouse to Paris, which used an Airbus A321, emitted half the CO2 of a regular flight.

On June 2012, Airbus and Air Canada performed North America's first "Perfect Flight" over international borders, which reached its goal of cutting CO2 emissions by more than 40 per cent compared to a regular flight. The commercial flight of an Airbus A319 aircraft from Toronto, Canada to Mexico City combined the use of a modern, state-of-the-art aircraft, powered by sustainable alternative fuels, guided by streamlined air traffic management procedures and facilitated through best practice operations to under-pin the industry's four-pillar strategy to tackle carbon emissions.

Category: Environment
What is “Flightpath 2050”?

The European Aviation Vision 2050 emphasized the need for a sustainable approach to research and innovation, with the aim to develop an integrated transport system responding to society’s needs in Europe. 

Airbus is committed to “Flightpath 2050” and sets the following technology targets to allow by 2050:
• 75%* CO2 emissions reduction/passenger/km.
• 90% NOx emissions reduction
• 65% Noise reduction

These are relative to the capabilities of typical new aircraft in 2000.

*75%= 65% related to the product + 10% related to the infrastructures.

Category: Environment
What are the prospects for sustainable aviation fuel?

Airbus conducts sustainability studies on all its value chains and their potential to produce sustainable alternative fuels (which do not compete with food, land or water), while acting as a catalyst to connect local farmers, refiners and airlines.

Category: Environment
Is alternative fuel different from standard jet fuel?

Alternative jet fuel has identical chemical properties to standard jet fuel and is termed drop-in jet fuel. Alternative certified fuels work on today’s aircraft without any engine modification. The lifecycle of standard and sustainable aviation fuel are different. As a consequence, the CO2 footprint is expected to be over 50% lower for alternative fuels.

Category: Environment
What is Airbus’ alternative fuels strategy?

To act as a catalyst to develop sustainable alternative fuel solutions. To help with the approval process of alternative fuels and to demonstrate that alternative fuels work on current and future aircraft. To speed up the commercialisation and use of alternative fuels in aviation via the establishment of value chains (sustainable regional solutions suiting local habitat, economy and fauna and not in competition with food or water) around the world.

Category: Environment
How does Airbus support air traffic management?

Airbus, through its Airbus ProSky subsidiary, is dedicated to the development and support of modern air traffic management (ATM) systems, to achieve the highest operational efficiencies with more direct routings – resulting in around eight per cent less aircraft fuel consumption, and significant reductions in CO2 and noise emissions. 

Category: Environment
What are the benefits from a modern ATM?

ICAO – has assessed that 8% aviation fuel is wasted worldwide due to inefficient air traffic management.

Benefits from a modern ATM include:
- 3 billion gallons of fuel saved/year
- 29 million metric tons of CO2  emissions saved/year
- 4 million hours of delays saved/year
- $135 billion of net benefits /year after 2026
- Decreased maintenance costs/increased economic benefits

Fuel consumption is about 25-40 per cent lower during the last 45 km. of a flight. Noise footprints of Continuous Approach Operations (CDO) are substantially smaller than the footprints of conventional approach procedures.

Category: Environment
Is aviation the biggest contributor to CO2 emissions?

It is widely accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that aviation accounts for around 2 per cent of CO2 emissions, which may rise to 3 per cent by 2050.  

In comparison, road transport contributes 18 per cent of all CO2 emissions, with industry accounting for 23 per cent and power generation at 35 per cent.

Category: Environment
Where does Airbus stand on the environment?

Airbus wants the aviation industry to focus on becoming ‘eco-efficient’.

Category: Environment
What does “eco-efficient” mean?

For Airbus, eco-efficient means creating value with less environmental impact.<s><o:p></o:p></s>

Airbus continually seeks and implements ways to produce more aircraft while using fewer resources and producing less waste. The company consistently monitors and minimises the environmental impact of its production processes and aircraft throughout their lifecycle – from design and production phases, through the full operational lifetimes, to eventual dismantling and recycling after retirement from service.

Category: Environment
What is a life-cycle approach?

A life-cycle approach is the analysis of a product’s environmental impacts at each step - from raw material procurement through manufacturing, operation and end-of-life - in order to control and reduce these impacts in the most efficient and appropriate way.

Category: Environment
How will Airbus’ environmental targets be achieved?

Innovation and technology are key elements to Airbus’ efforts, as well as cross-sector and cross-industry collaboration. Airbus also believes it will achieve its environmental targets by implementing a life-cycle approach and eco-efficiency methodology to all operations - environmental considerations are central to Airbus processes and products. 

Category: Environment
What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system. It can be used by any organization that wants to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste and drive down costs. Using ISO 14001 can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

Airbus was the first in the aerospace industry to receive the ISO 14001 environmental certification, covering all of the company’s production sites as well as its jetliner products and services.

Category: Environment
What is EMS?

EMS means Environmental Management System. 

The implementation of an EMS is an effective way of ensuring the compliance of a site or organization with applicable regulatory provisions or other environmental requirements to which the company is committed. 

Airbus has chosen to innovate by building an EMS that integrates both its manufacturing processes and its product-related activities through a streamlined dynamic life cycle oriented approach. This new approach, called SPOEMS (Site and Product Oriented Environmental Management System.

Category: Environment
How much does Airbus invest to improve its environmental performance?

Airbus invests 2 billion euros each year into research and development improving the efficiency of its products.

Category: Environment
What is it a Sharklet?

Sharklets are large devices made from composites and are 2.4 metres tall. Attached to the A320’s wing-tip during the assembly process, they reduce fuel burn and emissions by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft. Sharklets are an option on new-build aircraft, and are standard on the A320neo Family. The annual greenhouse gas emission reduction per aircraft equipped with Sharklets will be approximately 1,000 tonnes of CO2 – that’s equivalent to taking 200 cars off the roads.

Category: Environment
What are fuel cells?

A fuel cell is a device that transforms the energy of hydrogen into electricity (by combining the hydrogen with oxygen in a “cold” combustion). The only waste produced is water, heat and oxygen-depleted air, with no emissions or noise.  In addition, the water produced can be used by the aircraft’s water and waste systems, which lessens the amount of water that must be carried on board. This reduces weight, which in turn further reduces fuel burn and emissions.

Category: Environment
What are the prospects for fuel cells?

It is unlikely that fuel cell technology will be used as a primary power source in the near future. Instead, Airbus is looking at using fuel cells for the cabin and aircraft systems, with applications that include powering the air conditioning and starting the engine.  

In June 2011, Airbus extended the scope of its fuel cell research and technology activities by partnering with Parker Aerospace. Within this partnership, Airbus is responsible for the overall aircraft system architecture and technology integration, with Parker supplying the multifunctional fuel cell system and managing different subsystem suppliers.  

The objective of this cooperation is development of a technology demonstrator followed by a joint flight test campaign planned for the middle of the decade, including operational and infrastructural tests. With Parker Aerospace involved in the project from this earliest phase, industrialisation can be considered throughout the process’ development, rather than at the end.

Category: Environment
No-engine taxiing – e-Taxi

In July 2011, Airbus performed research tests with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) on autonomous taxiing using fuel cell technology. A DLR-designed technology demonstrator was installed in the DLR-owned A320 fuel cell test aircraft at Airbus’ site in Hamburg. The technology demonstrator consists of a fuel cell powering an electric motor, which drives the nose landing gear wheels – allowing the aircraft to taxi autonomously.

Category: Environment
What are the prospects for sustainable aviation fuel?

For second-generation sustainable aviation fuel (which do not compete with food, land or water), Airbus conducts sustainability studies while acting as a catalyst, and develops value chain projects all over the world – connecting local farmers, refiners and airlines. 

Learn more on the “Alternative Fuels” page.

Category: Environment
What does biomimicry mean?

Biomimicry is the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems. This is known as biologically-inspired engineering. A growing number of aeronautical innovations are inspired by an array of natural structures, organs and materials – and these tried and tested patterns of the natural world will continue to be a powerful source of inspiration in the future. When nature has solutions like this to offer, it’s clear why we all have an interest in protecting the world around us.

Category: Environment
How to be sure that each subcomponent meets the environmental standards?

Environmental criteria are included when selecting suppliers and environmental requirements are further introduced in contractual agreements. Airbus suppliers are also expected to comply with the company’s environmental policy and provide reliable environmental data on the products delivered.

Category: Environment
What are the targets of the Blue5 Project?

The purpose of Blue5 is to draw the roadmap for reducing the environmental footprint of Airbus operations by 2020. Blue5 applies the environmental aspects of the Vision 2020:


  • 33.4 per cent reduction in energy consumption (heat and power)
  • 65.7 per cent reduction in industrial water discharge
  • 49.0 per cent reduction in water consumption
  • 47.2 per cent reduction in waste production (non-recycled)
  • 40.3 per cent reduction in CO₂ emissions (Scope 1 from fix sources and Scope 2)
  • 50.7 per cent reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions



Category: Environment
What are VOCs?

VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds bring a wide variety of substances together that may be of biogenic (natural) or anthropogenic origin (manmade). They are always composed of the carbon element and other elements such as hydrogen, halogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Their volatility gives them the ability to spread more or less far from their place of issue, resulting in direct and indirect impacts on animals and nature.

Category: Environment