Airbus’ priority commitment for conserving and creating energy is being expanded with ambitious targets of its blue5 environmental initiative – which is part of a company-wide effort at its parent, EADS.
This activity provides a gradual reduction of energy consumption in production, buildings and in the IT sector – with an objective to lower energy use in the short term, while minimising the company’s environmental footprint in support of EADS’ Vision 2020 goals over a longer duration.
A number of Airbus facilities already are doing their part: at the company’s Filton, UK location, hundreds of employees have embraced an inter-building challenge to identify ways to save energy; while team members at Broughton have been learning how to conserve fuel by driving more economically through a simulator provided by the Energy Saving Trust.
One of Airbus' most significant environmental projects is development of the Broughton North Factory in the UK, which will produce wings for the next-generation A350 XWB Family. The factory includes a range of technologies to improve performance and lower carbon emissions – including ground source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and improved insulation throughout the structure. It also has photovoltaic panels and solar water heating, and will act as a baseline for future building constructions and retrofits.
Another innovation by Airbus is a new biomass boiler at the company’s headquarters in Toulouse, France, which will go into service during the beginning of 2013. It is expected to reduce the site's overall carbon emissions by approximately 12,000 tonnes per year.
The boiler also will provide energy by burning woodchips sourced from forests within 80 km. of the Airbus site. Once in operation, the biomass boiler will be the only one of its kind in use at a European Airbus site.