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SAA one of only two global airlines to achieve IATA green status

South African Airways (SAA) this week became one of only two global airlines to achieve Stage 2 status of the IATA Environmental Assessment Program (IEnvA). IEnvA is a comprehensive airline environmental management process that measures a range of operational aspects.

According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager, Australasia, the IATA program introduced sustainability standards for airlines to cover all areas of operation to help them achieve world’s best practice.

“These key standards include air quality and emissions, aircraft noise, fuel consumption and efficient operations, recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, biofuels and many more. SAA was one of a number of airlines to participate in Stage 1of the program that commenced in June 2013, “Tim said.

“IEnvA is a strict assessment program based on recognized international environmental management systems such as ISO 14001. It was developed jointly by leading airlines and environmental consultants and SAA has been part of this process from its commencement,” Tim said.

“We’ve been involved from the very beginning of this important program and SAA currently chairs the IEnvA Oversight Working Group in recognition of our contribution,” he said.

“SAA conducted its Stage 2 assessment in record time, finalizing it six months prior to the two year deadline. “Participation in the program and this achievement affirms SAA’s commitment to a dual mandate as a leading African and global airline,” Tim Clyde-Smith said.

Moreover, the IEnvA standards will act as a guideline for 240 other airlines around the world so I’m delighted SAA has played a pioneering role in this significant project,” Tim said.

SAA’s participation in the program is not the only area where environmental impact plays an important role in the airline’s operations.

“Last year we launched the first African biofuels project, the transformation of tobacco oil to jet fuel, with sector role players. Responsible environmental management will help deliver commercially beyond social and environmental benefits. Projects like this could provide several future commercial programs ranging from input cost benefits through to the value of technology.”

“As well as our fuel-efficient navigation approach, SAA has an internal drive to create a culture of sustainability to enable us to reduce emissions wherever we operate,” Tim concluded.