Global air transport IT provider SITA has released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, which reveals that, despite the pandemic, the company remains set to become a certified carbon neutral organization by or before 2022. This achievement is well ahead of common airline industry milestones, such as 2030 and 2050, or those of the Paris Agreement.
SITA’s objective to reduce its contribution to climate change is being realized through the company’s Planet+ program. The program aims to define emissions, measure them working with independent environmental consultants RSK Group, and consistently reduce the environmental impacts of operations and business travel year-on-year while complementing those actions with offsetting initiatives.
Through Planet+, SITA reduced overall emissions by 48% in 2020, equaling some 11,423 CO2 tons. This has been achieved through several initiatives such as switching to renewable or partially renewable energy, opting for green energy providers, optimizing office floor footprint, reducing electricity consumption with more energy-efficient devices, and reducing business travel for internal meetings through the use of collaborative online tools.
In 2020, SITA also offset 100% of its emissions for the first time. SITA’s carbon offset program is managed through Natural Capital Partners, a leading global provider of sustainable environmental offset emission programs. The 2020 offset program was not applied purely to business travel emissions as in previous years but was extended to include all operational emissions reported and audited in Scope 1 (direct and controlled emissions), Scope 2 (electricity) and Scope 3 (upstream and downstream emissions, including those generated by SITA employees working from home).
Dr. Edna Ayme-Yahil, VP Head of Communications, Brand & Sustainability, said: “As part of our overall commitment to reduce carbon emissions across the air transport industry, we were keen to lead by example by taking real, concrete steps to reduce our impact on the environment. This is paying off and SITA is well on track to meeting our goal of becoming a certified carbon neutral company by or before 2022.”
SITA’s carbon neutrality program
In 2019, SITA announced its commitment to becoming a certified Carbon Neutral Company by 2022, under the CarbonNeutral Protocol. This protocol requires organizations to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by defining emissions related to operations, measuring them, reducing them, and then offsetting the remaining ones that have not been reduced or removed through verified carbon offset projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Supporting the global air transport industry
With around 2,500 customers, SITA’s solutions drive efficiencies at more than 1,000 airports, and facilitate secure and seamless border crossings for over 60 governments, while delivering the benefits of connected aircraft to customers of 18,000 aircraft globally.
As well as managing its own economic, environmental, and social impacts, SITA’s CSR report cites an immediate shift in early 2020 to support its air transport industry customers through the pandemic, ensuring business continuity and maintaining normal service levels.
SITA pivoted to meet urgent industry demands for a healthy, safe, and frictionless passenger experience – to reassure passengers and enable ‘COVID-compliant’ journeys. In addition, the company responded to requirements from airlines, airports, and governments for agility, resilience, efficiencies, and cost containment – modifying and adapting their solutions to areas vital to recovery and survival.
Soon to achieve its ambition to be carbon neutral, SITA continues to also drive the industry to be more sustainable with solutions that aim to reduce carbon emissions.
For example, a partnership with Safety Line to offer the OptiFlight solution – which reduces fuel consumption and limits aircraft CO2 emissions at key flight stages – delivers estimated savings on fuel and carbon emissions of 234kg per climb for a B777, with 214 CO2 tons reduction a year per aircraft tail.
Global frameworks and initiatives
SITA’s commitment to be a responsible and sustainable business is reflected through participation and adherence to several leading global frameworks. Since 2011, SITA has formally reported its economic, environmental, and social performance using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) disclosures framework. As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, SITA communicates its commitments to implementing sustainability practices and principles supporting UN goals through these CSR Reports.
Since 2014, SITA has achieved and maintained ISO14001:2015 (Environmental Management Systems – EMS) certification – a milestone for organizations committed to sustainable operations – in seven of its main office locations.