Firm claims to have achieved the milestone through a combination of carbon offsets, renewable energy certificates, and absolute emissions reductions
Canadian aviation training giant CAE claims to have achieved 'carbon neutrality' across its business, combining an ongoing drive to slash its emissions with purchases of renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets, it announced yesterday.
The Montreal-based firm, which employs more than 10,000 people in 35 countries worldwide, said it had reached the milestone after a year of planning and research.
"This is a bold achievement and we hope that CAE's commitment in the fight against climate change will inspire other companies to take tangible actions today," the firm's chief executive Marc Parent said. "We wanted to honour our pre-pandemic commitment and up our contribution now - a testament to CAE's environmental leadership and engagement towards future generations."
The company said it plans to reduce its reliance on CO2 offsets over the coming years as it develops and commercialises greener technologies and solutions, in particular energy-efficient flight simulators, in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
The decarbonisation of the aviation sector, which accounts for between two and five per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions, remains a huge challenge, with long-term forecasts indicating that air traffic is set to grow over the decades to come. The sector has also attracted inreasing flak over its commitment to reducing emissions from climate campaigners, with the global industry's existing sector-wide climate plan allowing for a growth in flight travel over the coming decades.
But CAE argued its simulators already prevent "hundreds of thousands" of tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere annually, by allowing pilots to train on the ground. At the same time, it said it was collaborating with the wider industry on the development of electric aircraft, in in a bid to further reduce the sector's emissions.
The carbon neutrality achievement, touted as a first for the Canadian aerospace sector by CAE, received plaudits from provincial and federal politicians in Canada yesterday.
Navdeep Bains, federal minister of innovation, science and industry said that the commitment was "inspiring for future generations". "I am pleased to see Canadian companies demonstrating their leadership in the fight against climate change by working towards the green recovery of our aerospace industry," he added.
Montreal is the third largest aerospace cluster in the world, and is the location of the headquarters of UN aviation industry body the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) , as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
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No Prime Minister has ever been quite so explicit in their backing for the clean technologies that will drive this green revolution - this matters enormously