Home » Aviation, Breaking News » More airlines need to release sustainability reports—PwC study

While the number of airlines producing corporate sustainability (CS) reports has grown, there is still much room for improvement, said a new report by a UK-based assurance, tax, and advisory consulting firm

The “Building Trust in the Air” report, launched on November 14, 2011 by PwC, found that of the 46 airlines sampled, including Ryanair, Lufthansa, Qantas, and Cathay Pacific, 30 produced CS reports. It added that 62 of the top 100 airlines worldwide did not release such reports.

Of the 30 airlines, some of the best CS report producers included Air France KLM, Iberia, Delta Air Lines, LAN Airlines, Lufthansa, Southwest Airlines, and UPS, said PwC.

A good report should align a business’s corporate and sustainability strategies, making the case that a more sustainable business is better for its stakeholders, PwC said. It should include environmental, social, economic, and corporate governance data, and with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme taking off, many airlines will be under increasing pressure to disclose such information.

Some of the findings of the report:

  • 70% came clean about their CO2 emissions
  • 33% did not include any measures of fuel efficiency
  • 60% failed to report on waste production and water consumption
  • 10% gave data about lost baggage and around 25% reported on customer complaints
  • 77% are keen to report on community activities
  • No airline disclosed information related to executives’ take-home pay

“More airlines are moving CS to the top of the agenda. Making sure that they are engaging with their stakeholders and reporting on all relevant issues will be key. Our report shows that some companies are already making a good start, but the industry as a whole needs to be more proactive,” said Klaus-Dieter Ruske, PwC’s global Transportation & Logistics leader.

Only a handful of airlines currently integrate their CS data into their overall annual report, and currently most CS reporting is voluntary. Companies that are concerned about the cost of producing such reports should start thinking now about the value-add it will give them in the long run. Those that do take it seriously could get the edge in a very competitive market, the report says.


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