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Reducing emissions

Aircraft fleet strategy

Operating modern and fuel-efficient aircraft has always been central to Emirates’ business model. 

This ongoing, multi-billion dollar investment, is Emirates’ biggest commitment not only to passenger comfort, but also to reducing our environmental impact.

We fly one of the youngest wide-body aircraft fleets with an average age of 9.1 years, considerably lower than the industry average. Our new-generation Airbus A350 and Boeing aircraft will also provide greater fuel efficiency as they join our fleet starting 2024 and 2025 respectively.

Operational fuel efficiency

Under the governance of a cross-functional Operations Efficiency Steering Group, we actively implement ways to reduce unnecessary fuel burn and emissions, while maintaining the highest safety standards.

Emirates has taken a significant step forward with the successful implementation of Green Standard Operating Procedures (Green SOPs) by our pilots, a result of a multi-faceted approach involving education, awareness, data analytics and technology.

Emirates' Green Standard Operating Procedures

Our Green SOPs include measures such as: using reduced engine taxi, idle reverse, prudent judgement on extra fuel, optimised flap landing, inflight speed management to minimise fuel burn, and use of direct routing opportunities. In 2022-23, Green SOPs and other operating initiatives helped to reduce fuel burn by more than 50,000 tonnes and carbon emissions by over 160,000 tonnes.

Emirates has a robust fuel monitoring system and uses advanced data analytics to optimise the uplifting of fuel and potable water, and to load aircraft at the optimal centre of gravity. Our pilots are empowered with the latest technology and tools to monitor and review their flight performance, improving their awareness of how their flying techniques impact fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

We support initiatives that contribute to the deployment of SAF and actively engage with the rapidly developing SAF industry.

In January 2023, we completed a milestone demonstration flight of a Boeing 777-300ER powered with 100% SAF in one engine.

The first such initiative in the MENA region, this contributes to collective industry data and efforts to enable a future of 100% SAF flying.

Emirates' contribution to UAE's decarbonization efforts

Emirates has also contributed to:

  • the development of the UAE power-to-liquid (PtL) fuels roadmap, launched in July 2022 and prepared jointly by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the World Economic Forum. The roadmap outlines the financial, economic and environmental benefits of PtL in decarbonising the country’s aviation industry 
  • the National Sustainable Aviation Fuel Roadmap of the UAE, launched in January 2023 by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and General Civil Aviation Authority, that aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.
Renewable energy

We have invested in solar power systems to generate clean electricity at our major facilities. In Dubai, this includes the Emirates Engine Maintenance Centre, Emirates Flight Catering, the Emirates Sevens Stadium, and our new pilot training centre, which will open in 2024. 

Our current installations generate over 9,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually, saving about 4 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.

Sustainable transportation
We’ve added electric vehicles to our fleet of cars that chauffeur our 4,000-plus flight deck crew to and from work in Dubai, saving an average of 14 tonnes of CO₂ on more than 2,100 trips per month.
Regulatory compliance

We comply with a growing number of regulations and other commitments related to emissions and other environmental concerns.

Emirates' participation in emission trading and carbon offsetting initiatives

  • ETS: Emirates participates in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), Swiss ETS and UK ETS. All flights within the scope of these three schemes are covered by obligations to surrender emissions allowances
  • CORSIA: Emirates has committed to implementing the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). CORSIA, established by ICAO and implemented by ICAO Member States, including the UAE, is designed to stabilise international emissions at 2019 levels over the medium term through the retirement of approved and accredited carbon offsets, while providing additional incentives for the introduction of sustainable and low carbon fuels 
  • Regular emissions audits: our international aircraft emissions, which are the biggest part of our Scope 1 emissions as we have few emissions from domestic flights, are externally verified and audited for CORSIA.
Stakeholder consultation and engagement
Find below how we actively engage with our stakeholders on environmental initiatives.

Emirates' extensive engagement in environmental sustainability

Industry: We participate in the following industry and regulatory environmental working groups: 

  • IATA Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council (SEAC)
  • IATA’s Sustainable Finance Task Force
  • World Economic Forum Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition Steering Committee
  • International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) as a UAE-nominated participant in working groups
  • Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) Environmental Policy Group
  • UAE Private Sector Advisory Council on the Sustainable Development Goals
  • UAE Sustainable Aviation Fuel Committee, set up by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure to prepare a roadmap for SAF in the UAE
  • UAE Aviation Environment Working Group, facilitated and chaired by the UAE GCAA
  • Dubai Airports Environmental Action Group
  • United for Wildlife (UfW) Transport Taskforce, and UfW Middle East and North Africa Chapter Steering Committee
  • UAE Intersectoral Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Roundtable, hosted by ADNOC to foster collaboration across the private industrial sector in the UAE

Suppliers: We engage with suppliers on sustainability, including on carbon emissions reductions. Key suppliers include OEMs (aircraft and engine manufacturers); suppliers of fuel, catering, and on-board service equipment; and waste management contractors.

Customers: We engage with customers on sustainability topics, and respond to a growing number of ESG questionnaires, including those on internationally recognised platforms like EcoVadis and CDP.