Air travel is something that’s come under great scrutiny in recent years, thanks to its considerable emissions of greenhouse gas. Aviation is inherently problematic not just because of the volume of emissions, but because of the way that those emissions are dispersed into the atmosphere. Compared to other forms of transport, like trains and cars, it’s environmentally disastrous – or, so say the critics.

How Is The Sector Becoming More Sustainable?

The aviation sector is aware of these problems. As part of a growing suite of Environmental, Social and Governance concerns, it is steadily seeking to implement policies which drive it toward Net Zero. This goal is being pursued not just by commercial airliners, but by private jet companies, too.

But exactly which changes will make this happen? There are several worth considering.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels

The kind of fuel being used will have to change. The advent of so-called ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ is being widely heralded as a game-changer. According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), these are fuels that are produced in a way that’s renewable and usually derived from waste products from other industries, like agriculture.

The International Air Transport Association estimates that these fuels will push the industry most of the way (65%) toward Net Zero by 2050. Therefore, it is imperative that they are developed and adopted over the coming decades.

New Technology

Of course, technological change isn’t always revolutionary. Over the years, small tweaks to the design of aircraft have resulted in big changes to their fuel efficiency. Airliners have a built-in incentive to make more efficient aircraft, of course; aircraft which can travel further on a given quantity of fuel are inherently more profitable.

In the years to come, we’ll see continual investment in new designs and innovations. These might affect not only the aircraft themselves, but the air-traffic systems which coordinate them. Airport congestion is a major driver of emissions – and thus, the right planning can help to make the entire industry greener.

Supply Chain Reform

The supply chains which provide the industry with its fuel might also benefit from optimisation. The right sustainable practices might be enormously helpful. For example, airliners might seek out suppliers that share their environmental concerns, and which provide more sustainable sources of fuel, in a more sustainable way. This is an area where it pays to shop around for effective partners.