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  • Joe Breitfeller

British Airways Launches New ‘BA Better World’ Sustainability Program

British Airways has launched their new ‘BA Better World’ sustainability program, while unveiling an Airbus A320neo with special livery. The airline will also collaborate with bp to source sustainable aviation fuel for select routes during the UK COP26 conference.


British Airways Airbus A320neo in Special 'BA Better World' Sustainability Program Livery - Courtesy British Airways

On Tuesday (September 7, 2021), British Airways announced the launch of their new ‘BA Better World’ sustainability program. The carrier also announced a new collaboration with bp to source sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for all flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK COP26 conference, which will take place later this year. As part of the program launch, British Airways also partnered with Airbus to paint one of their modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A320neos with a special livery to highlight the sustainability initiative. The aircraft was revealed this morning at the airline’s Heathrow engineering base and prominently features the BA Better World tagline ‘most important journey yet.’ Additionally, British Airways’ customers can now purchase SAF to reduce their carbon footprint via its not-for-profit organization Leapfrog, complementing the existing option for offsetting emissions.


Speaking at today’s event, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle, said,


“With BA Better World we’re on our most important journey yet - to a better, more sustainable future and one which will ensure the long-term success of our business. We’re clear that we have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet and have a detailed plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, including investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, improving our operational efficiency and investing in the development of sustainable aviation fuel and zero emissions aircraft.


“It is only through working in partnership with Government and industry that we’ll be able to reach our targets and I’m delighted that, thanks to our new collaboration with bp, we’re able to source enough sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all our flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during COP26, substantially reducing the emissions associated with taking our customers to and from COP26 by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. This commitment for COP26 is in addition to the mandatory carbon trading we already operate in the UK and our own further voluntary carbon offsetting of our UK domestic flights.”


Also commenting on the SAF collaboration, bp Aviation Division’s CEO, Martin Thomsen, said,


“We're thrilled to collaborate with British Airways by supplying sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all of its flights from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh for the COP26 event. Our companies have a long-standing relationship and will continue to work together on sustainable aviation fuel supply initiatives on an on-going basis. At bp we want to help decarbonize the aviation industry and we will continue to collaborate with industry stakeholders and governments to explore viable options to help scale up sustainable aviation fuel more broadly.”


Airbus’ EVP Corporate Affairs and Communications, and a member of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council, Julie Kitcher, added,


“We’re delighted to be partnering with BA on this journey and feel proud BA has chosen one of our A320neos to highlight the importance of sustainability for the future of the industry. The aircraft has 20% less fuel burn & CO2 emissions compared to A320ceo and 50% less noise so it's a great choice and I am looking forward to seeing the new livery in the sky. BA is committed to a sustainable future and contributing positively to climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will achieve the ambition of a net zero carbon emissions industry by 2050 through cooperation and collaboration and this initiative is a clear example of that.”


British Airways Reveals 'BA Better World' Airbus A320neo Livery - Courtesy British Airways


British Airways is an aviation leader in the industry’s efforts to decarbonize. In 1992, BA became the first airline to report its carbon footprint, and in 2002 became the first airline to participate in UK emissions trading. In 2019, British Airways’ parent company IAG became the first airline group in the world to commit to zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Additionally, last year British Airways became the first major airline to voluntarily offset domestic flight emissions.


At the launch of the BA Better World sustainability program this morning, the airline also showcased some of their other sustainability initiatives, both on the ground and in the air. These include switching form diesel to renewable energy powered electric pushback vehicles, removing weight from aircraft by introducing lighter seats and trollies, eliminating hard copy inflight magazines and manuals, and removing sing