Global challenge of climate change requires global partnerships

Boeing leaders talk efficiency and sustainability in the future of aerospace.

December 17, 2020 in Our Environment

In order to build a more sustainable business, employees across the enterprise are called to think about the environmental, social and governance implications inherent to their daily work. (Note: This photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Boeing Photo

One word reverberated throughout the virtual halls of the European Aeronautics Days (#AeroDays2020) conference on aviation research and innovation: partnership.

“Global issues require global cooperation. No one company is going to decarbonize aviation by themselves,” Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond told AeroDays attendees. “Boeing and the industry are united in our commitment to make flying more sustainable.”

Raymond was joined by other leaders across the industry and at Boeing, including Chief Engineer Greg Hyslop and Sir Michael Arthur, senior vice president of The Boeing Company and president of Boeing International.

The European Aeronautics Days have been the leading event in aviation research and innovation in Europe, organized jointly by the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) under the patronage of the European Commission and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The three Boeing executives participated in discussions at #AeroDays2020 focused on innovation, adapting to the pandemic, and how aviation will come back stronger and more sustainable.

“While competition helps inspire innovation, there are key issues where stakeholders throughout the industry need to collaborate to achieve success,” Hyslop said. “We all see climate change as an urgent and complex challenge with no single solution, and we’re working together to decarbonize aviation in a variety of ways.”

The industry’s climate action strategy focuses on advancing future airplane technology, improving network operational efficiency and transitioning to renewable fuels. For its part, Boeing has invested over $60 billion in new technologies to improve efficiency since 2003.

Among other efforts, Boeing has been a leader in making sustainable aviation fuel a reality in little more than a decade. The company has also conducted four hydrogen-powered flight demonstrations and developed electric air vehicle prototypes. Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by testing over 160 smart technologies in the air to make flying cleaner, quieter and more sustainable.

Sustainability, by definition, brings together initiatives advancing environmental stewardship, social progress and inclusion, and ethical, values-driven governance under one coherent strategy. Boeing’s sustainability efforts have existed in all corners of the enterprise for its entire 104-year history and were recently brought together under an integrated Sustainability organization, led by Raymond. Building a more sustainable business is, however, not isolated to the newly formed team.

“Each of us has a role to play in making our company and our global industry more sustainable, to secure the future of air travel and achieve responsible innovation,” Sir Michael Arthur said.