It’s been a big week for UK airlines. On Monday, the trade body that represents them, Airlines UK, set out four targets to cut carbon emissions and limit environmental impact.
According to Airlines UK’s report, UK-registered airlines will achieve their goal of carbon reduction through: the continued introduction of new aircraft; greater fuel efficiency; the use of sustainable fuels; and support for international carbon trading and offset schemes.
While some may state these plans don’t go far enough, we’d like to be one of the first to pledge our support to the airlines for taking these important steps. It’s great to see them join together for the greater good and commit to sustainability.
In fact, we think it’s not just the airlines themselves that should commit to operating in a more sustainable manner, but the entire manufacturing and supply chain. What use is cutting carbon emissions at the point of use if the route there is plagued with inefficiency, wastage and pollution?
And the thing is, we as an industry already possess many of the tools we need to introduce large scale positive change. It simply comes down to a change in behaviour.
Take our favourite component manufacturing technique, cold forming, as an example. It’s requires much less energy and produces significantly less waste material than most other component manufacturing methods, including many machining techniques. It’s also faster and less costly. Yet, despite this, machining is still the most popular method used to produce parts.
This can’t go on for much longer, surely. Major industries are reaching a tipping point in terms of sustainability and the environment. Operating sustainably is an objective we should all focus on – whether that’s early stage precision engineering firms like Dawson Shanahan, major aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and everything in between. Hopefully these latest steps by airlines in the UK are just the start.