TIACA’s third Sustainability4Cargo webinar, and at the same time, its second digital ACF session, featured the results of the first TIACA sustainability survey, as well as pitches of the six finalists short-listed for the second TIACA Sustainability Awards: Skypooling, VRR, and Pelican BioThermal in the Corporate category, and BeOn, Drone Delivery Canada, and Nepal Flying Labs in the Start-Up category.
Celine Hourgade opened the Sustainability4Cargo webinar on 02DEC20, with a run through the main results of the first TIACA Sustainability Survey which had just closed the day before. 127
companies had taken part from all sectors of the air cargo industry and this was a very good result. However, she pointed out that though the Americas, Asia, and Middle East & Africa were all
represented, the majority of the feedback had mainly come from Europe, this time around, so there was room for improvement next year. The survey is to become an annual measure. The reason for the
first survey was to raise awareness, start the conversation on sustainability, and to get an idea of the current industry level.
Sustainability – yes, we can!
The key question was “Does Sustainability matter within the air cargo industry?” and the answer was a resounding YES! With 90% of responders confirming support from the CEOs of their companies. Three in four respondents confirmed that they had sustainability strategy was in place, and that the topic was “part of the DNA” of their company.
Despite the difficult times currently, 63% even stated that sustainability had taken on an even greater importance in 2020, compared to 2019.
The three greatest fields of awareness and action were Carbon Emissions, Waste, and Energy.
Celine pointed out that the issue of Single Use Plastics had been omitted from the survey and would be included in future, in particular because the pandemic and related cargo traffic have again led to a large increase in Single Use Plastics this year, which is of course counterproductive to sustainability.
Greater resilience and Quality are required
The survey also gauged company readiness in other sustainability areas apart from “green topics”. Areas such as Safety, Training & Education, Security, Employee Experience, Diversity Inclusion, Community & Inclusion, and Human Trafficking. Also Digital Transformation, Operational Improvements, and Reliability & Quality of Service. All Areas showed good awareness and developments, nevertheless, the upcoming Covid-19 vaccines transportation challenge would not only put Quality to the test, it would also require one sustainability theme that had so far not been covered in the survey: Resilience. The summary from the survey was that “A sustainable air cargo industry is digital, relying on lean and efficient processes, with a continuous improvement approach leading to excellence.”
More action than talk these days
The positive conclusion is that the industry has come a long way in the past five years. Whereas previously Speed, Cost, and Quality were the key drivers in business decisions, and Sustainability was talked about, but not really tackled, it has since become embedded in the procurement process of many companies and plays a major part in decisions. “Sustainability is coming for real.” Celine Hourgade was delighted to announce.
A sentiment that was echoed by the Corporate Category Sustainability Finalists. Christine Klemmer, Skypooling, underlined the importance not of having a sustainability strategy per se, but having a company strategy that is sustainable, since sustainability permeates all parts of the company.
Ben Lakerfield, VRR, stated that the VRR approach was to focus on innovation as a way to tackle sustainability, and stressed the need for a culture that allows mistakes to be made, questions to be asked, the status quo to be challenged, and that employees are encouraged to think differently about existing processes. Kai Goellner, Pelican BioThermals, advised using efficiency as a design metric, and sustainability will automatically fall into place.
Who will win the 2020 Sustainability Awards?
A brief outline of the finalists was reported in CFG on 08NOV20: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2020/11/08/the-line-up-for-tiaca-s-sustainability-awards/ . The TIACA webinar from 02DEC20 can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYjvGvOPJJk&feature=emb_err_woyt
Who will win the prize money of €10,000 will be revealed during the final Digital Air Cargo Forum webinar on 10DEC20 at 14:00 CET, which has the title Uniting Air Cargo.
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