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CAPA-Envest report provides data-driven rating of the airline sustainability performance


CAPA – Centre for Aviation (CAPA), part of the Aviation Week Network (AWN), together with carbon reduction strategists Envest Global, has released the 2nd edition of its annual Airline Sustainability Benchmarking Report.

In October 2021 CAPA and Envest Global published its initial report, being the first step in providing insights into the status of airline decarbonisation and designed to assist decision-making by a broad range of stakeholders.

The report – a snapshot of aviation operations in 2019 – came at a time when the aviation and broader tourism industries were facing the uncertainty of recovery from the human and financial devastation caused by COVID-19.

Many international and, in some instances, regional, borders remained closed – indeed, 12 months on, some international markets remain tightly controlled. Complex health, border and travel restrictions were in place and, in many instances, remain so today.

The 2022 report is a further step in providing a clearer understanding of the status of emissions in the airline industry.

Importantly, it provides an independently evaluated “airline sustainability rating” system, based upon a range of key emissions metrics and utilising a range of publicly available data points. It also highlights the numerous challenges presented in the post COVID-19 recovery and seeks to provide a clear and consistent set of fact-based metrics to assist stakeholders in their industry engagement and decision-making.

Given the lack of standards, even within the airline alliances and airline groups, the new CAPA-Envest report is designed with the clearly stated objective of establishing an independent and objective (non-political) index that can serve as the potential future foundation for industry-wide policy making. As well, it provides corporate travel buyers and the Travel Management Companies (TMCs) servicing these customers with a credible and data-driven framework capable of helping with the design and implementation of sustainable travel policies and the subsequent allocation of budget (i.e. the buying of airline tickets) towards airlines that are performing better overall in the new index.

The Airline Sustainability Rating System provides the first, comprehensive, independent, data-driven evaluation and rating of the sustainability performance of the world’s 100 largest airlines. 

It is designed to be a measure of an airline’s carbon-focused sustainability performance relative to other airlines, based on a weighted blending of a range of sustainability KPIs.

The 100 airlines were assessed in the following five rating categories:

  • Platinum – 8 airlines;
  • Gold – 9 airlines;
  • Silver – 38 airlines;
  • Bronze – 29 airlines;
  • Blue – 19 airlines.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation Information Services Director, Sharon Dai, said: “CAPA and Envest Global remain committed to providing objective, data-driven assessment of the sustainability performance of the world’s airlines, and being the single source of truth for key industry stakeholders. In this second iteration of the report, we analysed the actual sustainability performance of the world’s 100 largest airlines in 2021, representing more than 70% of the global commercial aviation emissions.”

“In another world first, we are proud to introduce the CAPA-Envest Airline Sustainability Rating system, which rates and ranks each airline’s sustainability performance relative to other airlines. The industry’s ambitious and essential goal to achieve net zero emissions will place airline business models under extraordinary pressure. Those that wish to survive and prosper will need reliable data, benchmarking and analysis from trusted sources.”

Envest Global Executive Director, David Wills, said: “Aviation industry stakeholders are increasingly demanding objective, reliable data on sustainability performance targets and outcomes in order to make informed purchasing or investment decisions about airlines.

“Today that data is not consistently or comprehensively reported, and often not reported at all. For example, only 20% of the top 100 airlines globally report their use of sustainable aviation fuel and their purchase of carbon offsets, even though these are two of the most important elements in the industry’s 2050 net-zero strategy.  However, there are a number of airlines that are leading the industry with respect to data availability and transparency. It is perhaps not coincidental that the best performing airlines from a sustainability perspective are also mostly the airlines with the highest levels of transparency and disclosure of performance data.”  


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