Tokyo, April 22, 2008: Japan Airlines (JAL) has decorated a 777-200 aircraft with a ‘green’ design to help in raising people’s awareness of the issue of climate change and global warming, and clearly re-state the company’s unwavering commitment to reducing the impact its business activities have on the global environment.
Called the JAL Eco Jet, the aircraft will carry on its fuselage a 2-meter high by 7-meter wide green origami paper plane motif accompanied by the words ‘Sky Eco’ in both Japanese and English. The conventional JAL livery of the aircraft will be modified by changing the color of the ‘arc of the sun’ design on its tailfin from red to green. JAL plans to operate the aircraft from June 2008 on Japan routes serving Haneda airport, Tokyo, its main domestic hub.
While JAL plays a vital role in bringing people together from around the world for business, pleasure, cultural exchange and so on, it is fully aware of the impact its business operations have on the environment. IATA has estimated that the airline industry generates 3% of the total man-made contribution to climate change, with the possibility of this increasing to 5% by 2050. In terms of CO2 - one of the key culprits behind global warming - aviation is responsible for approximately 2% of global emissions.
With this in mind, JAL has been implementing for more than 15 years a variety of measures designed to reduce and offset the impact its business activities have on the environment - from the introduction of more fuel efficient aircraft to the fitting of specially developed air-sampling equipment on its aircraft to help scientists better understand the causes and effects of global warming.
Since 2002, the airline has been closely following an action plan called Sky Eco , which sets specific environmental goals for the company to achieve by 2010. JAL aims to reduce its environmental footprint by cutting fuel consumption and, consequently CO2 emissions per available ton kilometers (ATK) of its fleet by 20 per cent in the 20 years to 2010. It has already achieved a 15 per cent reduction since 1990.
Examples of JAL Environmental Activities
Fleet renewal: The introduction of more fuel efficient aircraft fitted with state-of-the-art engines combined with the retirement of older type aircraft has been essential to JAL achieving CO2 emission cuts. Almost 30% of the aircraft in its fleet have been delivered in the past five years as it has retired 90 older models. Substantial investment in new more fuel efficient aircraft continues as JAL still has outstanding orders for over 80 new aircraft, including the super-advanced Boeing 787 fitted with GE’s next generation turbofan, the GEnx.
Weight reduction: JAL has estimated that by trimming 1 kg (2.2 lb) from the weight of each aircraft will reduce CO2 emissions across its fleet by 76 tons a year. The airline has been looking at its operations from every angle to find ways of reducing weight from aircraft, even if it is just by 1gm. By using lighter materials, JAL has reduced by 26 kg the average weight of cargo containers; introduced to first and business classes porcelain which is 20 per cent lighter; and shaved off 2gm of weight from each spoon used on board aircraft.
Flight operations: It is making more use of flight simulators, to reduce actual flight training hours; adopted more stringent procedures for loading cargo to ensure the aircraft’s centre of gravity is at the optimum position to reduce wind drag; and is operating more of its freighters in bare metal, saving the weight of paint. By regularly cleaning the jet engines of large and medium-size aircraft with hot water, JAL has been managing to improve engine performance by around 1 percent resulting in to date an estimated 53,000 tons reduction in its fleets CO2 emissions.
Team Minus 6%: On the ground, JAL is supporting the Japanese government’s energy-saving Team Minus 6% initiative, reducing levels of office heating in winter and cooling in summer, cutting CO2 emissions by more than 10% over the past 5 years. Also in support of the campaign, in previous years JAL has shown onboard domestic flights a “Team Minus 6%” public information video appealing to the general public to consider how they use energy in their everyday lives, and to economically utilize and conserve energy in whatever ways are possible.
Recycling/ Green Procurement: JAL recycles everything it can - from aluminium cans and paper through to old uniforms and polythene sheets - and adopts a green procurement policy whenever possible, for instance only now buying wooden chopsticks made from sustainable timber.
Boreal Forest Fire Control Initiative: As forests mitigate global warming by absorbing CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels, JAL has been supporting the Boreal Forest Fire Control Initiative and other similar projects. With the aim of preventing or containing wild fires through early detection, information gathering and analysis, JAL’s pilots flying over Siberia, Alaska and Indonesia have been reporting any fire outbreaks they spot, with more than 500 blazes reported in the past five years.
Global Warming Observation Project: Since 1993, JAL has also been participating in a global warming observation project to monitor greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere using specially fitted air sample collection and measuring equipment. The programme now involves five JAL aircraft measuring the composition of the upper atmosphere on international routes. The data collected using JAL aircraft is helping scientists better understand the causes and effects of global warming.
For more information on JAL’s environmental programs: www.jal.com/en/environment/