As a driver of economic development and social progress, Aircalin has been contributing to the growth of New Caledonia’s tourism industry for many years. The company also strives to preserve nature and richness of New Caledonia’s biodiversity, by reconciling the air transportation of people and goods vital to our island, whilst managing its environmental impact.
Reduce our environmental footprint
The company’s sustainable development approach focuses on reducing its environmental footprint through four commitments:
Commitment n°1: Reduce our CO2 emissions
Renewal of the Airbus fleet through the acquisition of the A330neo and A320neo
Thanks to the complete renewal of our fleet with two Airbus A330neo long-haul and two Airbus A320neo medium-haul aircraft between mid-2019 and 2023, Aircalin is operating with new-generation aircraft that delivers the best performance in the industry. With these aircraft, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions are reduced by 15-20% per seat.
Optimised operational measures
Operational measures are continually being implemented to further reduce fuel consumption and indeed, carbon emissions, such as maintenance procedures, eco-piloting/green operations (flight plans, fuel optimization software), and onboard weight reduction (use of
ultralight trolleys, digital press, baggage containers).
Target 2030: Reduce our carbon footprint per seat by 25% compared to 2019
This ambition is based on the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which reduces greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, by up to 80% (over the life cycle) compared to conventional aviation fuel (Jet A1 kerosene). Aircalin is in contact with several suppliers to ensure that this “sustainable” fuel is available on the Asia-Pacific network it served, so that we can start using it as early as 2023.
Target: 15% SAF on board our aircraft by 2030
* What is Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)?
SAF is an aviation fuel that meets the criteria and sustainability considerations. It is essentially made from non-fossil resources such as organic waste (used cooking oil, wood residues). These resources must not compete with food sources (agricultural land uses) or forestry sources (carbon sinks).
Commitment n°2: contribute to environmental compensation
As a French flag carrier, Aircalin has participated since 2020 in the CORSIA program since 2020, a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Civil Aviation initiated by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and relayed by IATA (International Air Transport Association).
This program, whose first phase will be effective in 2024, is a market-based scheme (carbon credits) intended to financially offset the global increase in carbon emissions distributed amongst each carrier.
There are currently 115 voluntary States covered by this scheme, including France (New Caledonia and French Polynesia as well), Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and Vanuatu.
The company produces a yearly report detailing the carbon emissions from its global network, which is then reviewed and validated by an IATA-accredited organization. The amount of carbon compensation for each operator is subsequently determined by sending this report to the authority in charge of monitoring - the DGAC (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile; ie the French Civil Aviation).
Our ambitions for the futur: Participation in an environmental contribution program in New Caledonia
The NGO Green Cross France et Territoires will create a multi-stakeholder association with an environmental contribution scheme, supporting concrete ecological compensation projects in the land and sea territory of New Caledonia.
As soon as it is established (scheduled for the first half of 2023), Aircalin will join this association, making it possible to financially support operational compensation projects in New Caledonia in three distinct fields: agriculture and forestry, mangroves, and coral reefs, as well as assistance for environmentally friendly innovations. These projects will be subject to third-party validation (certification, labelling, and others).
Commitment n°3: sustainable consumption
Promoting the use of recyclable and recycled supplies onboard
Since 2018, Aircalin has been committed to reducing plastic and single-use packaging to promote the use of recyclable and/or recycled and/or bio-based items onboard.
Below are concrete examples:
- Plastic cup have been replaced by a compostable plant-based cornstarch cup.
- Hot beverage cup are made from cardboard.
- The cutlery and its packaging in Economy and Premium Economy are now 100% compostable.
- Condiment packs are 100% compostable.
- Blanket packaging is made from biodegradable material, on flights departing Noumea.
- Duty-free bags are now paper bags (excluding liquid-based packaging governed by regulations).
- Snack baskets are made from paper, with handles made from plant material.
- Recently introduced lunch boxes are made from partially recyclable paper.
- Premium Economy amenity kits are made from fabric. They contain a cornstarch-based toothbrush and no plastic packaging.
- Economy amenity kits are made from recyclable paper.
- Plastic packaging of Premium Economy and Economy kits has been discontinued.
This process has already led to a reduction of 25 tonnes of polluting waste per year (in normal operation).
Several actions are being taken by the company to limit our energy and supplies consumption:
Starting in 2022, a campaign was launched to switch to low-energy (LED) lighting at the Head office and the HAGP (maintenance hangar). This action will continue until the end of 2023 and will enable us to reduce our electricity consumption by 30% to 40%.
A communication was sent to all employees concerning good practices (turning off lights and computers, controlling air conditioning, printing paper, etc.), to limit energy and supplies waste.
Aircalin uses the “Circuit Pro” device set up by the CCI (Chamber of Commerce). This business-dedicated platform enables them to exchange, sell, lend, or donate products or equipment (e.g. used furniture).
Recycling our waste
The company is also committed to recycling and selective waste sorting. Some concrete actions:
- Aircalin recycles its used uniforms in partnership with TRECODEC (a local eco-organization in charge of waste management). A second life or transformation was given to close to 300 items in 2020.
- The company has established a collection system with designated bins for waste paper (which accounts for almost half of the volume at the head office) and used batteries.
- When replacing our IT hardware, Aircalin donates used but functional equipment (CPUs, screens, keyboards, and mouse) to several associations, for the benefit of other users.
Our ambitions for the future
The process is still in progress and our sales and logistics teams are working to replace the targeted products with an alternative that has a lower environmental footprint; while respecting the regulatory constraints in force, particularly in terms of food hygiene (packaging) and security (protection) of commercial aviation.
Aircalin will launch a feasibility study with its catering subcontractors and airport authorities to implement selected sorting procedures for onboard waste (aluminium, plastic, and glass).
Commitment n°4: contribute to the preservation and protection of biodiversity
Aircalin supports both local and international initiatives:
Combating illegal wildlife trade
- In 2018, the company endorsed the Buckingham Palace Declaration opposing the transportation of protected species. This global agreement, known as the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, targets the illegal transportation of endangered wildlife
species (animals or plants) around the world. Aircalin expresses, through this signature, its commitment to take an active part in the safeguarding and preservation of New Caledonia’s exceptional biodiversity.
- In order to take concrete action in this area, Aircalin participates in the initiative launched in 2022 by WWF France (with the involvement of the WWF office in New Caledonia) on this theme. Awareness-raising, information sessions, and risk management actions are planned in the course of 2023.
Partnerships with environmental stakeholders
- A partnership between 2016 and 2018 with the “Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle” of Paris, for the organization of major naturalist missions in New Caledonia as part of the “La planète revisitée” program. This support has been renewed for the next 2023 - 2024 campaign.
- A partnership with the “Conservatoire d’espaces naturels” for the 2019 dugong census campaign.
- A partnership with Alexis Rosenfeld in 2020, photojournalist, to produce the documentary titled “Mer de Corail, la forêt primaire de l’océan”, for the Coral Sea Natural Park.
- A partnership with the “Dayu Biik” association to participate in the World Congress of Biodiversity in Marseille from 11 to 19 June 2020. This organization oversees the protection of mountain Kaori trees on Mount “Panie”, an endemic endangered species.