Celebrating Earth Day Every Day

At Atlas, caring for each other, our planet and our communities is rooted in our core value of Responsibility. We like to think that every day is Earth Day, as we work to reduce our environmental impact through fuel-efficient innovations and enhancements to our fleet.

The aviation industry has a shared commitment to lowering its environmental footprint.  Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the industry trade associations that represent the U.S. airlines and air cargo industries, respectively, have set a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The entire industry, plus governments, innovators, biofuel producers and more, are working together to achieve this goal.

Fleet efficiency is a particular strength at Atlas. Later this year, we will welcome four new 747-8s, which will improve our overall fleet performance.  The 747-8F provides 20% higher payload capacity and 16% lower fuel consumption than previous 747 models while meeting or exceeding the strictest ICAO emissions standards. In addition, the first of four new 777-200LRFs are expected to join our fleet in November.

Our focus on efficiency doesn’t stop there. Our FuelWise Advisory Board is made up of representatives from across the Company, constantly evaluating flight data to develop best practice protocols that result in fuel savings. Countless details go into planning each flight, and a number of factors can affect fuel burn. Weather, the weight of the load, destinations, and regulatory requirements are all carefully considered by these fuel savings best practices, all of which are designed to reduce fuel use, which reduces emissions.  For air cargo, we are uniquely positioned to move goods efficiently through the use of unit load devices (ULDs). These devices maximize how efficient an air freighter is loaded, as they conform to the inside of the aircraft.  There are also practices in place, from relying on fewer engines during taxi to reporting on payload efficiency with customers, which extend our ability save and conserve.

Our team’s focus on safety and fuel efficiency is vital through every stage of flight planning and ground operations.  Our teams have implemented processes that reduce the amount of shoring—the materials used in cargo transport, in addition to implementing reusable materials.  Our facilities teams have implemented more energy efficient workspaces across our sites, and our materials team is piloting new technologies to repurpose corrugated cardboard into shipping materials and testing reusable tarps to protect products from rain. Recently, Atlas Air and Polar were recognized for performance in the Swire Properties’ Smart Waste Reduction Pilot Program in Hong Kong, receiving Silver recognition for lowest total waste per employee and lowest contamination.

True conservation is a team effort, and our teams are always working to improve processes, communication channels, tools and resources for training and development, among other efforts.   “Caring for the World We Carry” is more than our Company’s mantra – it is a testament to our steadfast commitment to preserving and protecting the planet we all share.