Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship

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Atlas Air Worldwide is committed to reducing our impact in the regions and communities where our business takes us by improving operational efficiencies that produce fuel savings. We implement best practices and protocols that empower our teams to promote recycling, waste reduction and natural resource preservation.

Aircraft Emissions

Operational efficiency, safety and innovation have allowed Atlas to operate one of the world’s largest air cargo fleets, serving customers across the globe. We operate in a global marketplace that has an increased focus on climate change. We are continuously striving to lower our aircraft emissions and improve our fuel efficiency as part of our commitment to address climate change and promote a cleaner environment.

We abide by the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which was developed by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2016 to govern the global airline industry.

We support the significant announcement made by IATA and A4A to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in aviation by 2050, which aligns with the Paris Agreement goal to keep global warming under 1.5 °C.

Our Carbon Emissions Reduction Goal

Our contribution to this industry objective is Atlas’ goal to reduce our absolute Scope 1 emissions by 20% by 2035.

To support the industry goal and meet our target, we are focused on three key areas:

  • Continuing to drive operational efficiency, especially for our aircraft
  • Upgrading our fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft
  • Expanding our use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) when possible

Driving Operating Efficiencies

We strive to drive carbon reduction efforts through ongoing improvement in our operations and the efficiency of our aircraft. We regularly analyze the emissions and fuel efficiency of our aircraft through industry-leading software and tracking metrics, and we leverage this data during our decision-making processes to verify equipment is functioning within specified parameters. Our analyzing technology includes our FuelWise and SkyBreathe fuel efficiency software.

Advancing the SAF Agenda

We are actively involved in advancing SAF adoption in the aviation industry to increase access and moderate costs. Significant changes in government policy, infrastructure, funding and multi-sector cooperation will be necessary for SAF to have a significant impact on the air cargo industry’s fuel sourcing. In Kentucky, where we have an operations center near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (the seventh-largest cargo airport in North America), Atlas joined with key partners, airlines and airports to form the Kentucky Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition. The coalition’s goal is to encourage the state to lead SAF production and use efforts by leveraging the state’s reputation as an aviation powerhouse and leader in innovation.

Electrification of Our Ground Operations Vehicles
Polar Electric Cars

As part of our strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, Atlas has begun to invest in hybrid and electric fleet vehicles. Currently, 10% of our vehicle fleet is comprised of hybrid and electric vehicles, with plans for this percentage to increase to approximately 50% by 2030. Our transition to hybrid and electric vehicles is being led by our Polar division, which has been progressively rolling out hybrid and electric cars and vans to replace gas-powered vehicles. Today, 40% of Polar’s vehicles are powered by alternative fuel sources, with this number expected to grow in the coming years.

Aircraft Noise

Minimizing the impact of aircraft noise has been a long-standing priority for Atlas. Through our investments in new equipment and technology, as well as our ongoing operational improvements, we are advancing a quieter fleet of aircraft.

We subscribe to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Balanced Approach for addressing aircraft noise. The Balanced Approach was codified by ICAO in 2001, and its aircraft noise standards have been updated several times since, most recently in 2018. Through these standards, ICAO identifies four strategies for addressing aircraft noise:

  • Noise reduction at source
  • Land use management and planning
  • Operational procedures
  • Operating restrictions

Reducing Resource Consumption

Our promise to protect the environment is reflected in how we manage our aircraft, our facilities and our resources. We strive to minimize our environmental footprint by reducing our natural resource consumption and responsibly managing the lifecycle of the materials we use. We work to promote clean air and water, waste diversion and recycling, and energy efficiency.

Local Actions Make a Difference

Our local approach to resource conservation has resulted in the development of avariety of programs and strategies at our sites. Steps we are taking to reduce our resource consumption include:

  • Incorporating recycling and waste separation programs at our facilities.
  • Using energy use reduction systems, such as LED lighting and high-efficiency HVAC systems, in all new facilities, including at our operations center in Northern Kentucky where we also offer electric vehicle charging stations for visitors and staff.
  • Continuing to invest in sustainable options for shoring and dunnage supplies, including lumber that is recyclable at the end of its service life. We also try to extend the life of shoring material used to support special cargo during transport.
  • Utilizing electronic flight plans and electronic logbooks to reduce paper use and consumption.
  • Exploring WELL Building Standard and Green Building Initiative (GBI) certification to verify the environmental, health and wellness performance of our buildings.