dnata, a leading global air, and travel services provider, continues its efforts to meet its pledge of reducing its carbon footprint and waste to landfill by 20% by 2024 as part of its two-year green operations strategy. The company’s recent key initiatives include continued significant investment in infrastructure, green ground support solutions, and process improvement.
In June 2022, dnata announced that it would invest US$100 million in green operations in two years to further enhance its global environmental efficiency globally.
Steve Allen, CEO of dnata Group, said: “We are proud to have made significant progress on improving our environmental performance since the announcement of our strategic objectives. I thank each member of our team for their hard work and contribution to our green initiatives that help us make a difference across our global operations.
“We will continue our investments and efforts alongside our partners to further reduce our environmental footprint.”
Investing in renewable energy
As part of its efforts to further improve global resource efficiency, dnata has continued to make significant investments in renewable energy. This includes the installation of rooftop solar power systems across its existing facilities.
dnata has installed solar panels at its operating facilities in Singapore and at its SnapFresh facility in Australia. These generate over 4,300 MWh of renewable electricity annually, saving approximately 1.85 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. Phase 1 of a solar PV panel installation in Pakistan also commenced, which is expected to generate 244,000 kWh per annum. Furthermore, all electricity purchased in the UK and Ireland is from renewables from local grids.
In addition to solar power, dnata is investing in systems to collect and re-use condensate from air conditioning units and rainwater at both its existing and new facilities. These initiatives optimize water usage and associated costs.
dnata’s new 20,000m2 cargo facility in Iraq, which will begin operations in 2024, will include environmentally sustainable features, including a rooftop rainwater harvesting system. This will capture, treat and store rainwater in underground tanks, feeding irrigation systems within the facility as well as for potable uses, achieving a 50% saving on water costs by 2025. The system has also been configured in the Philippines using the same technology to collect and recycle rainwater for drinking and washing purposes. This technology will also shortly be implemented at dnata’s Singapore facilities.
With the UAE’s dry climate, dnata has installed a Reverse Osmosis Plant to reuse condensate water from the cooling systems in its cargo warehouses in Dubai. This has resulted in 5,000 litres of water per day being reused for washing and cleaning.
dnata also launched a bottle-free drinking water system at its Corporate Headquarters, dnata Travel Centre, and Alpha catering facilities, which will reduce plastic consumption and conserve over 95,000 litres of bottled water per year.
Transforming GSE fleet and using biofuels
dnata continues to invest in the electrification of its ground handling fleet and the use of biofuels, where feasible, to reduce emissions. More than 15% of the company’s global fleet is now electrified. dnata is continuing to support its global airport partners to prepare the infrastructure for further electrification.
dnata understands that electrification is not the only solution to its ground handling fleet strategy. It carefully considers airports’ climatic conditions and available infrastructure and invests in a mix of equipment types, including biodiesel, electric, hydrogen, and hybrid, to maximize environmental and operational efficiency globally.
As part of the crucial role that it plays during busy winter operations in Switzerland, dnata added five new hybrid de-icing trucks to its ground support equipment (GSE) fleet in 2022. This increased the number of electric GSE in its operations in the country to 35%. In The Netherlands, dnata switched to 100% biofuel for all its legacy GSE fleet in January 2023, marking another milestone in its sustainable journey in Amsterdam, where 55% of its fleet is electric.
Reducing waste to landfill
In order to reduce its carbon footprint in ways other than emissions, dnata is determined to reduce waste to landfill and is collaborating with industry leaders and policymakers on the treatment of international catering waste. In close coordination with the airport community to enhance the segregation and retrieval of recyclables airside, dnata is targeting a 20% diversion of waste from landfill by 2024. In addition, dnata is investing in sustainable solutions for cargo waste materials, such as transport belts and nets that are currently destined for landfill.
dnata Catering’s retail division is also working closely with its airline partners, introducing the pre-ordering of passenger inflight meals. This cuts significant food wastage and, therefore, the need for airlines to burn larger quantities of fuel to transport heavier aircraft, reducing emissions.
IATA’s IEnvA Programme
In December 2022, dnata signed up for the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) program, based on globally recognized environmental and sustainability standards, as well as industry best practices. It is a commitment to continually improve environmental sustainability within the aviation field and is focused specifically on dnata’s core operations. These include cargo handling facilities, catering, freight forwarders, and ramp handlers. dnata is working towards full certification prior to the end of 2023.
United Nations Global Impact
dnata also joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a voluntary global initiative that promotes responsible business practices, and the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals. dnata has committed to implement the Ten Principles of the UNGC in the areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. dnata will benefit from access to the UNGC’s extensive tools and resources to engage with its employees across the globe and improve their learning and training in Sustainability.
dnata is a leading global air and travel services provider. Established in 1959, the company offers quality and safe ground handling, cargo, travel, catering and retail services in 38 countries across six continents. In the financial year 2022-23, dnata’s customer-oriented teams handled over 710,000 aircraft turns, moved over 2.7 million tonnes of cargo, uplifted 111.4 million meals, and recorded a total transaction value (TTV) of travel services of US$ 1.9 billion.