Virgin Atlantic works towards a greener future

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350-1000
Image from Virgin Atlantic
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
23 August 2021

Virgin Atlantic is taking steps to become greener. The airline has become the first within the aviation industry to partner with carbon removal company Storegga to work towards its net-zero targets. 

Virgin Atlantic will make use of Storegga’s proposed large scale UK Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility. The facility will offer Virgin Atlantic an effective way to address its carbon footprint and reduce its impact on the environment.

DAC provides a way to permanently eliminate CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. It also provides a reliable way to remove CO2 emissions from the past, making it a tool to support not only net-zero targets but also ambitions to achieve net negative emissions and full climate restoration.

Rendering of what CE's large-scale DAC plants will look like

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic said: “Innovation and sustainability leadership is firmly in our DNA and we’re excited to be the first in the aviation industry to partner with Storegga to progress the development of Direct Air Capture solutions in the UK. Reducing Virgin Atlantic’s carbon footprint is our number one climate action priority and the removal of CO2 directly from the atmosphere has the potential to become a powerful tool in reaching our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We hope that early adoption of this technology and development of a facility here in the UK will demonstrate the commercial potential of DAC and inspire other businesses to be involved. Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to the facility complements the range of innovative partnerships we have developed to further our sustainability goals including working with technology providers for Sustainable Aviation Fuels and zero-carbon flight.”

Storegga, together with its technical partner Carbon Engineering, is designing a DAC facility in North East Scotland. For businesses that cannot capture or reduce all of their carbon emissions at source, Storegga will be supplying an equivalent DAC physical removal of CO2 emissions by capturing and permanently storing CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

Rendering of what CE's large-scale DAC plants will look like

Nick Cooper, CEO Storegga said: “We are really pleased to welcome Virgin Atlantic as an early DAC customer. It is excellent that Virgin have chosen to embrace DAC as an offsetting solution and to support our facility in North-East Scotland; Europe’s first at-scale deployment of DAC.

The need for high quality, permanent, engineered offsetting is clear. To reach our net zero goals and prevent significant temperature rises, we need to utilise all the tools available to us. Technical offsetting with DAC is urgently needed at scale to sit alongside nature-based offsetting. Last week’s IPCC report is an alarm call to all of us. The quicker we wake up to this, the better our chances of reaching net-zero.”  

Visit Virgin Atlantic and Storegga to find out more.