Virgin Australia commits to net zero by 2050

Virgin Australia plane in flight
Virgin Australia
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
11 November 2021

Virgin Australia has announced its commitment to a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

“We've all got an obligation to do the very best job we can at protecting the environment and protecting our futures," Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said. “I really don't think we have a choice but to commit to Net Zero emissions by 2050. We’re passionate about this, we absolutely intend to be successful at it.”

The 2050 commitment and pathway will complement Virgin Australia’s existing sustainability measures, including having been the first airline in Australia to test sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the supply chain. 

Previously, Virgin Australia announced the addition of more fuel efficient MAX 10 aircraft to its fleet, which will commence in 2023. It’s also already made substantial progress in reducing on-board waste and already holds Australia-based environmental partnerships to underpin its carbon offsets.

Virgin Australia's recyclable cups and cutlery onboard
Virgin Australia

There are, of course, challenges to an airline reaching net zero but Virgin Australia is approaching them in both a practical and an innovative way.

Jayne added: “While SAF is an essential piece of the puzzle, there’s a lot more to it than that. We have to look at every single lever in the mix of emissions and offsets to try to get as close to Net Zero emissions well before 2050, wherever that's possible.

“Every single day we have single-use plastics that are used in parts of our operation – we need to get rid of that entirely. Making sure we’re using recyclable items, making sure all of our ground activity is done with zero emissions, and we’re using sustainable fuels throughout our processes – wherever that’s possible.

“Working with all of our partners to ensure [this] end-to-end. We’re thinking through supply chain opportunities, [and] offsetting our carbon emissions where that’s practical and feasible to do.”

Visit Virgin Australia to learn more about its net zero plans.