TIACA survey highlights growing importance of sustainability in air cargo

By Damian Brett

Sustainability is growing in importance for the air cargo industry, according to a survey from supply chain group TIACA.

The survey found that 63% of respondents believe that sustainability was more important to the industry in 2020 than it was in 2019, despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the various air cargo players, shippers ranked highest, with 87% of them saying that sustainability had increased in importance over the last 12 months.

Respondents were also asked how the outbreak had affected their sustainability programme, with 44% saying it had no impact, 37% saying it had a positive impact and 19% saying its effect was a negative one.

Other findings from the research were: 91% of respondents confirm their sustainability agenda is supported directly by their chief executive; 81% indicate there are concrete actions defined making sustainability a real strategic priority for their company and 69% reported that sustainability considerations play an increasingly important role in procurement activity.

It also found that sustainability drivers differ from one region to another, reflecting different priorities from social communities across the globe.

Glyn Hughes, TIACA director general, said: “Sustainability is one of the key priority areas for TIACA as the air cargo industry must reflect the global society it serves. We must collectively seek to focus on People, Planet and Prosperity.

“To flourish in the years to come, we must create equal opportunities for all, embrace technology and innovation and ensure we implement environmentally responsible solutions designed to protect the planet today and for generations to come.”

The research is part of TIACA’s sustainability programme, launched in November 2019 along with consultancy Change Horizon.

The results will form a “ground zero” assessment by which future progress can be measured and also feed TIACA’s overall sustainability strategy.

Steven Polmans, chair of TIACA’s board of directors, said: “This first annual report will be critical to highlight the areas which the industry, and TIACA, will need to focus on going forward.

“It helps identifying what TIACA can do to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the air cargo industry by uniting stakeholders towards shared commitments and consistent targets through raised awareness.

“We also aim to help enhance collaborative relationships through knowledge platforms, neutral validation programs, partnerships, sharing best practices and supporting innovation. The TIACA sustainability Awards encapsulates exactly what we aim to achieve in this area.”

In total, 127 people took part in the survey from airlines, airports, ground handlers, forwarders, shippers, solution providers, consultants, associations and media.

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