The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change defines this phenomenon as a change in the climate that alters the global atmosphere, generating significant adverse effects on the composition, resilience or productivity of natural ecosystems. Stabilizing and controlling the release of greenhouse gases is our primary objective to combat climate change. Aware as we are of the impacts generated by our industry (responsible for 2% of the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to human activity), we developed a climate change strategy that allows us to address initiatives in two areas: impact and profitability, with actions directly related to the impacts of our operations, which are approached from the point of view of risk management, and monitored and mitigated through our management system; plus involvement and recognition, focusing on awareness-raising initiatives, the training of our employees and the dissemination of actions and good environmental practices.
The LATAM Airlines Group’s Environmental Management System aligned to ISO 14001 standards for land operations and the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) developed jointly with IATA by and for the airlines, especially for managing their air operations, establishing efficiency programs with respect to significant environmental aspects such as operating controls, process optimization and the management of associated risks and operating emissions.
During 2016 we had the following milestones:
- We were acknowledged as Climate Strategy leaders in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index;
- We maintained the certification under the international ISO14.001 standard in our Miami facilities, in addition to making implementation progress in those countries where the company runs major operations. We also want to emphasize that we were the first airline to participate and support the design, implementation and certification of the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) system. Consequently, in our international operations in Chile we are now certified at the highest level of the system (Stage 2).
- The Smart Fuel program allowed fuel savings of more than 41 million gallons. This means ceasing to emit more than 440 thousand tons of CO2, as well as noise reduction and local air quality improvement.
- CORSIA: Our industry achieved a milestone in 2016, since the member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ratified the industry’s commitment to limit the growth of CO2 emissions in international flights beginning on 2020, thus becoming the first industry worldwide to reach an agreement to regulate CO2 emissions.
In addition to in-flight fuel efficiency, we have on-land fuel efficiency initiatives in place. Added to that, ever since 2012 in Peru and 2014 in Colombia, we offset our land operating emissions through local reforestation programs. The strategic challenge of the LATAM Airlines Group is to become a worldwide leader in combating climate change, while contributing greater efficiency and competitiveness to the company.
LATAM is firmly committed to promoting the development of alternative and sustainable energy sources. Since this is very important to the air transport industry, our company is aligned with such efforts and will continue to work toward developing the future incorporation of sustainable alternative fuels. In turn, we call upon our region not to remain behind in assuming these challenges.