By Maximilian Clarke

A report into the world’s leading airlines corporate sustainability practices has yielded mixed results, with an increase in airlines reporting CO2 emissions as well as voluntarily committing to social activities being observed alongside poor handling of consumer complaints.

The Building Trust in the Air report, carried out by PwC, sampled 46 airlines including Ryanair, Lufthansa, Qantas and Cathay Pacific. Of those, 30 produced CS reports. A team of experts then rated the quality of the reports using set criteria. The report’s authors hope it will act as a catalyst to encourage the airline industry to become more transparent for stakeholders such as investors and passengers.

“More airlines are moving CS to the top of the agenda,” PwC’s global Transportation & Logistics leader, Klaus-Dieter Ruske. “Making sure that they are engaging with their stakeholders and reporting on all relevant issues will be key. Our report shows that some companies are already making a good start, but the industry as a whole needs to be more proactive.”

Jeroen Kruijd, one of the report’s authors and PwC airline sustainability expert added: “There is an opportunity, and a need, for airlines to work on CS reporting. We expect the industry to begin work on harmonising standards and the challenge for them now is to demonstrate how they are tackling all relevant issues such as diversity, waste and customer satisfaction. If they can do this, it will lead to a more successful business.”

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