Environmental Trends

Implementing Green Energy and Corporate Sustainability


In response to global trends, China Airlines educates all staff on the benefits of green energy, environmental management, and efficient use of gas. We continue to work toward fulfilling our goal of carbon-neutral growth. As our carbon reduction goals show, we are working to become an international benchmark for the aviation industry to follow.

Comprehensive Environmental Governance Puts Us at the Forefront of Industrial Sustainability

With the aim of becoming a benchmark for the global aviation industry, since 2012 China Airlines has used systematic risk control as a basis for building environmental management mechanisms. We progressively integrated requirements for ISO 14001 environmental management systems and ISO 50001 energy management systems, becoming the second airline in the world to achieve both certifications. After years of implementing ISO 14064-1 greenhouse gas management systems, we gradually integrated environmental and energy management mechanisms into all of our operations, achieving our goals of full and effective coverage. In the future we will continue to improve these systems.

In 2018, we became the first and only international airline in Taiwan to commit to supporting the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Since then we have actively sought to identify and quantify climate risks and opportunities, in order to improve our adaptability towards climate-related operational challenges and our competitiveness in the areas of carbon reduction and sustainability.

Besides strengthening our internal environmental and sustainable management capabilities, we hope to use our influence to raise sustainable value along the entire industrial supply chain. In 2018, we initiated value chain environmental management operations. In 2019, we went a step further by launching environmental risk and opportunity surveys. Gradually, we are building our corporate environmental and energy risk management capacity.

Becoming an International Benchmark for Carbon-Neutral Growth

To meet international calls for the voluntary reduction of greenhouse gases and to respond to Taiwan’s national policy of emissions reductions, China Airlines established voluntary aviation emissions reduction goals. At the same time, we support and implement IATA’s three sequential goals for air transport: (1) a 1.5% average annual improvement in fuel efficiency through 2020, using 2005 as the base year; (2) carbon-neutral growth from 2020; and (3) reduce total carbon emissions to 50% of 2005 levels by 2050. In addition, in 2015 we stated the goal of reducing 2020 carbon emissions from ground operations by 38% compared to 2009 levels. In 2018, we added the long-term goal of reducing 2050 carbon emissions from ground operations to 50% of 2009 levels. Reaching these targets would fulfill national greenhouse gas reduction strategic objectives for the aviation industry.

In order to provide higher quality service and achieve better fuel efficiency, China Airlines has already started to add a new generation of higher efficiency, more environmentally friendly aircraft to our fleet, including the Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A350-900. By increasing seating capacity and reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by 20% or more, these aircraft not only make service more efficient but also protect the environment. In particular, the A350 uses a Rolls-Royce engine that reduces fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 25%. The cabin noise is just 57 decibels, and the external noise is 20% lower than conventional passenger aircraft. Known as a “green” passenger jet, the A350-900 provides customers with a more comfortable ride. In 2019, we confirmed the purchase of the Airbus A321neo new generation of narrow-body jetliners and long-range Boeing 777F cargo aircraft. Benefits of the new aircraft go beyond lower fuel costs and reduced noise during takeoff and landing. They are integral to the overhaul of our fleet, from long-range to regional aircraft. Their improved efficiency is a crucial part of our aim to achieve carbon-neutral growth by 2020.

After considering international benchmark practices, China Airlines led the Taiwan services industry by establishing an environmental department and a corporate environmental committee, which are instrumental for leading efforts to save energy and reduce carbon. We set annual goals and craft plans to improve energy efficiency and protect the environment. In 2019, we already implemented 72 environmental management objectives and programs that sought to reduce total carbon emissions by 132,828 tons. In 2020, we will continue to implement 67 environmental management objectives and programs.

In response to government green energy policy, after installing elevator systems that recycle energy at CAL Park in 2017, we added solar panels with a capacity of 99 kW to our Flight Training Center (Simulator Building). These investments show how we contribute to supporting renewable energy. Through December 31, 2019, the panels generated 90,000 kWh of electricity, which is equivalent to a reduction of 48 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. For our contributions, in 2019 we won a silver Energy-saving Leadership Award from the Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs as well as a Taipei Energy Conservation Leadership Award.

China Airlines recognizes the obligation that companies have towards conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. We therefore invite passengers and employees to join our efforts in achieving net zero emissions through the Eco Travel Carbon Offsetting program.

Going Green: An Organizational Culture of Environmental Protection

China Airlines uses a variety of channels to provide environmental education to all employees. We regularly send environmental news and notices to employees’ email inboxes. Foreign and local employees undergo training that aims to develop a corporate consensus and culture built around environmental protection. At the same time, we adhere to a policy of environmental and energy conservation education to make employees aware of the importance of self-action. The ultimate goal is to for all employees to contribute.

China Airlines also integrates environmental protection into ground and air service procedures while engaging in cross-industrial cooperation to promote “eco-services.” Through digitalization, mobilization, and cultural innovations, we show customers that we treasure the earth. In 2018, we released a video titled Fly to ECO Fly to ECO, which raised our brand value by sharing our environmental performance with stakeholders and inviting travelers to join us in protecting the environment. At the 2019 Taipei Golden Eagle Micro-movie Festival the video bagged four honors: Best Environmental Stewardship, Outstanding Cinematographic Creativity, Outstanding Social Inclusion, and Outstanding Operations and Governance. It was our second time winning at the festival.

International Praise Rolls In for Our Stewardship of the Earth

China Airlines continues to follow global aviation sustainability trends. In response to the June 2018 passage of international standards and recommended practices for ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), we proposed monitoring standards to support the CAA’s operational planning. Our proactive attitude prepares us for carbon emissions market mechanisms.

For years, China Airlines has been a diligent advocate of corporate sustainable development and governance. After being named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index for the first time in 2016, we retained our position on the index and in 2019 became the only Taiwanese transport company to be included for four consecutive years. This showed how international investors affirm our hard work and diligence. Due to our longstanding attention to climate change, we seek to manage carbon emissions. Besides introducing measures to reduce carbon emitted by aviation and ground operations, over six years of participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) we optimized our management and engagement procedures. These advances, which support better climate change risk management, continue to receive praise. In 2016 and 2018, we received a score of “A- /Leadership” based on our answers to the CDP climate change questionnaire. In 2019, for our supplier engagement ranking we received a rating of “A-/ Leadership,” making us a leader in the global air transport industry.

China Airlines also supports international environmental protection activities. For years we have joined the Pacific Greenhouse Gas Measurement Project, which is led by National Central University and joined by the EPA and the European Union as part of the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System program. The Taiwan and European Union governments, National Central University, and the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan all praise the system’s outstanding results. Data has already contributed to research by the World Meteorological Organization and become an important decision-making reference point for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The project is a major undertaking and serves as a model for the government’s climate-related diplomacy.

Pre-emptive Action Raises Aviation Security Network Knowledge

With illegal interference in the civil aviation industry on the rise, to strengthen security management and awareness among domestic aviation enterprises and airport companies, China Airlines, the CAA, the China Aviation Development Foundation and the Flight Safety Foundation-Taiwan held the Aviation Network Security International Conference at the CAA’s international conference hall on May 15, 2019. Members of the aviation industry (airlines, airport companies, and aviation supervisory agencies) increased their knowledge of mechanisms to prevent attacks on aviation networks while improving their risk analysis and emergency responses. Also joining the conference to discuss current aviation network security issues and future risk analysis topics were network security professionals from the Singapore airport company and the director general of Taiwan’s Network Traffic Packets Analysis Association. Informal and formal discussions with the CAA’s Air Traffic Services Division, Flight Standards Division, and the airport company further improved Taiwan’s aviation safety.

Adopting International Mechanisms for Traveler Behavior Detection

Research into past terrorist attacks, such as 9/11, shows that before launching an attack, the perpetrators often reveal their intent through verbal or physical acts, their mood, their clothing, or documentary evidence. Identifying these cues to prevent unlawful acts of interference is one of the greatest challenges that aviation security officials face. As industrial and academic experts research new ways to improve aviation security, among the most important methods they examine is traveler behavior detection.

China Airlines joined the CAA, the China Aviation Development Foundation, and the Flight Safety Foundation – Taiwan in jointly holding the Aviation Security: Behavior Detection Seminar on September 25, 2020. Experts from around the world discussed practical experiences and cases that can raise awareness among aviation operators and bring our practices in line with international standards.