The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is working with a newly-formed project team of business aviation young professionals to develop and introduce an industry-wide sustainability label. The programme seeks to help EBAA member organisations play a greater role in addressing social and environmental issues through awareness raising, best practices sharing and tailored guidance.
The new programme – Standards & Training for Aviation Responsibility and Sustainability (STARS) – is being developed by young industry professionals from across Europe, including PrivateFly marketing manager Charlotte de Beaumont and Air Law Firm associate Maureen Gautier from the UK, who represented business aviation at the One Young World conference in the Hague, Netherlands in 2018. One Young World is an annual conference uniting some of the world’s preeminent young leaders to encourage positive action in business and society. Inspired to make difference by the world leaders, community activists and CEOs in attendance, EBAA’s ambassadors conceptualised STARS to address pressing societal and environmental issues via partnerships and the widespread mobilisation of industry-wide environmentally and socially responsible initiatives.
“One Young World has taught us that organisations can, and should, be involved in addressing current environmental and societal issues to create a more responsible and sustainable world,” says Charlotte de Beaumont. “The primary aim of our STARS programme is to guide the business aviation industry to become more sustainable in its operations and practices, with concrete objectives and practical goals. The positive feedback we had from CEOs and leaders in the industry is an evidence that business aviation is ready to commit to build a better future.”
Maureen Gautier adds: “Our generation is highly educated, more connected than ever and well-informed on social and environmental matters. It is our duty to use these skills not only to make a positive change within our industry to continue attracting younger and more diverse individuals, but also to secure our collective future while protecting our planet. This is what we are aiming to achieve through the creation of our new programme STARS.”
EBAA secretary general Athar Husain Khan says that the business aviation industry has always been dedicated to ensuring the well-being of the communities it operates: “There are many individual environmental and social initiatives undertaken by our members across Europe. STARS aims to consolidate, grow and promote those actions. Because of that, we are excited to enhance our industry’s contribution towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and proud to collaborate with dynamic young professionals who have a vision for making our industry better every day.”
Senior environment manager Bruce Parry also comments: “At EBAA, we are committed to working closely with our member companies to support business aviation’s evolution, while improving adherence to safety, environmental standards and EU and national regulations. An example of this is the pledge our industry made a decade ago to achieve carbon-neutral growth by 2020, for which we are well on track, and to reduce total carbon emissions 50 per cent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels.”
Anticipated to launch in 2020, STARS will comprise a set of guidance and an accreditation that can be achieved in three tiers. The industry-driven project has received the full backing of the EBAA and the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), and the project team is currently engaging with industry, community and policy representatives to shape the programme, which will first be rolled out in Europe before seeking to form the basis for a global industry standard.