The aviation industry is frequently under the spotlight when it comes to the environment. Yet whilst much of the focus has centred on reducing carbon emissions from air travel, there is also a lot of work going on behind the scenes across the supply chain too.
2016 marked the end of a series of very tough targets for many of the world’s largest aerospace manufacturers, with a set of ambitious goals reached to reduce waste and improve sustainability. Yet as we look ahead to 2017 the industry faces a series of even more challenging targets to hit by 2020.
The next set of emissions targets face a real challenge as the industry seeks a way to reduce carbon output whilst simultaneously matching a soaring demand for increased production. Add to this the fact that many of the gains made over the last 10 years have been won by hitting the proverbial ‘low hanging fruit’ and you start to see the difficulties we face.
However, there is no questioning the desire within the industry to exceed these targets, with many people now talking about a culture of environmental awareness being built into all facets of the aviation sector.
Chief amongst those for aerospace hardware suppliers is the drive to reduce waste and pollution in the manufacturing and supply process.
Although most people think of pollution from the aviation industry as being caused by the fuels burnt from air travel, in actual fact a lot can be done to support the industry’s sustainability targets by focussing attention on what goes on behind the scenes.
These include, primarily, a focus on improving the manufacture process, finding alternatives to problematic chemicals, reducing water usage and finding ways to improve our industrial waste recycling processes.
Chlorinated and brominated solvents are a primary source of focus, as these often pose the most risk, however there is also much attention being given over to greater energy efficiency and building on sustainability targets for new buildings.
Overall the focus is on five key areas: Energy consumption, waste production, water consumption, carbon dioxide and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
A lot can be done simply by addressing everyday behaviours, such as shutting down plant machinery properly at weekends when not in use.
Boeing recently took a lead on waste by insisting that all suppliers use recyclable materials in their packaging, instead of the foam cushioning that has been so prevalent for the last 40 years.
With so much energy being used across the supply chain in furnaces, refrigeration and machinery we fully recognise the key role that the supply chain has to play in helping the industry reach these challenging but critical targets over the next five years.
At JP Aero we are committed to all industry wide targets as part of our involvement in the SC21 programme, for which we currently have Bronze status and and are on target to reach Silver by 2019.
To find out more about JPA and how we play a leading role in the aerospace supply chain with our range of aerospace, industrial, vintage and historic and bespoke fasteners contact us today on +44 (0)208 504 8833 or get in touch via email.
Image (used under Creative Commons License): Super Jet International