Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) has become one of only a handful of global airlines to retain its IATA Environmental Assessment Programme (IEnvA), the comprehensive airline environmental management programme, Stage 2 status.

South African Airways (SAA) has become one of only a handful of global airlines to retain its IATA Environmental Assessment Programme (IEnvA), the comprehensive airline environmental management programme, Stage 2 status.

SAA attained Stage 2 status for the first time in January 2015 and remains at the forefront of environmental sustainability in aviation.

IEnvA is a stringent environmental assessment programme based on recognised international environmental management systems and is specifically tailored to airlines and aviation. IEnvA often exceeds international environmental management standards and requires continuous improvement and innovation in environmental sustainability of airlines.

“SAA’s Stage 2 assessment was conducted in December 2016 showing that responsible environmental management has the potential to deliver commercially beyond the clear social and environmental benefit through projects such as the tobacco biofuels venture, the introduction of fuel-efficient navigation approaches, and the on-going drive to embed a culture of environmental sustainability. 

“SAA plans to continue demonstrating its commitment to its mandate in addition to the airline’s environmental programme,” says Ian Cruickshank, Specialist SAA Group Environmental Affairs.

IEnvA is a robust programme that effectively cuts through the complexities of the aviation sector. It should be inspiring to staff, seen as a positive step for the industry, and attractive to travellers. The initiative will ultimately be good for business and is a step toward ensuring the future proofing of aviation.

IEnvA was developed in conjunction with other airlines, with SAA part of the process from the beginning, to address industry needs and specific concerns. IEnvA assesses environmental performance against sustainability standards across a broad range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) the management of air quality and emissions, noise, fuel consumption and operational efficiency, recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, and biofuel utilisation.

As a result, IEnvA helps airlines to simplify regulatory compliance, demonstrate good governance, and achieve financial savings from the better use of resources. IEnvA implementation follows a phased approach due to the complexity and global presence of airlines as well as the number of role players and touch points.

There are two implementation phases:

Stage 1:

Ensures that an airline has developed the foundation and framework for its environmental management system and certifies an airline has identified and complied with its environmental legal requirements.

Stage 2:

The IEnvA Stage 2 assessment, the highest level of IEnvA achievement, ensures that an airline has implemented all the IEnvA Programme Standards, identified and mitigated its significant environmental impacts, and has set performance targets. It also certifies that an airline has developed processes for monitoring and reviewing its performance against its targets and objectives, thus driving environmental efficiency.

In 2016 the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) was mandated by Government to regulate environmental compliance for aviation and with SAA retaining its IEnvA Stage 2 status, we are well placed to comply with all current and future requirements.