The airline is one of three finalists in the Global Tourism Business category which recognises corporate success in conjunction with sustainable tourism principles and practices.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline has a pivotal role to play in maintaining New Zealand’s clean, green image overseas.
“It is our aim to become the world’s most environmentally sustainable airline and we have worked hard in recent years to implement a wide range of initiatives across the business to achieve this. It’s pleasing to see this commitment recognised at these globally renowned awards.
“We are seeing results too. Between 2006 and 2011, Air New Zealand achieved a 15% fuel efficiency improvement which is the equivalent of more than 140,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually and we are constantly looking at ways to further enhance this efficiency,” says Luxon.
Other initiatives include a commercial partnership with the Department of Conservation to support biodiversity projects on the Great Walks network, the Air New Zealand Environment Trust which provides financial support to green projects around the country as well as a 3,000 strong internal Green Team which promotes environmental sustainability both at work and at home.
Award applications were received from 46 countries, across all seven continents. Entries were selected by an international panel of judges chaired by Costas Christ, an internationally recognised expert on sustainable tourism.
Entries were assessed against a range of criteria including delivering social and economic benefits to local people and undertaking environmentally friendly operations. All finalists now undergo an on-site evaluation by an international sustainable tourism expert.
David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said: “Tourism for Tomorrow is built on the triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit. The awards finalists reflect financially successful businesses, which balance growing demand with shrinking natural resources, and reflect the contributions of employees and destination communities.”
The Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners will be announced on 9 April, 2013 at WTTC’s annual Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.