The airline was named the winner in the Global Tourism Business category at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The Global Summit is a highlight on the international tourism calendar and was attended this year by former US President and founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton, who was the summit’s keynote speaker.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the award recognises the airline’s commitment to maintaining and protecting the country’s clean, green image.
“We take our responsibility to promote sustainability very seriously and continue to shrink our carbon footprint as we work towards our goal of becoming the world’s most environmentally sustainable airline. In fact we’ve reduced our carbon emissions by 15% (142,000 tonnes) over a five year period,” says Mr Luxon.
“Alongside this we’ve invested in enhancing some of New Zealand’s most iconic natural assets through our partnership with the Department of Conservation to support biodiversity projects on the Great Walks network. We have also invested in Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute to support important scientific research being conducted on the ice.”
The airline also provides financial support to environmental projects around the country through the Air New Zealand Environment Trust and boasts a 3,000 strong internal Green Team which promotes environmental sustainability both at work and in the home.
Applications for the prestigious global awards were received from 46 countries, across all seven continents. Air New Zealand was up against Abercrombie and Kent in the United States and India’s ITC Hotels as finalists in the Global Tourism Business category.
Finalists were assessed by a group of 20 international judges and sustainable tourism experts on a range of criteria before undergoing an on-site evaluation to ensure each were delivering on their environmental commitments.