Sustainable flights - Carrie Harris, British Airways
Updated 17:43, 08-Nov-2021


Experts differ on the exact figure – but the aviation industry alone is thought to be behind between two and five percent of the world's carbon emissions.

The pandemic has proved we can live by taking fewer flights - but as restrictions ease, many of us will be heading back onto a plane for work or on holiday.

So what does that industry need to do to reduce its carbon footprint?

Here, British Airways' Head of Sustainability, Carrie Harris explains to Stephen Cole how BA is leading the way in the rush to provide the world with more sustainable travel options.


Carrie Harris joined British Airways from the airline's parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG) last year, where she had been Group Sustainability Manager for the past five years.

She is a Chartered Environmentalist, Fellow of IEMA (the accreditation body for sustainability professionals), registered environmental auditor and holds two Master's degrees in Environmental Science and Management.

Her work has also seen her win IAG the prestigious CDP A-list for investor rankings and most improved sustainability report for FTSE 100 and IBEX companies.


British Airways has always been at the forefront of the climate debate according to Carrie Harris: "So we have been very active in tackling our impact on climate and how can move the whole of the aviation industry to face up to the reality that we have to de-carbonize urgently" she says.

She adds: "We were the first airline to report our carbon emissions back in 1992. We were the first to take part voluntarily in emissions trading, and we were the first to commit to net zero CO2 emissions as part of our group, IAG. But what we see now is an opportunity to move beyond that, to look at our whole sustainability vision."

And, Harris says, the airline has both immediate and longer-term plans to remain ahead of the game. "In the short term we're already buying aircraft now that are up to 40 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft that they replace. And we're also making sure that where we can all of our operation is already using renewable electricity. Then in the medium to longer term, we're looking more at the technological solutions that can help aviation de-carbonize…sustainable aviation fuel."


Bayer International's Senior Vice-President for Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability, Matthias Berninger, joins Stephen Cole to explain how the company has gone from the world's biggest polluter to outside the top 250 in just over ten years.

Allan Xie An, Deloitte China's Climate and Sustainability Service leader explains how the post of Chief Sustainability Officer is becoming a must-have for companies around the world.

Georgina Grenon, Director of Sustainability for Paris 2024 tells us why the Games in three years' time will be first ever climate positive Olympics.

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