Cooperation in Environmental Issues
Debates on CO2 emissions from international aviation are entrusted to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The airline industry emits about 2-3% of greenhouse gases globally, and ICAO has set up an ambitious target of capping net emission with CNG2020*1, and improving fuel efficiency by 2% annually per Revenue Ton Kilometers by 2050 from 2005. Similarly, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has set a target of improving fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually, and halving CO2 emissions by 2050 from 2005. JAL has participated in discussions at ICAO, IATA and other organizations for a long time, and has contributed to address to climate change in the international aviation sector. Currently, At the 41st ICAO General Assembly held at ICAO Headquarters (Montreal, Canada) from September 27 to October 7, 2022, the ICAO adopted a long-term goal of "carbon neutrality by 2050" as a long-term goal for decarbonization in the international aviation sector, and a revision of the framework for reducing CO2. JAL participated in the discussions in cooperation with the Japanese government, which is playing a central role in these discussions, in order to fulfill its role as a Japanese airline.>
In Japan, efforts to reduce CO2 emissions such as the formulation of the green growth strategy have been accelerating since the government declared carbon neutral in 2050, initiatives through government and people partnerships have also been promoted in the domestic aviation sector. JAL participates in study meetings organized by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to discuss ways to reduce CO2 emissions in each area such as flight operations and airports. As a secretary enterprise of the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan, JAL is collaborating with a variety of stakeholders to study CO2 reduction targets for 2030 for aviation industry in Japan, to utilize SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel), and to develop high-quality, inexpensive carbon credits in Japan.
It is estimated that emission of greenhouse gases in food systems including production, distribution and processing is larger than transportation, around 21 to 37 percent of the world*2.The JAL Group proactively participates in reduction of greenhouse gas emission not only during flight operations but also within the supply chain including production of food, cooperating with various stakeholders for food served inflight or in lounges.
*1 Carbon Neutral Growth 2020: A program to achieve growth, while cutting CO2 emissions from aircraft in and after 2020.
*2 IPCC Special Report on Greenhouse gas fluxes (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
Initiatives with Other Associations
International Civil Aviation Organization Initiatives
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been discussing and taking measures to protect the environment and formulate long-term plans, including climate change measures. Japan has been elected to the ICAO Council since 1956. As a government advisor, the JAL Group contributes to the design of various environmental systems. In particular, since 2021, Japan has been involved in discussions regarding the design and revision of the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) system, a growth scheme for international aviation that does not involve an increase in the volume of carbon emissions, involved in the design of the CO2 Credit System and the SAF system, and advised on the formulation of long-term plans for CO2 reduction. Every year, we participate in working groups and task groups that prepare draft proposals. We also attend steering meetings of the annual Environmental Conservation Meeting, the Environmental Conservation Meeting held every three years, and the ICAO General Assembly. As for capacity building of CORSIA, ICAO's support program for developing countries, Japan is also cooperating with the governments of Southeast Asian countries. The JAL Group will continue to actively address climate change in the international aviation sector.
International Air Transport Association Initiatives
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, which support many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. There are 9 Advisory Councils which give advice the Board and work with IATA management on issues referred to them by the Director General. As of June 2022, JAL becomes one of the member airlines of the Sustainability and Environment Advisory Council (SEAC), which had five meetings in 2022. Various topics related to sustainability are discussed during the meetings, not only on Climate Change, but also Waste in the cabin including Single Use Plastics, Biodiversity including Illegal Wildlife Trade, Noise Issue, Sustainable Finance and so on. JAL contributes to IATA giving guidance on above policies concerning the environment and sustainability based on the experience as a legacy carrier and also those knowledge obtained through the cooperation with the Japanese government in engaging with the ICAO.
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines Initiatives
As a member of Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), a trade association made up of 14 Asian airlines, JAL participates in the annual meeting of the president and CEO, 4 board meetings, Environmental Working Group (EWG), a subcommittee meeting twice a year, and other telephone conferences that are held when necessary. In particular, responding to climate change is an issue that must be addressed by the entire industry, and member companies are exchanging opinions on methods to reduce CO2 emissions, such as fuel-efficient aircrafts, SAF, reducing CO2 in daily operations, and technologies, and are working to resolve the issues. In particular, JAL, as a company already committed to achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, is working to ensure a stable supply of SAF.
oneworld alliance Initiatives
In June 2020, the JAL Group set a target of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. In September 2020, all 13 member airlines of the oneworld alliance, of which the JAL Group is a member, announced their support for the goal of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Members of the alliance also share the view that reducing the volume of CO2 emissions is an important issue for airlines, and we are discussing measures to reduce environmental impact. JAL participates in meetings such as the Environment and Sustainability Board meeting (ESB meeting).
Participation in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism study group
JAL, together with public and private sectors, is discussing and working on technical and economic issues and solutions to achieve the 1.5℃ target of the Paris Agreement.
In order to accelerate and promote efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in overall aircraft operations more than ever, JAL actively participates in a comprehensive and combined study on the direction of Japan's efforts in the field of flight operations, with a view to strengthening the international competitiveness of Japanese aviation-related businesses from the perspective of green recovery (environmentally-conscious recovery from crisis).
JAL participates as a member of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)'s "Study Group on CO2 Reduction in the Aircraft Operation Sector" to discuss the direction of Japan's efforts in the aircraft operation sector. We also participate in the MLIT's "Study Group on CO2 Reduction in the Airport Sector," which aims to organize decarbonization measures for Japan's airports through specific studies on the conversion of airports into renewable energy hubs and reduction of CO2 emissions from airport facilities and vehicles, in order to realize a decarbonized society by 2050. In addition, as an airline, we are actively working to reduce CO2 emissions by ensuring a stable supply of SAF, lowering the price of SAF and infrastructure such as fueling facilities at airports, and participating in the creation of international rules regarding the environment, etc.
At the "Study Group on CO2 Reduction in Aircraft Operations" in FY2021, MLIT and Japanese airlines have set a common goal of replacing 10% of fuel consumption by Japanese airlines with SAF by 2030. In introducing SAF, the committee also recommended that it is important to promote the development and production of internationally competitive domestic SAF and to promote cooperation between the supply side, such as the wholesalers, and the user side such as airlines, in order to establish a supply chain in the future.
Furthermore, the "Public-Private Council for the Promotion of SAF" co-sponsored by the MLIT and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, was established as a forum for the public-private sectors to work together from FY2022, with the aim of achieving the early commercialization of SAF and internationally competitive prices.
JAL executive officers attend all meetings as committee members and promote discussions, including making proposals each time on what should be tackled. In addition, in order to realize the development and diffusion of domestically produced SAF, the issues of SAF production and distribution were confirmed in the discussions of the Council in April 2022, and a working group was established, which has been held 5 times in fiscal 2022, and JAL is actively participating in these discussions.
Activities at the Transport Research Institute
JAL is investigating the regulatory aspects of low-carbon aviation fuels that can be used under the CORSIA program. We are also participating as a member of the committee in research activities at the Japan Transport Research Institute, as well as in research and awareness raising on CO2 reduction initiatives in the aviation sector, with the aim of raising awareness in the transportation industry other than the aviation sector, including the maritime sector.
Initiatives with Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan
The Scheduled Airlines Association, an industry organization of Japanese domestic airline companies, is promoting industry-wide efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and introduce SAFs in cooperation with member companies. In November 2021, it declared "2050 Carbon Neutral" as an action goal for all member companies, and actively participates in various policy discussions and councils, such as the "Public-Private Council for the Promotion of SAF", and raise issues and make policy recommendations through the Scheduled Airlines Association.In addition, it is actively working toward the realization of a sustainable society by reducing of plastic and food waste, effectively using resources such as paperless operations, and not only by maintaining and strengthening our airline network, but also by making local contributions through promotional activities for regional and local products and cooperation in nature conservation, and DEI.
CO2 Reduction Initiatives
Participation in Ministry of the Environment Support Program
In 2018, the JAL Group participated in the "Support Project for Scenario Analysis of Climate Risks and Opportunities in accordance with TCFD" supervised by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and predicted the society in 2030 based on two scenarios of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that is, keeping global warming to below 4℃ and below 2℃ by the end of this century. For more information, see Addressing Climate Change (Disclosure Based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures).
Aircraft and technology manufacturers, collaboration with universities
Through ICAO and IATA, we are working with manufacturers to continually upgrade to fuel-efficient aircrafts, reduce the weight of aircraft and loads, improve flight efficiency, and improve fuel efficiency through maintenance work. In order to improve fuel efficiency and reduce the impact on the environment, we hold hearings with aircraft manufacturers about zero-emission new aircraft types, such as hydrogen planes and electric planes, and are working with collaboration to resolve technical issues.
JAL Group employees are also dispatched to universities to participate in research on new technologies such as hydrogen aircrafts.
Participation in Industry-Government-Academia Collaboration on Future Air Control Initiatives
The Civil Aviation Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has launched the "Collaborative Actions for Renovation of Air Traffic System (CARATS)" to make the future air traffic system safer and more efficient and to address common global issues such as climate change. JAL actively participates in CARATS by providing flight data to researchers, cooperating in flight simulator verification, and exchanging opinions with the Civil Aviation Bureau and researchers. As part of these efforts, we have realized the introduction of a satellite-based approach method that includes highly accurate curved routes (RNP-AR method), and are working to reduce CO2 emissions by shortening flight distances at many airports.
In 2020, JAL, as a member of a joint public-private project, contributed to the realization of the elimination of speed limits in the control area from the perspective of reducing environmental impact. If the speed limit is reduced at altitudes within the control area (up to 3000 ft) during takeoff climb, the aircraft will be able to retract flaps and accelerate from a lower altitude immediately after takeoff, which will have the advantage of reducing CO2 emissions, fuel costs, and improving on-time performance. As a result of surveys of conditions in other countries and verification of the effectiveness, the speed limit was eliminated in 2021, allowing JAL to operate under a method (NADP2) that both shortens flight time and reduces fuel consumption. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed by 33,071 cedar trees in one year.
Route Planning Technology Improvements
CO2 emissions can be reduced by curtailing the flight distance in the flight paths. JAL Group is collaborating with air transport control authorities in and out of Japan to fly user preferred routes (UPR), a unique flight path for each aircraft under certain restrictions such as weather conditions.
See Reducing CO2 Emissions in Daily Operations
SAF Initiatives for Dissemination Expansion
The JAL Group aims to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 by replacing 10% of fuel load with SAF by 2030 and reducing total CO2 emissions below 90% level of the actual amount of fiscal year 2019 levels. In regions outside of Japan, we invest to Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc., a US venture company that manufactures SAF.
In Japan, with technical support from Green Earth Institute Co., Ltd., we used a bioprocess using microorganisms developed by the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, and spent approximately one year and three months at facilities in Japan to complete the first domestic SAF. On February 4, 2021, Japan's first domestically produced SAF made from cotton clothing exclusively using domestic technology was loaded for the first time on a domestic scheduled flight. In addition, as part of the “Development of Production Technologies for Biojet Fuels” of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese national research and development agency, JAL has conducted a flight with 3,132 liters (9.1% mixing ratio) of SAF produced domestically in Japan added in existing fuel, manufactured by Mitsubishi Power, Ltd., Toyo Engineering Corporation, JERA Co., Inc., and by IHI Corporation. The former is created from wood chips and the latter from algae. It was the world’s first attempt to load 2 different types of SAF on the same flight.
In addition, in order to spread SAF load within Japan, we will connect various stakeholders and build a manufacturing and supply system, as well as contributing to be able to use SAF with sustainable price range. As an initiative, we are conducting a feasibility study with Japanese companies on manufacturing and selling SAF in Japan from waste plastic. For more on the development of SAF and dissemination, see Development and Use of SAF.
World Economic Forum (WEF) and Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST)
As a member of World Economic Forum's Clean Skies for Tomorrow, an independent, non-profit organization that promotes exchanges among leaders in political, economic, and academic fields to address global and regional economic issues, JAL is participating in a project to measure the environmental impact of the aviation industry.
According to a Clean Skies for Tomorrow research paper, the aviation industry accounts for 2-3% of global CO2 emissions, and there is an urgent need for efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, including fuel-efficient aircraft and SAF. JAL signed the Clean Skies for Tomorrow Ambition Statement in September 2021, declaring 10% replacement of total fuels to SAF.
Engaging in Emissions Trading - JAL Carbon Offsetting -
In response from feedback from customers who have a keen interest in protecting the environment and preventing global warming, the JAL Group, in collaboration with CHOOOSE, offers passengers the option to offset the CO2 emitted by the aircraft they fly on through our JAL Carbon Offset program. See JAL Carbon Offsetting.
Any Wear, Anywhere - Clothing rental service for travelers that reduces your carbon footprint
The JAL Group is collaborating with Sumitomo Corporation to offer a service called "Any Wear, AnywhereOpen link in a new window" that allows customers to travel with less baggage, responding to the voices of customers concerned about environmental protection and the prevention of global warming. Any Wear, Anywhere can reduce fuel and CO2 emissions from airplanes by reducing the amount of cargo carried.
Cooperation in Climate Change Studies
From 1993, the JAL Group has been observing the atmosphere with the Meteorological Research Institute and JAL Foundation. From 2005 the CONTRAIL Project continues today with the National Institute for Environmental Studies and JAMCO Corporation.
Greenhouse gases data, which was observed from scheduled international flights and officially announced through the national Institute for Environmental Studies, is being used in a number of global research studies. In 2018, 1,424 observations were made from JAL flights and the reported data was used in three peer-reviewed thesis, and as reference materials in nine international academic conferences and six domestic academic conferences.
In March 2019, the CONTRAIL Project was awarded the Minister of Environment Award of the First Japan Open Innovation Prize (JOIP).
Use of Plant-based Meat
Recently, there are more people eating less animal-based meat and selecting plant-based meat, considering their health. Japan Airlines serves plant-based "Beyond Burger" by Beyond Meat, Inc. located in El Segundo, California, USA. It is said that Beyond Burger uses 99% less water, 93% less deforestation, and generates 90% fewer Greenhouse Gas Emissions than standard stockbreeding.
We consider that using plant-based meat helps address the 4 social issues, concerns related to human health, climate change, resource conservation and animal welfare.
Development of Sustainable Inflight Meals
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), only 12 types of crops and 5 types of animal products account for 75% of the global food supply. This imbalance is said to cause problems such as climate change, vulnerability to pests, and loss of biodiversity, as well as health effects due to nutritional imbalance.
The JAL Group has developed a sustainable inflight meal under the supervision of global food producer Ms. Fumiko Kono, referring to the "50 Foodstuffs of the Future" that consists solely of vegetarian foods, and providing it in business classes on some routes. The "50 Foodstuffs of the Future" is a list of foodstuffs released by Unilever in collaboration with the UK World Wildlife Fund (WWF), aiming to solve the world's food problems such as starvation, which is a concern due to expected population growth *, from the viewpoints of greenhouse gas emissions at the production stage, environmental impact, resistance to climate change and pests, nutritional value, soil resilience by production, and farmland area control.
In developing inflight meals, we will continue to take on the challenge of creating sustainable inflight meals for the future, not only by paying attention to the taste but also by solving a variety of social issues.
* According to the United Nations' 2019 Data Booklet, the world's population is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050.
JAL expresses support for Food Systems Summit 2021("FSS2021") which is held to promote concrete actions for the transformation to sustainable food systems. The JAL Group’s commitment is stated in the UN FSS2021 websiteOpen link in a new window.
Service Delivery Collaboration
Drones and flying vehicles are a cleaner means of transportation, emitting less CO2 than vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.
As a professional aviation company, JAL aims to create a prosperous and sustainable society through comprehensive air mobility operations that are safe and secure. The JAL Group is conducting trials of drones and various other activities with the aim to commercialize drones by fiscal 2023.
In February 2022, as part of the "Drone Logistics Platform Social Implementation Project in Tokyo" adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, we conducted the first demonstration experiment in Tokyo of pharmaceutical delivery using drones to cross multiple bridges, including the Eitai Bridge over the Sumida River. The project aims to realize a society in which medical supplies can be delivered immediately on-demand in the event of an emergency or disaster, or on a daily basis, regardless of road congestion. Utilizing JAL's airline network and expertise in air transport operations and safety, the project aims to improve access to medical care and shopping and to solve labor shortage issues in the logistics industry by using drones to transport the last one mile to remote islands and mountainous areas, in addition to transporting large volumes of cargo between airports by air. We aim to solve the problems of labor shortages in the logistics industry. We are making continuous preparations to solve logistics problems in outlying islands and mountainous areas where access to medical care and shopping is difficult, and to transport emergency relief supplies in the event of a disaster.
The JAL Group aims to commercialize "AIRTAXI" services in fiscal 2025 using electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which are environmentally friendly and highly mobile. We believe eVTOL have the potential for use in not only transportation and sightseeing from the airport, but also medical emergency response operations and disaster relief operations.
See the Air mobility website for details.