Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has launched ‘Our Sustainable Flight Path’ to steer the next level of its Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) strategy and support the responsible growth of its global airport and aviation services operations.
The strategy has been created with the support of PwC’s Sustainability team and aims to coordinate, build upon, and accelerate the numerous WFS sustainability projects across the company’s network spanning stations at 168 major airports in 17 countries and five continents. It will also become the sustainability focal point for WFS’ 30,000-strong international workforce.
In locations across its global network, WFS has already invested in various initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and lessening its impact on the planet. These range from building sustainability solutions into new-build cargo terminals to the implementation of LED lighting in over 30 warehouse operations, the introduction of nearly 1,000 electric ramp and warehouse vehicles and the introduction of biodegradable plastics to wrap airfreight pallets.
WFS’ environmental journey so far also incorporates collecting annual data on energy, waste and water consumption, seeking ‘greener’ energy suppliers, reusing equipment, extending the lifecycles of equipment, and carbon footprint tracking. Solar panels have been fitted at some WFS locations and trials of further electronic ground support equipment and hydrogen-powered vehicles are ongoing. WFS is also participating in ‘green’ projects at some of the airports where it operates.
“Despite the global disruption to the aviation industry and all of its partners over the past two or more years, and the business challenges this has brought, we have remained focussed on our sustainability ambitions because we recognise they are essential for our future success. With the great support of WFS teams around the world, we can show some significant achievements across ESG topics already, but this is not enough,” said Craig Smyth, WFS’ CEO. “We must continue to take collective and individual action as a company and as employees to maintain our leadership position in safety, security, ethics, and compliance whilst reducing our carbon footprint, supporting local communities, and developing our people. ‘Our Sustainable Flight Path’ provides us with a social and governance strategy which looks after our people, our customers, and our planet, and is true to our WFS core values.”
“As the global leader in air cargo logistics services and a leading provider of ground handling services, we must build on our strengths. This means being a great employer, an ethical business partner, and caring for the health, safety and security of our people and customers. The strategy we have developed is not a poster campaign, it is real-life, authentic and pragmatic. It is about being a responsible organisation where every employee has a role to play,” he added.
WFS’ ESG strategy is being steered by a dedicated committee of senior managers whose responsibilities incorporate people, health, safety, security, operations, procurement, legal, commercial and communications functions. WFS’ goals will be developed along four key pillars; global air cargo logistics leader, preferred employer, decarbonisation ally, community partner. These will be supported by regional sustainability ambassadors operating on the ground at a local level.
‘Our Stainability Flight Path’ contains key actions, targets and milestones to be achieved by the business from now to 2030, including achieving 75% electric Ground Support Equipment, full adoption of biodegradable plastics, and signing the UN Global Compact.
David Clark, Global Head of HSSE at WFS stated: “Sustainability journeys can have no end date because we are learning all the time, new solutions come to the market, and the environment around us is ever-changing. We are not at the start of our journey because we have been implementing ESG initiatives into our operations for many years, but now we have a more integrated programme to take us forward, with the clear ambition to maintain our position as a global air cargo logistics leader and a premier provider of ground handling services at airports across the globe. Our new strategy reflects our responsibility to our stakeholders to steer our business towards more sustainable operations.”