On World Environment Day, Dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider, announced highlight results over the past 12 months as part of its ongoing sustainability strategy. For its airport operations, travel, and catering businesses, Dnata has cut the carbon intensity of its operations by over 8 per cent, 22 per cent, and 26 per cent, respectively, and diverted waste from landfills across its global operations by up to 65 per cent.

As a result of its consistent investments in renewable infrastructure, equipment, training and alternative fuel options, the company achieved significant improvements across key environmental performance metrics in the recently ended financial year.

Steve Allen, CEO of Dnata Group, said: “It’s encouraging to see the tangible impact of our global investments and initiatives on our environmental performance. While we keep a laser focus on sustainability in every decision we make, we recognise that achieving meaningful results requires a collective effort and flexible approach from multiple stakeholders. In some cases, the availability of alternative fuels such as electric and biofuels is moving slower than we would like. We will continue to actively engage with our partners to explore and implement practical solutions that enable us to replace energy sources with lower carbon alternatives and minimise waste sent to landfills.”

Significant improvements across key performance metrics

Dnata’s ground handling, cargo, travel, and catering & retail businesses measure direct and indirect emissions related to the number of flight turnarounds and revenue to enable comparison and year-on-year improvement.

In the financial year 2023–2024*, Dnata’s environmental data has been externally verified by Verifavia. Dnata’s carbon intensity measured in kilograms of CO₂ equivalent emissions per aircraft turnaround has reduced by 8.4 per cent** for its ground handling and cargo businesses. Meanwhile, its carbon intensity measured in grams of CO₂ equivalent emissions compared to revenue for catering and travel businesses has reduced by 26.3 per cent** and 22.5 per cent**, respectively.

Furthermore, the company diverted 65 per cent** of waste from landfills across its operations globally.

Investing in renewable energy

Dnata minimises emissions across its businesses using renewable energy where available, and in some markets, such as the UK and Ireland, it exclusively procures solar and wind energy. Most recently, it has installed solar panels across several facilities in Pakistan and the Philippines to avoid consuming fossil-fuel-powered electricity across several facilities.

Transforming fleet

Dnata also consistently invests in its modern fleet to improve environmental efficiency. Its fleet strategy commits to phasing out diesel-operated engines and switching to hybrid, electric, or hydrogen wherever airports have provided the necessary infrastructure. As a result of its investments in recent years, 65 per cent of Dnata’s fleet is now electric in the Netherlands, 44 per cent in Italy, 40 per cent in the UK, and 39 per cent in Switzerland.

Minimising fuel consumption with the latest technologies and training

Dnata maintains a strong focus on minimising fuel consumption. It monitors the consumption of fuel across its fleet of ground support equipment (GSE) using Vehicle Tracking Management systems, conducts logistics mapping exercises to ensure minimal distances are travelled airside, and optimises shifts and parking slots to avoid excessive fuel burn.

In addition, it tracks driver behaviour, including idling times, and has key performance indicators linked to the environmental management system. Dnata promotes more responsible driver behaviour through education, awareness, and training.

Engaging with alternative fuel suppliers

Dnata actively engages with biofuel suppliers to reduce emissions. Several of Dnata’s businesses have already deployed low-carbon alternatives to replace diesel. In Schiphol airport, it has replaced over 674,000 litres with hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO100) in the previous financial year.

Besides, the company now uses a blend of biofuel across its landside fleets in Dnata Logistics, City Sightseeing Tours, Arabian Adventures, and Alpha Flight Services in the UAE. This transition to biofuel has contributed to emissions reductions of about 2,200 tonnes of CO₂ over the fuel’s lifecycle.

Reducing waste to landfill

Dnata actively minimises waste across its operations through consistent initiatives. Its Catering & Retail teams are working closely with many of its airline customers to analyse consumption trends and use predictive data to optimise the loading of F&B for in-flight catering. Analysis of on-board data not only reduces food waste but also fuel burn associated with carrying excess weight.

Dnata has also taken further initiatives across its business units to recycle materials. Its cargo businesses have implemented circular economy principles to repurpose plastics into materials for other industries. Meanwhile, several of its catering businesses eliminated single-use plastics across their operations.

IATA’s IEnvA Certification

In September 2023, Dnata became the first combined air services provider to receive the International Air Transport Association (IATA) environmental management certification, in recognition of its unwavering commitment to sustainability across its diverse portfolio of businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

* The financial year 2023–2024 started on 1 April 2023 and ended on 31 March 2024.

**In the financial year 2023–2024, compared to the financial year 2022–2023 (ended on 31 March 2023). For more information, visit Emirates Group’s Annual Report 2023–2024.