Our environmental programme focusses on the areas where we can have a real impact:
- reducing emissions
- consuming responsibly
- preserving wildlife and habitat
These three pillars are the priorities of dnata’s Environment framework. We aim to deliver results against these focus areas in our own operations, as well as through our products and services so that we can support our customers and partners to achieve their environmental objectives.
Reducing Emissions from our Fleet
Our fleet of ground service vehicles (GSE) and road vehicles is one of our most significant sources of emissions. We are endeavouring to minimise this impact through operating our fleet efficiently and increasing the proportion of our fleet that is electric. Telematics systems, installed in many of our fleets, support efficient deployment of vehicles and equipment, help reduce idling and reward good driver behaviour. When the system was introduced in our ground handling operations in Italy it resulted in a 14% reduction in fuel consumption and associated emissions. Transitioning our fleet away from fossil based fuels is another focus for dnata. Currently, approximately 15% of our international ground handling fleet is electric and we aim to significantly increase this proportion over the coming years.
We operate a large portfolio of facilities from cargo warehouses to office facilities and airport lounges. Where possible we are applying green building standards in our new facility construction. Our state of the art cargo facility at Heathrow Airport, dnata City East, has been built to the BREEAM standard ‘excellent’ for external and ‘very good’ for internal. Investing in LED lighting across our UK facilities reduced our CO2 emissions by 1,000 tonnes per year and significantly reduced energy costs.
Our GSE maintenance facility in Singapore has an eco-friendly design which takes into account wind direction, thermal radiation, shading, daylighting and energy conservation. dnata Singapore is also in the process of installing solar power generation at both our catering and cargo warehouse terminal. The system is expected to generate over 4 million kWh of electricity per year and to reduce annual carbon emissions by approximately 2,000 tonnes.
We are installing energy efficient equipment in our new state of the art catering facilities, including washing systems which significantly reduce water, energy and detergent consumption, efficient refrigeration units which use gases with a lower global warming potential, high efficiency insulation and LED lighting.
Low emissions products
As well as focussing on our internal operations we are working to reduce the carbon footprint of our products and services. In 2020, dnata became the first ground handler to successfully complete green aircraft turnarounds in the Middle East and US.
We are working hard to decrease waste generation and improve rates of waste diversion from landfill. Whether its using innovative technology to manage food waste or implementing paperless processes we are targeting waste reduction where we can.
dnata Cargo in the UK has invested in ultra modern equipment that allows paper-free operations, with white board technology and handheld tablets all contributing the appropriate, efficient and safe transportation of cargo. Dnata Catering in Australia designed an app allowing kitchens to review airline menus on iPads, dramatically reducing paper consumption.
Digitisation of processes across our UAE operations has resulted in significant paper saving and cost reduction of more than USD 80,000 in a single area of operations. Reusing polythene sheeting in our one of our cargo operations reduced our annual consumption of polythene sheet by 45%. Our efforts to reduce single use plastic across our operations saw us eliminate approximately 1.2 million SUP bottles in 2019 alone.
Waste and Recycling
Installation of bio-digestors in dnata catering units in Australia diverted more than 72 tonnes of food waste from landfill during their first year in operation. Where liquid wastes have been segregated on board, our catering units can dispose of them through our on-site treatment systems where available.
Our vehicle maintenance facilities recycle large quantities of waste oil and, where possible, are returning vehicle batteries to suppliers for recycling. In 2016, our GSE maintenance base in Dubai began overhauling GSE to extend it’s lifespan and to reduce the significant volumes of waste associated with scrapping of equipment.
Environmentally Friendly Products
We want to support our customers to make more sustainable choices. Our new Marhaba lounges in Dubai and Zurich are fitted with high spec water filters, which helps reduce the consumption of single use plastic bottles.
Our catering teams have the capability to trace products, particularly proteins, back to their source, which helps to showcase local produce and reduce the food miles associated with menus. We are increasingly working with many of our airline customers to analyse consumption trends and use predictive data to optimise the loading of F&B for in-flight catering. We have seen food waste reduce by as much as 50 per cent in one of our operations following the introduction of a food pre-ordering process.
Preserve wildlife and habitats
Illegal Wildlife Trade
In 2020, dnata became the first ground services provider to sign the United for Wildlife (UFW) Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration, a landmark agreement outlining key actions to bring an end to illegal wildlife trade and transportation. The Taskforce represents a forum for organisations to share best practices, to identify the correct links with law enforcement if suspicious activity is encountered, and, above all, to raise awareness of the issues behind the illegal wildlife trade.
dnata has a zero tolerance stance on handling banned species, hunting trophies or any products associated with illegal wildlife activities. Efforts have focussed on driving awareness among employees and customers, providing training and ensuring that there is a dedicated reporting channel to empower our people and partners to stop illegal wildlife trade by flagging any suspicious activities. These can range from identifying a passenger at check-in who has an unusual travel itinerary that might raise some suspicions, anxious behaviour of passengers, cargo that moves, sounds or smells peculiar to actual discoveries of contraband, and so on.
Animal interactions are a popular part of some excursion products sold through our dnata Travel group brands. Our travel businesses are working to ensure the welfare of the animals as well as the communities that depend on animal tourism.
Through our employee giving platform, dnata 4good, the dnata team has helped many wildlife causes through funding a mobile veterinary clinic, a rhino orphanage and other essential costs involved in combatting the devastating scourge of poaching in Southern Africa.
More recently, dnata has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Pretoria in South Africa to support their research and rehabilitation projects. The partnership aims to safeguard wildlife and the environment by strengthening and enhancing research, veterinary training and awareness, increasing involvement through volunteer opportunities and ensuring needed measures are taken to care for injured animals and rehabilitate them to go back into the wild.