Our world is a joy to travel. But we must do more to protect it if we want to keep enjoying all it has to offer. First and foremost, we have to address carbon; air travel is a growing contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and therefore to climate change. As demand for flights grows, we must innovate and collaborate to find solutions to some of the problems our industry faces. As well as protecting our environment, Heathrow also has a responsibility to strive to end human and wildlife trafficking.
To rise to the challenge of climate change, Heathrow has set an ambitious aspiration: carbon neutral growth from our new runway. We’ve also set objectives to operate a zero-carbon airport and strive to end trafficking of people and wildlife.
Because Heathrow is a single-site business, we can think long-term about how to reduce our carbon impact. We know we are going to be operating from the same place for yearsto come, which means we can take a long term view when planning how and what we build and renovate, and how we best power and heat our buildings and other fixed assets. Over time, we have been continuously reducing the carbon emissions and waste of our built environment, including pioneering, innovative ways of improving the quality of our water discharges into local rivers and lakes. In this objective, we set out a collection of zero impact targets and to explore and engage a ‘circular’ way of thinking for resources. In this way, we will go beyond expectations to make Heathrow’s buildings and infrastructure an inspiring example of zero carbon performance.
As we look to expand Heathrow with our new runway, we must tackle our impact on global climate change. We will need radical innovation to develop solutions that allow us to meet our aspiration to make growth from our new runway carbon neutral. Although we don’t have all these solutions yet we have a strong history of innovation and we’re confident that the next ten years will hold even more exciting breakthroughs than the last. Through investment in new technology, UK airlines are already starting to reduce emissions where possible, and meaningfully offset where not.
As an international travel hub, Heathrow has a responsibility to take the best possible care of everyone and everything that passes through its gates. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which animal and human trafficking still takes place. Many endangered species are a target for poachers and illegal trafficking, and some of our passengers are forced to travel against their will - whether illegally or not. Intervening
to help them is a responsibility we take extremely seriously. We are already alert to travellers vulnerable to trafficking and are scrutinising our supply chain in line with our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery. We will build new partnerships and continue to lead this fight against human rights abuse. We will also take further action to help curb the illegal trade in endangered species, and therefore protect the world’s most precious wildlife.