Special Interest Group “Sustainable Aviation”
Sustainable flying is at the focus of the public climate debate, and the aviation industry is facing major challenges that need to be solved in the short, but especially in the long term. Research can make a valuable contribution. Bauhaus Luftfahrt, the Center for Aviation Competence at the University of St.Gallen (CFAC-HSG), and the WHU Chair of Logistics Management organised a joint exchange on this topic at the beginning of September as part of the Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Air Transport Research Society. SIG meetings of this kind take place at regular intervals and are an important link between industry and science. At this year’s online session, 25 experts engaged in a lively exchange. In addition to research lectures from Bauhaus Luftfahrt and the CFAC, Jan-Christian Schraven from Swiss International Air Lines as well as industry representatives from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and the investment bank Sanford C. Bernstein gave exciting insights from the practical side. The topic of “Sustainable Aviation” was considered in a multifaceted way from both economic and social perspectives. Among other things, the discussion focused on how young technologies can be further developed with economic efficiency. Partnerships, technological maturity, and competitiveness were identified as important drivers for joint CO2 reduction in aviation. Industry presentations introduced its broad understanding of “sustainability” as well as exciting insights into sustainability projects already underway. The investment expert Daniel Röska from Sanford C. Bernstein spoke about responsible investing and the tension between returns and ESG criteria (Environment, Social, Governance). To further develop the topic sustainably and to master the current challenges in the long term, all players agreed that a holistic, systematic approach is needed, as well as joint actions of science and practice.