Boeing and Virgin Australia join forces for sustainability

A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8 parked in Seattle.
Photo Credit: Virgin Australia

Aussie carrier Virgin Australia has joined forces with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, for sustainability. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), both companies have leveraged their long-standing and deepening technology relationship into a wide-ranging sustainability-related matter.

The agreement comes just as Virgin Australia took delivery of their first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft nicknamed “Monkey Mia”.

Strengthening forces – a five-way endeavour

A Memorandum of Understanding, also known as an MoU, has been signed by airline Virgin Australia and aircraft manufacturer Boeing in the follow-up to the first delivery of 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Virgin Australia.

The Memorandum of Understanding will target five areas of endeavour, all from addressing the high-profile challenge of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), through to promoting First Nations supply chains, careers for women in aviation, high quality carbon offsets and closer US-Australia clean energy cooperation.

The five ways in the plan will relate to the following:


Key initiatives

  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
    • Together, Boeing and Virgin Australia will make joint advocacy a priority for the Australian Sustainable Aviation Fuel-development, whilst supporting domestic policy and supply chain investment to accelerate SAF production.
  • Carbon Offsets
    • Virgin Australia and Boeing will also partner up to advance robust Australian offsets to support regional development, especially for the First Nations people. The companies will cooperate in spreading awareness to the public about high-quality decarbonisation opportunities via market-based measures.
  • First Nations Engagement and Inclusion
    • Additionally, both companies will work closely to identify the areas of potential acceleration in this subject, with their focus aimed particularly at procurement opportunities from First Nations suppliers.
  • Workforce development and inclusion
    • With both companies being major Australian employers, they will cooperate in identifying possible opportunities for acceleration in workforce inclusion effort, in areas such as gender and First Nations people’s representation, internships and graduate opportunities, disability accessibility and broader capability uplift such as mentoring programs.
  • Australia-US bilateral clean energy cooperation
    • Boeing and Virgin Australia will commit to close cooperation in order to advance the ambitions of the 2023 Australia-United States Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact. This further reflects their significant role in the Australia-US economic relationship.

Virgin Australia & Boeing statements

On the subject of increased sustainability, Virgin Australia Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer, Christian Bennett, said:

“This is the first sustainability-focused MoU between our companies and we are delighted to partner with Boeing. This MoU, which combines our deep expertise in Australia’s commercial aviation industry with Boeing’s global knowledge and insights, will help to drive and amplify change.”

“This is one example of Virgin Australia’s commitment to build a sustainable business, one that will be here for the benefit of future generations of Australian travellers to come.”

“We know this will not happen overnight, but we are committed to accelerating our effort in a responsible and credible fashion. High-quality partnerships like this MoU with Boeing will be an important enabler of that acceleration,” he concluded.

Boeing Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, Sheila Remes, also commented, saying: “We are honoured to partner with Virgin Australia to tackle the challenges facing us today – mitigating the climate impact of our industry, catalysing the SAF industry, and human development and inclusion.”

“Together, Boeing and Virgin Australia can advance meaningful solutions for the Asia Pacific region and the aerospace industry.”

By Adrian Olstad 4 Min Read
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