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Our future

Sustainability

Wind turbines against sunset

Here at Virgin Atlantic, our vision is to be a leading airline on sustainability.

We believe aviation offers many social and economic benefits, but we’re also conscious of its environmental impact on our destinations.

Blocks of compacted rubbish for landfill

Recycling

We’ll go to the ends of the earth to make a difference. From the miniscule to the monumental, nothing gets overlooked – not even our toilet rolls. We’ve saved nearly 86,000 toilet roll cores since we switched to coreless rolls in 2010. If we stacked them on top of each other, they’d reach far above our planes’ cruising altitude.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft engine

Our planes

We’re proud to be working on a world-first, low-carbon fuel to be delivered in partnership with exciting new fuels company LanzaTech. In the words of Sir Richard Branson, this is “one of the most exciting developments of our lifetime and a major breakthrough in the war on carbon”.


Our achievements

We’ve already achieved a great deal but we know we’ve still got lots more to do, and we’re certainly not resting on our laurels. Check out some of our sustainability highlights below.

  • We were the first commercial airline to operate a demo flight on a biofuel blend.
  • We’re the only airline to have made a public commitment to Fairtrade
  • Our carbon offsetting scheme is ranked 1st globally*
    (*In a 2011 IATA-backed study of airline carbon offset services)
  • Cleaning our planes with the EcoPower pressure-washing system ensures they run as fuel-efficiently as possible
  • In 2011 we recycled 506 tonnes of our waste – the equivalent weight of over 5,000 passengers and their luggage
  • The material for our Upper Class amenity kits is made from crushed plastic bottles

  • We recycle old uniforms into filling for car seats
  • We serve ‘One Water’ on all our flights. 100% of One Water’s profits go to fund clean water and other sustainable development projects in Africa.
  • In 2013 all 10 of our more fuel efficient A330s will be in service, 15% more efficient on a per-seat basis than the models they’ve replaced
  • In 2014 we’ll welcome the Boeing 787 Dreamliners to our fleet, 27% more efficient on a per-seat basis than our similar sized aircraft.