Aimee Turner reports from the Aircraft Interiors Expo taking place in Hamburg this week.
In-flight airline products could in future be scrutinised across their complete life cycle under a new scheme that is attempting to help airlines make educated greener choices.
Under the new scheme which was launched at the Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg on June 5, critical data concerning a product’s sustainable sourcing, production emissions, weight reduction dividends, recycled material use, recyclability, and end-of-life disposal will for the first time be reviewed and peer-ranked.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) has partnered with aviation strategy consultancy firm SimpliFlying to launch the new programme called APEX Greener powered by SimpliFlying which will be offered for free to both APEX and IFSA (International Flight Services Association) airline members.
Technology developed by Finch, and employing scientific scoring systems, will assess and certify sustainable products with a degree of accuracy and effectiveness that APEX believes has never been attempted in the aviation industry. The Finch scoring system is built to decode and simplify sustainability credentials and is supported by peer-reviewed scientific literature from academia, white papers by business leaders, government reports, quantitative insights, and qualitative information.
All certified products will feature in the APEX Aircraft Interiors Database powered by CAPA-Centre of Aviation and suppliers will be able to assign a unique QR code to their products which include in-depth details of their products which meet the latest EU standards for green certification labelling.
APEX/IFSA CEO Dr Joe Leader said that the new system aims to be highly efficient so that airlines can quickly list out what are the most sustainable products. “This needs to be as low cost as possible and lower than the cost of what a supplier has to go through with each airline. We’re making it US$995 so that they’re able to go through a very easy certification process.”
Product scores will be on a scale of zero to 10 and suppliers will have access to scores of their own product categories and also will be able to look at the scores of their competitors.
“Aviation is not green, but we all have a responsibility to make it greener,” said Leader. “APEX Greener powered by SimpliFlying is a step in the right direction by focusing our airlines on in-flight products that are better for both our industry and our world. APEX Greener eliminates redundant airline sustainability verification expenses by fully leveraging our ability to openly share information as a trade association.”
“What we saw was that everyone was attempting to rate the companies and we weren’t looking at the products, how sustainably the product was being made. We weren’t building on datasets that existed and we needed to really have a level of depth. That would give us what we need for aviation which is transparency and not greenwashing.”
“Airlines seeking to build trust with customers conscious about sustainability will benefit from this programme by choosing products that enhance the passenger experience through greener in-flight products,” added SimpliFlying CEO, Shashank Nigam.