WTCE sustainability report

A new report produced by the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) in association with Food Case International, which breaks down the aviation industry’s biggest food & beverage sustainability challenges, reveals that cost and profitability are recurring themes for carriers and suppliers when asked about the issues they face and how they are tackling them.

Eliminating food and packaging waste and ‘light weighting’ aircraft are highlighted as key to using less fuel which reduces C02 emissions.
The report features interviews with AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Icelandair and underscores several eco-concerns among carriers, which include minimising food and packaging waste.

When asked specifically what suppliers can do to help airlines meet sustainability targets, the operators agreed focusing on product packaging is key to tackling the issue. In terms of sustainable food and beverage offers on board, measures such as more pre-ordering, catering personalisation and meeting different dietary needs were listed.

Icelandair’s Iris Anna Groenewegen commented: “Airlines will offer a larger selection of fresh food options via pre-order to maintain (even increase) the service standards and offer a simpler selection onboard.”

Dinesh Tadepalli from, which supplies edible cutlery, commented: “Why can’t airlines use paper cups, or ask passengers to bring their own refillable water bottles?” In terms of food waste, he added: “On a lot of long-haul flights I see pre-made boxes of food containing multiple items such as nuts, cheese raisins or crackers. If waste is such an issue, why give so many options to one person if they aren’t going to consume them all.”

Polly Magraw, Event Director at WTCE said: “This study brings into sharp focus the immediate sustainability issues at stake in the aviation industry. Not only does it confirm the importance of eliminating food and packaging waste for both carriers and their suppliers, but it highlights some of the potential ways in which solutions might be found if everyone commits to working together. Sustainability is a key theme of this year’s event. I’d urge all the major partners – and competitors in the industry to use it as a forum to come together to share ideas and take the first steps towards a collaborative approach.”

WTCE is taking place on 14-16 June at the Hamburg Messe.

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