S.T.A.R.S.: Elevating Business aviation to new sustainability heights
S.T.A.R.S. (Standards & Training for Aviation Responsibility and Sustainability) is an initiative launched by young business aviation professionals with the support of EBAA and IBAC to help the industry align with the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Business aviation has long been a symbol of time-saving and efficiency, providing an invaluable tool for professionals to travel. However, in an era where sustainability and corporate responsibility are paramount, the industry faces a pivotal moment of transformation. S.T.A.R.S. (Standards & Training for Aviation Responsibility and Sustainability) is an initiative launched by young business aviation professionals and now supported by EBAA and the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). It is a set of industry-wide sustainable standards with an accompanying label, and is focused on addressing the full spectrum of sustainability, encompassing people, planet, and profits, while also providing a framework for aligning with the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2018, the EBAA selected ten young business aviation professionals to attend and represent the Business aviation industry at the One Young World conference in The Hague. This global gathering of emerging leaders exposed them to influential figures in government and business, igniting their passion to catalyse positive change. S.T.A.R.S. was conceived during a Design Thinking workshop held by EBAA on the final day of the event, during which these professionals conceived a programme to empower the Business aviation industry to proactively address both societal and environmental challenges.
While the Business aviation industry has taken commendable steps to promote environmental sustainability through initiatives like the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change, encompassing sustainable aviation fuels, market-based measures, operational efficiencies, and advanced aircraft technologies, it has yet to comprehensively embrace the broader spectrum of sustainability. This includes addressing environmental issues such as waste management, water conservation, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction, and crucially, social responsibility.
How does S.T.A.R.S. operate?
S.T.A.R.S. facilitates the sharing of best practices, offers educational resources, and fosters the development of private and public partnerships within and beyond the business aviation sector. The program’s structure revolves around three progressive tiers, to ensures that organizations of all sizes can implement and comply with sustainability standards, starting from the most basic level (Tier 1) and progressing to more advanced tiers. In summary, the three tiers of sustainability standards are as follows:
- Tier 1: This tier involves establishing a foundation by appointing a sustainability officer, creating a Social and Environmental Policy, and conducting an environmental and social impact assessment.
- Tier 2: In this stage, companies “walk the talk” by developing and implementing an Environmental and Social Strategy with specific targets. They also introduce training programs on environmental and social topics within the organisation.
- Tier 3: This tier requires companies to demonstrate improvements aligned with their Environmental and Social strategy and targets. Additionally, they must expand their strategies to Scope 3, integrating the environmental performance of its suppliers, but they also need to collaborate with such suppliers to implement social initiatives.
This tiered approach ensures that businesses across the entire spectrum of the business aviation value chain, regardless of their size, can progressively integrate and adhere to sustainability standards. Even at the foundational Tier 1 level, companies build a solid base upon which they can erect their sustainability ambitions.
Who is S.T.A.R.S. for?
S.T.A.R.S. extends its guiding hand across the entire business aviation value chain. From aircraft operators and ground handling providers to Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), brokers, maintenance facilities, law firms, financiers, and beyond, S.T.A.R.S. is designed to be an inclusive force driving environmental and social responsibility.
What lies ahead?
S.T.A.R.S. is set to launch its Tier 1 standards in Europe in Q1 2024, marking a significant milestone in the pursuit of sustainability within business aviation. Subsequent launches, including Tier 2 and Tier 3, are on the horizon, signalling a bright future where the industry is not just meeting environmental and social standards but setting new benchmarks for responsible and sustainable business aviation.
Interested? For more information, please contact EBAA Sustainability Manager, Maureen Gautier