Will Airbus’ emission disclosures help meet its net zero goals?

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  • Airbus SE announced its plans of reporting Scope 3 emissions data due to rising pressure from investors and climate groups on Friday, 26 February.
  • The move makes it the first airline manufacturer to report independently audited Scope 3 emissions data. 
  • The company also announced its plans of developing a commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen by 2035.


European airline manufacturer Airbus SE (EPA: AIR) has announced it became the latest company to make Scope 3 carbon emissions disclosures due to rising pressure from investors and climate groups.  

According to Airbus, it is the first airline maker to report emissions data under Scope 3, which is aimed at disclosing the CO2 data related to when consumers use a companies’ products or offerings, including all indirect emissions that are embedded in a company’s value chain.   


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The emissions disclosures are independently audited. Scope 1 emissions includes the direct emissions from company machinery, while Scope 2 includes the carbon emissions embedded in purchased energy. 

The company also announced its plans of developing a commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen by 2035, as a part of its goal of leading aviation towards a net zero future. 

The aviation industry aims to be net zero between 2060 and 2065 according to its non-binding goal, which is comes much after the Paris Agreement’s target of 2050 for limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius. 

Want to know more? Do read: Airbus and Shell Step Up Efforts On Their Go-Green Strategy 

Emissions data 

The company reported estimated lifetime carbon emissions for the 863 aircrafts delivered in 2019 and the 566 jets delivered in 2020.  Its 2020 production output fell by 40 per cent due to the Covid-crisis severely impacting the aviation sector. 

The 2019 jetliners are expected to have an estimated lifetime emission of 740 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, including the 130 million tonnes jet fuel burned in flight. The estimates are based on taking into consideration the average lifespan of an aircraft of 22 years. Comparatively, the 2020 deliveries are reported to have an estimated lifetime emission of 440 million tonnes. 

The company also released its carbon intensity data, reporting a lower carbon intensity of 63.5 grams in 2020, compared to 66.6 grams of CO2e per passenger-kilometre in 2019. The company’s carbon intensity showed an average level of efficiency. Carbon intensity measures the greenhouse gas emissions rate relative to the industrial production process. 

France based aerospace company Safran (EPA: SAF) also reported its Scope 3 emissions on 25 February for its business air travel and waste. It also committed to expand reporting data for its aircraft engines later this year. 

Stock price 

The airline maker’s (EPA: AIR) shares were trading at EUR 97.24, down by 1.71 per cent as of 26 February at 12:15 pm GMT+1 following the news.