NATS recognised for environmental progress


UK air traffic service provider, NATS has again been recognised for its work in reducing the environmental impact of flying.

For the second consecutive year, NATS has been awarded a B grade by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) for its progress towards addressing the risks presented by climate change.

Designed to spur businesses into action on climate change, CDP ranks companies from A to D- based on their awareness and management of environmental risks. 

NATS started its environment programme in 2008 with the aim of reducing not just the environmental impact of air travel through the more efficient use of airspace, but also its own estate by encouraging recycling and energy saving measures. Since the programme began, NATS has enabled savings of over 8.4 million tonnes of aircraft CO2 and reduced energy consumption on its estate by over 34%. NATS has recently set new targets to achieve net zero emissions in 2050, with a 35% reduction target for emissions directly under its control by 2030. 

Ian Jopson, NATS Head of Environmental Affairs, said: “There is no doubt that climate change poses a huge challenge and NATS was the first air traffic service provider in the world to introduce an environment programme in 2008. We have made good progress, which this accreditation from CDP acknowledges, but there is no doubt that much more needs to be done as we work towards our commitment as part of the Sustainable Aviation coalition to reach net zero emissions as a UK industry by 2050.” 

The UK’s network of airways and flight paths were first designed in the 1960s and make it impossible to take full advantage of the capabilities of modern aircraft. NATS is playing a leading role in cross-industry plans to modernise the country’s airspace over the next five years, allowing aircraft to fly higher for longer, get more direct routings and enable more continuous descent approaches, something that both reduces fuel burn and emissions.

Jopson continues: “Over the past 12 years we’ve made hundreds of improvements to how our airspace is managed and introduced new tools to help us do that, but we’re now at the point where a wholesale modernisation is needed if we’re going to keep pace both with growing demand and meet our environmental obligations.”

Dexter Galvin, Global Director of Corporates and Supply Chains at CDP, adds: “The next decade is crucial in our shift to a net-zero economy, and we believe corporations are at the heart of this transition. 

“By ranking companies, we aim not just to highlight leaders’ best practice, but to inspire all businesses to be transparent, aim higher and take more action.”

ATM News Environment Europe