Cathay Pacific is a publicly listed company headquartered in Hong Kong, China. In 2021 its revenue was USD 5.88 billion. Cathay Pacific provides passenger and freight air transportation services together with its subsidiaries Hong Kong Express Airways Limited and AHK Air Hong Kong Limited.
Cathay Pacific engages with 100% of its customers through its Fly Greener voluntary offset programme. This programme allows individual and corporate customers to calculate their carbon footprint and offers them the opportunity to offset their footprint – this programme offset 19,518 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2021, contributing to 71.5% of the company’s total offsets. Although this demonstrates the company’s customer engagement, it risks limiting direct emissions reductions. Hence why the ACT methodology does not recognise the effectiveness of offsets and instead favours customer engagement to encourage direct emissions reductions.
Cathay Pacific has set a target for net-zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050. However, it has not set any intermediate targets for the company’s transport operations. Moreover, the target includes an unquantified use of offsets, reducing the emphasis on direct actions to reduce emissions. Cathay Pacific is projected to greatly exceed its total 1.5°C carbon budget for the period between 2022 and 2036. The company should consider setting regularly spaced intermediate targets, which can incentivise near-term actions on its longer-term goals.
The locked-in emissions of the company’s fleet are projected to greatly exceed its total 1.5°C carbon budget for the period 2022-2036. The company took delivery of nine more efficient aircraft in 2021 and is scheduled to receive an additional 53 aircraft from 2022 onwards (capable of replacing 27% of its total fleet). Even if each aircraft delivers up to a 25% increase in fuel efficiency , the company will need to accelerate other initiatives (e.g. the use of SAF ) to reduce emissions from direct operations.
Cathay Pacific has implemented low-carbon activities for fleet modernisation, digitalisation of manuals to achieve weight reduction , airspace routing efficiency and development and purchasing of SAF. The company has set a target for its total fuel use to comprise 10% SAF by 2030. It has also committed to purchasing 1.1 million tonnes of SAF over 10 years. However, on an annual basis, this only equates to about 6% of the company’s 2021 fuel consumption and will only achieve 60% of its SAF use target. Recently, the company announced a purchase agreement for 38 million US gallons of blended SAF to help the company achieve this target.
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited receives a trend score of -. If the company were reassessed in the near future, its score would likely decrease. Cathay Pacific is projected to greatly exceed its carbon budget between 2022 and 2036. In addition, the company’s progress towards its scope 1 and 2 net-zero emissions target is reliant on an undisclosed proportion of offsets. This could impact the company’s motivation to achieve direct emissions reductions. Moreover, Cathay Pacific’s long-term strategy is also reliant on yet to be developed technologies and the use of SAF.
Cathay Pacific has set a target for net-zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050. Although the company has set targets to reduce emissions from all non-aircraft ground operations by 32% and 55% by 2030 and 2035 respectively, it does not have intermediate targets to support its transport net-zero target.
Cathay Pacific is scheduled to take delivery of 53 new aircraft from 2022 as part of its fleet modernisation programme. The company is also targeting 10% SAF use by 2030. Additionally, the company aims to use digital solutions to reduce flight emissions and improve operational efficiency.
In 2021, Cathay Pacific took delivery of nine new aircraft. The company signed an agreement together with oneworld Alliance members to purchase more than 350 million gallons of SAF and is collaborating through the Aviation Climate Taskforce to develop new technologies.
Cathay Pacific’s scope 1 emissions intensity increased by about 2.3% annually from 2016 to 2021. This was not aligned with the company’s 1.5°C pathway. However, the company remained within its 2°C carbon budget for absolute emissions for the period between 2016 and 2021.
Cathay Pacific’s target for net-zero scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050 does not include regularly spaced intermediate targets. Moreover, the company is reliant on the use of offsets through voluntary customer offsets and market-based measures, which reduces its focus on direct emissions reductions.
The company publicly discloses a commitment to engaging in social dialogue with workers and unions. However, no relevant disclosure was found regarding the categories of stakeholders it engages with on a just transition. Nor was there any evidence to show the company’s ongoing social dialogue and meaningful engagement with affected stakeholders.
No evidence was found of the company undertaking low-carbon transition planning to mitigate the social impacts of the transition on workers, affected stakeholders and its business relationships. Additionally, no evidence was found to demonstrate the company’s engagement in social dialogue or engagement with stakeholders in its just transition planning.
No public commitment by the company was found stating its intention to create and support access to green and decent jobs as part of the low-carbon transition. Moreover, no evidence was found of the company’s action to promote these jobs in a way that ensures gender balance and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Additionally, no relevant disclosure was found of the company’s assessment of employment dislocation risks.
The company discloses the actions it takes to provide training opportunities for workers and affected stakeholders. For instance, it offers a management training programme to employees as well as development programmes for graduate engineers and graduate information technology trainees. However, no relevant disclosure was found of the company embedding equality of opportunity for women and vulnerable groups in these actions. Furthermore, no evidence was found of the company having a process for identifying skills gaps for workers and affected stakeholders or a public commitment to help workers displaced by the transition to reskill or upskill.
No relevant disclosure was found to show if the company identifies impacts of the low-carbon transition on social protection for workers and affected stakeholders, nor how it contributes to social protection. Additionally, no evidence was found that the company expects its business relationships to contribute to the social protection of their workers and affected stakeholders.
No relevant disclosure was found to show how the company identifies any misalignment of its lobbying activities with policies and regulations that support the just transition, nor of the measures it takes to address misalignment. Furthermore, no evidence was found that the company lobbies for policies and regulations for green and decent job creation; retention, education and reskilling; and social protection for workers.
The company commits to respecting human rights. However, its Human Rights Policy does not state a commitment to respect all of the ILO fundamental rights at work. Furthermore, the company’s Supply Chain Sustainability Code of Conduct also does not state any expectation of its business relationships to respect all of the ILO fundamental rights at work. The company does have a grievance mechanism available to workers. However, no relevant disclosure was found of a grievance mechanism available to all external stakeholders. Additionally, the company can strengthen its disclosure on its human rights due diligence process and engagement with affected stakeholders.
The company commits to respecting the health and safety of its workers and expects the same commitment of its business relationships. The company has also signed the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) campaign, thereby setting a target to increase the percentage of women in senior positions to 30% by 2025. However, no evidence was found of a broader-level company commitment towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. The company discloses the gender of its workforce by employee category, but it can increase disclosure on other indicators of workforce diversity. Furthermore, it can strengthen disclosure on its living wage, working hours and collective bargaining practices.
The company has a political engagement and lobbying policy and a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption. However, it can strengthen its disclosure on these subjects. The company discloses that its board is responsible for compliance with its global tax strategy. However, no evidence of the company’s tax strategy was found in its policy documents. Furthermore, no evidence was found of a company commitment to protect personal data or of a privacy statement regarding personal data of employees and customers.