Introducing the work of the Environment Commission

  • December 1, 2017

The main aim of the Environment Commission (ENVCOM) is to establish through consensus amongst ASD Members (national associations and companies) the policy and strategy on environmental issues of importance to Aero, Space and Defence sectors. At EU level, ENVCOM is active on and closely monitors files including emissions (including the EU Emissions Trading Scheme), noise, RoHS, circular economy, the energy package. The ENVCOM has one large sub-group with the responsibility to manage the significant and important topic of REACH (Regulation, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) implementation.

ENVCOM coordinates and maintains strong relationships with the European institutions such as the European Commission and Parliament, as well as other European bodies including the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and European Defence Agency (EDA). It works closely with customers, standards organisations and other stakeholders to ensure that emerging regulation and legislation fully considers the industry input. As part of its scope, ENVCOM also supports the work of ASD within ICCAIA (International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations), particularly ensuring that ASD member representatives provide technical expertise to international environmental activities through the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) to establish global environmental standards for aviation.

As examples of its work, ENVCOM has provided comprehensive input to influence the work of EASA who published their first ever report on the Environment in 2016 and will issue a second report in 2019. At ICAO level, the industry collectively has supported the development of global standards for aviation on CO2 emissions and non-volatile Particulate Matter endorsed by the ICAO General Assembly in October 2016. It has also supported the development of the first-ever sectoral climate agreement, the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). On REACH, In addition to being actively involved in registration and authorization of substances, the activities of the Working Group include identifying challenges and concerns related to the implementation of REACH; options for simplification and streamlining of the regulation; sharing best practices and providing recommendations and sectoral guidance to the supply chain. As part of its general communication strategy, earlier this year, the ENVCOM organized a successful high-level lunch in the European Parliament to discuss aviation’s environmental efforts and the way forward (read the ASD press release).

Such examples of industry working closely with policy makers demonstrate that ASD members are taking their environmental responsibility extremely seriously whilst continuing to work towards meeting challenging environmental goals set for the long term in response to the European Commission's vision detailed in “Flightpath 2050” and the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) developed by the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and innovation in Europe (ACARE): reduce CO2 emissions by 75% per passenger kilometre, noise from aircraft by 65%, and NOx emissions by 90% all by 2050 relative to a 2000 baseline. Although new and radical technology is a key long term driver to reach these targets, these efforts need to be complemented by a further development and deployment of sustainable alternative fuels, improvements to operations and to infrastructure, and through market-based measures. The entire aviation industry has committed to this four-pillar environmental strategy.

The Environment Commission is chaired by Dr Naresh Kumar, Rolls-Royce and vice-chair is Mr Francis Couillard, SAFRAN. The REACH Implementation Working Group is chaired by Mr Steve George, Rolls-Royce and vice-chair is Mr Pierre-Stéphane Benati, Airbus Helicopters. Barbara Cooreman supports both groups as ASD’s Environment Manager.