Qantas corporate governance statement mentions that Qantas has an appropriate corporate governance structure to ensure the creation, protection, and enhancement of shareholder value (Qantas, 2012). Based on this statement alone it seems as if Qantas does not promote a triple bottom line or any other measure of sustainability in the summary of their corporate governance strategy. Other firms in the airline industry make a stronger dedication to social and environmental issues in their corporate governance. Continental for example has significantly more mentions of such causes as well as a plethora of various projects to address these causes (Continental Airlines, 2012). Although Qantas does address such business functions later in their document, their corporate governance strategy seems to be more focused on shareholder value than a more balanced scorecard.
In response to pressures to mounting pressures to address ecological concerns about issues such as climate change and pollution, Qantas worked with strategic partners to design a holistic approach to greenhouse gas emission reduction on a broad organizational scale (Ogilvy Public Relations, 2012). The sustainability program is known as "Be Green" and tackles a wide array of various strategies. These strategies include items such as fuel, but also paper and energy in typical office use. This strategy designates "eco ambassadors" in various departments of the organizations to continuously scan for opportunities to improve sustainability. Qantas now offers a full and transparent sustainability report that covers many social and environmental issues in which the company makes both positive and negative contributions (Qantas, 2008).
Qantas's carbon footprint is nearly entirely composed of the greenhouse gas emissions that are released as a result of burning fuel to power their aircrafts (Qantas, 2012). Not only is reducing carbon emissions through fuel efficiency good for the climate but it is also has monetary implications. Cutting the fuel expense also adds revenue on the balance sheet since it is reasonable to suspect that Qantas still receives comparable ticket sales while spending less per passenger. Therefore Qantas is constantly looking for ways to reduce fuel expenditures. Adding new and more fuel efficient planes to the fleet is one option that Qantas has used. However, there are also many ways to make existing planes more efficient as well.
The weight of the plane is strongly correlated with fuel efficiency and as a result the lighter the plane can be then the less fuel it will use. Therefore Qantas tries to optimize the weight that the planes carry based on the number of passengers. For example, if the plane does not have enough passengers to meet what is considered to be full capacity then Qantas may remove some of the food or beverage items or any other unnecessary items that add weight to the flight. Qantas also charges additional fees to passages for excess baggage (Qantas, 2012). Not only does this apply an incentive for passengers to reduce their luggage weights but it also allows Qantas some degree of service versioning which allows them to change different prices for different consumer requirements.
Best Practices and Strategy Discussion
There are several ways in which airlines can improve efficiencies and reduce emissions. The easiest way is simply to lighten the load on each flight as much as possible (Airline Tickets, 2011). Since gas prices have also increased substantially, this method can offer multiple benefits that can significantly improve organizational performance. Airlines have been diligently working on restraining the weight for such items as food and beverage services which can increase fuel economy as well as cut costs. Furthermore, most airlines have been charging for excess baggage since it can not only increase revenues but also saves weight and a fuel cost as well as it provides a financial incentive for lighter travel (Thokalath, 2011). Keeping onboard staff at the bare minimal levels not only saves money payroll but can actually result in fuel economy as well.
Another way an airline can improve efficiency through automation of many of the key administrative business functions which works to reduce waste by providing digital records. Qantas has already assimilated such systems in many of its major airports and it has worked to reduce the need for human resources and can provide more efficient check in times (Talyor, 2011). If Qantas utilizes this technology widespread that it could amount to energy savings that could amount to a significant amount when aggregated. Despite the fact these systems may be good…