Our task is to find a way to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and of our products and services. It’s a momentous challenge. Aerospace is an essential part of modern life; it helps drive economic growth and prosperity, and it brings the people of the world closer together.
Because of the tremendous benefits aerospace brings to the world, our industry—and our company with it—is growing. So we have charted a pathway with clearly defined actions for Boeing to address our impact on the environment:
Boeing has a strong legacy of improving fuel efficiency and reducing noise in its products. We also have an excellent record of reducing pollution and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.
But it is clear we need to accelerate our efforts. Aviation contributes 2 percent of global man-made carbon dioxide—the main greenhouse gas linked to climate-change concerns—according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC predicts it will grow to 3 percent by 2050.
Boeing has a leadership role to play in helping our industry and communities shape frameworks for addressing climate change that are most effective on a global basis.
In April, Boeing helped bring together customers, partners and competitors in the commercial aviation industry. In Geneva, Switzerland, we jointly committed to a pathway toward carbon-neutral growth and the aspiration of a carbon-free future.
We all acknowledged that the environmental challenge can best be tackled only if we act in unison and ideally at a global level. Focus areas will include cooperation on alternative energy sources, the supply chain and the global transportation system—all elements that offer critical near- and medium-term potential for environmental gains.
Boeing is making great strides in real-world gains in fuel efficiency and transportation system improvements. We also have demonstrated that sustainably grown, non-food second-generation biofuels that do not compete with crops may offer a feasible solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This past year we’ve also taken significant steps to strengthen our work internally so that we more than offset the projected increases in our production rates with environmental improvements.
We consolidated environmentally focused initiatives inside Boeing into one corporate organization—Environment, Health and Safety. This organization is leading our enterprisewide strategy to link our products, processes and facilities; and to reach out to our suppliers, customers and communities.
We also created the Environment, Health and Safety policy council, which I lead. This council ensures that strategy and performance targets are set and monitored at the highest levels of company leadership.
And we aligned internal practices, which provided a foundation to drive environmental thought and action across Boeing:
Further demonstrating our commitment, this year Boeing joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program, which commits us to action on carbon dioxide reductions. We are also members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in order to learn from our peers and communities, sponsor best practices and drive environmental improvements globally.
As you will see in the report, Boeing also supports effective and targeted environmental nonprofit activity—and we intend to increase this financial support in 2008.
It is my hope that you find this report an informative and comprehensive demonstration of how we at Boeing are taking real action to create a better future.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer