2009 Environment Report Boeing
Jim McNerney

Message from Jim McNerney

Protecting our planet's environment and finding new ways to harness diverse energy resources continues to be a priority for Boeing. And we are demonstrating our commitment through action. Read more.

Message from Mary Armstrong Message from Mary Armstrong In May 2007 Boeing expanded the role of its environmental team by creating the corporate Environment, Health and Safety organization. Our mandate is clear – to provide strategic direction and oversight, and to further embed environmental performance into Boeing's thinking, culture and action.

There is a clear understanding at Boeing of how important environmental improvement is to our communities and marketplace and why it must continue to be integrated into our business strategy going forward.

Boeing aims to demonstrate leadership from our supply chain and operations through to our products and services. As a positive side effect, our focus on environmental performance has generally resulted in a direct positive impact on our productivity.

In 2008, Boeing committed publicly to five-year 25 percent environmental improvement targets for greenhouse gas emissions intensity, recycling, energy efficiency and hazardous waste that are aggressive and transparent.

We think of these like we do our financial targets—our Executive Council led by Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney sets the targets and the business leaders must perform to that plan. The organization I lead, Environment, Health and Safety, provides the framework and integration required to measure, maximize impact and report on progress.

And that progress has been solid. As you can read in this report, Boeing is on track to meet the five-year goals; indeed we are well ahead in our target for recycling. We also have found many opportunities for water conservation.

Boeing completed a major goal by certifying all of its major manufacturing facilities to the globally recognized ISO 14001 environmental standard by the end of 2008. We achieved this through outstanding commitment by our employees, and now we have the advantage of a standard system to drive improvement across our company.

As I promised in last year's report, this year we expanded our focus on environmental performance across Boeing's value chain—from suppliers to end of service.

On supply chain, we have developed and deployed a ‘collaboration and engagement' strategy that builds on Boeing's internal work on productivity improvements and waste elimination—a process we call ‘Lean+'.

The idea is simple—we will work with our suppliers on opportunities for footprint reduction—and cost reduction. We will also make clear to suppliers that our strategy is to prefer environmentally progressive materials and services. We're sharing where we're going and helping them understand how to come with us—and in some cases, we are learning from and with them.

Great examples of Lean+ in action are highlighted in this report—including a delivery solution our teams developed with stationery supplier OfficeMax that reduces packaging waste, carbon dioxide emissions from delivery trucks and costs; and workshops led by our employees in Winnipeg, Canada, to see how they could achieve zero waste to landfill at a selected manufacturing area. Results from these projects are extremely encouraging and we expect to see similar efforts replicated across the company.

Much of this work is the result of employee innovation. Boeing is encouraging and directing employee involvement in ‘Green Teams' to improve performance at our facilities. Since the beginning of 2008, the number of Green Teams has increased from five to over 20—and those teams have broad access to resources to help guide their work and share it across the enterprise.

Through innovative community partnerships, we are bringing about positive change and advancing environmental philanthropy. Working with groups such as TreePeople on reforestation in California and on projects like protecting the Thane Creek wetlands around Mumbai, India, our motivated employees have showed their interest and commitment by volunteering with environmental groups around the world. 

Boeing does still have areas of challenges associated with its current and legacy operations. The effect to our communities is something we take extremely seriously. We paid fines totaling $23,607 in 2008—linked mainly to hazardous waste and emissions. One example was excess dust and solvent emissions from dirty rags at our Mesa facility.

Boeing is actively cleaning up sites where past practices have led to damage to the environment. Boeing continues to progress toward positive outcomes at sites including Santa Susana in California, which the company will clean up and then transfer for use as open space.

Our customers are increasingly demanding improved environmental performance from our products. Boeing is incorporating elements of design that will improve environmental performance earlier into our product lifecycles as well as providing new technology that can improve existing products.

Boeing supports efforts to diversify energy sources and accelerate the market viability of sustainable sources of biomass-derived fuels for the aviation industry to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions.

Embracing accountability and improving our communication to all stakeholders about our environmental challenges and opportunities continues to be a priority. In addition to this report and ongoing briefings about our performance, Boeing has engaged with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders program—committing to an absolute five-year greenhouse gas reduction target of one percent.

We also have embraced a critical external review of our strategy and performance by participating in the Carbon Disclosure Project—an investor-oriented program for ranking corporate understanding and transparency around climate-change risks. Our 2008 Carbon Disclosure Project score improved from 35 to 53 of 100, putting us ahead of aerospace peers—although only middle of the road as a manufacturer. We are aiming higher in 2009.

We also have listened to stakeholders that would like us to format our environmental activity to Global Reporting Initiative standards, and we will be making more of that information available in a GRI format starting this year.

Boeing believes that by embracing thoughtful efforts at transparency and standardization the company is better positioned for future changes in regulatory frameworks—particularly around greenhouse gas emissions.

Ultimately, we will be judged by our ability to deliver on our commitments. In that sense, our 2008 achievements—meeting our operational environmental improvement targets, certifying to the ISO 14001 standard and pursuing our sustainable biofuel development work—are positive.

Boeing's strength is its ability to pioneer new technologies to improve environmental performance and our dedication to changing our operations to reduce our impact on the ecosystem.

As we look ahead the strategy is clear and our challenge is to execute it well.

Mary Armstrong

Mary Armstrong

Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety