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Boeing’s Newest Planes Designed To Be More Fuel Efficient, Reduce Carbon Emissions

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Wednesday June 1st, 2011 | 2 Comments

Boeing’s two newest planes, the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8, are designed to be more fuel efficient and thus reduce carbon emissions, according to Boeing’s latest sustainability report. The Dreamliner is designed to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than previously comparable aircraft. The 747-8 will provide 16 percent better fuel economy than previous 747 renditions and emit 16 percent less CO2. Additionally, Boeing will offer improvements to existing planes. In 2012, Boeing will begin flying an “ecoDemonstrator 737” to test low emissions technologies.

“Boeing has taken up the challenge to make our products, services and operations ever more environmentally progressive,” said Mary Armstrong, vice president of Environment, Health and Safety. “As we accelerate these environmental improvements, we continue to pursue new game-changing possibilities.”

Boeing’s environmental targets

Boeing has the following environmental targets for its U.S. operations:

  • 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 25 percent reduction in energy consumption
  • 25 percent reduction in water intake
  • 25 percent reduction in hazardous waste generation
  • 75 percent decrease in solid waste sent to landfills

The report details the progress Boeing has made to meet its environmental targets. Since 2002, the company reduced carbon emissions 28 percent, energy use 30 percent, hazardous waste 44 percent and water use 41 percent. In 2010, Boeing reduced absolute energy consumption by three percent, and absolute water intake by five percent compared to 2009. Last year, Boeing also diverted 73 percent of its solid waste generated from landfills, up from 68 percent in 2009.

Boeing’s South Carolina 787 Dreamliner facility and cleaning up former sites

All of Boeing’s South Carolina 787 Dreamliner facility’s new buildings will be built to achieve a LEED Silver rating or higher. The site will be completely powered by renewable energy, including solar power generated with thin-film solar laminate panels on the roof of a new building. The solar panels will provide up to 2.6 megawatts (MW), 20 percent of the power needed, and enough to power about 250 homes. When completed, the solar installation will be the largest energy-generating facility in the Southeast by production capacity, and sixth largest in the U.S. The rest of the power needed will come from a renewable energy facility.

Boeing has LEED certified buildings in California, Texas and Washington. The company is currently pursuing LEED certification for corporate headquarters in Chicago and buildings in Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

Boeing spends about $100 million a year cleaning up former manufacturing facilities and sites where it shipped chemicals and other waste for treatment, storage or disposal. The company completed cleaning up six sites in 2010, and has completed cleaning up almost 150 sites.


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  • http://therefinishingtouch.com/blog The Refinishing Touch

    Considering these planes probably aren’t cheap and airlines are in need of every penny they can get, should we be expecting an increase in fares for the ability to ‘fly greener?” This doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibilities, but would certainly be a shame if it did end up happening.

  • Muhammed Fayiz Lakkal

    Best wishes to Boeing…