WestJet has become the first Canadian airline to publish a sustainability report that adheres to Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
The 40 page report is interesting in a number of ways. Not surprisingly for an airline, issues of safety are given much prominence. The report provides quite specific details about a number of the initiatives undertaken by the airline.
On the environment front a clear graph provides information on how much the Company’s carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by efficiency initiatives implemented since 2000. This is a neat way of dealing with changes in fleet size and distances flown while transparently illustrating that actual emissions continue to increase due to the Company’s growth.
Fuel consumption efficiency is presented somewhat less clearly, in part because this is a measure that may not be familiar to many readers and in part because the Company has used a graphical presentation that does not have zero as the starting point on the y-axis. GallonDaily considers this to be a style of presentation which may be easily misinterpreted because fast readers may not notice what amounts to a distorted graph. However, the report also presents the fuel consumption efficiency data for 2010 and 2011 in a tabular form which is not readily susceptible to misinterpretation.
The report, which we commend both to sustainability reporting aficionados and frequent flyers, is available at http://www.westjet.com/pdf/global-reporting.pdf