Air Canada has highlighted its environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities throughout 2022 and its ambitions for the future in its latest Citizens of the World sustainability report. 

The annual report focused on a number of environmental steps taken by the company in its 85th anniversary year, including a $5m (C$7m) agreement to purchase 30 ES-30 electric-hybrid regional aircraft from Heart Aerospace, when they have been developed. 

Canada’s flag-carrier airline also showcased its efforts to rebuild its network after the pandemic with 945 daily flights covering 185 direct destinations and more than 37 million passengers in 2022. 

President and CEO Michael Rousseau said: “As Canada’s flag carrier, we connect Canada to the world, and we are acutely aware of the responsibility we have toward the communities we fly to and our planet. 

“We have developed corporate priorities to improve our operations while caring for our customers, our employees and our communities, as well as preserving the planet we help people explore.” 

As well as the purchase agreement of the hybrid-electric aircraft, Air Canada also partnered with carbon offsetting company Chooose to allow customers to see the environmental impact of their flight and pay extra to “offset” the carbon created. 

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The airline also recruited eight of its corporate accounts to the Leave Less Travel Program, which offers a similar service, although the idea of carbon offsetting remains controversial due to disagreement over its effectiveness as a sustainability practice. 

In addition to its environmental efforts, the company also showcased its charitable and internal achievements including being named one of the World’s Best Employers by Forbes, donating $1.6m to children’s charities and supporting 250 community organisations.

On the future-facing side of the airline’s activities, the main focus was its fleet renewal programme, which saw orders for the Airbus A321XLR (30) and A220 (60 orders with the option for another 15), and the purchase of two Boeing 777 freighter aircraft for its cargo services. 

The airline also invested $6.75m in Canadian climate solutions company Carbon Engineering to advance its direct carbon capture technology.

The Citizens of the World report follows a successful Q2 earnings release by the company in August where the airline upped the low-end estimation of its full year earnings to $2.6bn after a drastic rise in operating income despite operations not being at expected levels.