Different shades of green? Industrial Products climate change series

PricewaterhouseCoopers is pleased to launch a short thought leadership paper on the impact of the climate change agenda post Copenhagen and the business implications for our Aerospace & Defence clients. Key findings indicate:

  • CEOs within Industrial Products are beginning to come to terms with some of the commercial risks arising from climate change, as well as some of the potential opportunities.
  • Key issues remain ensuring efficient compliance through hedging arrangements and undertaking internal process improvements where possible
  • A pro-active approach is vital. Companies need to begin work on emissions inventories, data and systems.

This paper is accompanied by an Aerospace and Defence (A&D) sector supplement providing a background on the current state of the industry followed by an analysis of the leading A&D clients and how they are responding to climate change issues based on publically available information. We found that many aerospace and defence companies are already taking pro-active steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption.

For the Aerospace sector, improving the fuel efficiency and emissions profile of aircraft is a major area of focus. Aerospace companies are developing more efficient aircraft, and refining aircraft operation specifications to include fuel saving attributes, e.g. continuous descent, weight reduction, maintenance actions, flight planning accuracy, fuel planning and routing etc. Aerospace companies are also providing solutions to improve fuel efficiency of existing aircraft, such as retrofitting existing aircraft wings with new winglets, which reduce drag and improve fuel use.

Massive research efforts are looking to drive further technological advances -- for example the Clean Sky JTI, a combined effort shared between the European Commission and industry, is dedicating an estimated 1.6 billion Euros to researching "breakthrough developments" across the entire aeronautic supply chain.

Defence companies are also improving their own energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions, and helping customers do the same. The defence industry has developed monitoring technologies now in use in the oceans, atmosphere, and even outer space which are contributing to a greater understanding of the impacts of climate change. Many defence companies are also increasing the efficiency of their products and offering new solutions such as "virtual training". Governmental customers are giving climate change issues a stronger focus as concerns around the ‘carbon footprint’ increase and climate change is acknowledged as an issue with strategic importance, so sector players are likely to step up efforts even further.