Boeing Offers Eight CleanTech Takeaways for the Future of Aviation

Since 1916, Boeing has grown into the world’s largest aerospace company and the largest exporter in the U.S. More than 75,000 people report to work across the state, making Boeing the largest private employer in Washington State.

Boeing’s big presence comes with big environmental and community responsibilities. Steve Shestag, Boeing’s Director of the Environment, joined the CleanTech Alliance for breakfast at Perkins Coie on Sept. 14 to outline the company’s environmental commitment and performance.

Here are 8 cleantech takeaways from the Sept. 14 event.

  1. Environmental compliance is a way of business for Boeing. Shestag oversees a team of 60 environmental professionals across the globe working to meet the company’s aggressive environmental goals.
  2. Aviation accounts for 2 percent of worldwide carbon emissions. That’s a hefty number that Boeing is actively working to decrease via technology innovation and operational improvements.
  3. By 2050, the aviation industry has targeted a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions (compared to 2005 levels). By 2020, the industry is committed to reaching carbon-neutral growth year over year. Boeing is an active participant in these efforts.
  4. Boeing’s energy consumption in Washington State has decreased 15 percent since 2007. This is despite extensive growth and expansion. About 25 percent of the company’s Pacific Northwest operations are powered by wind. At the Renton facility, 100% of the electricity comes from renewable sources.
  5. Even little things like paint can have a major impact on fuel efficiency and emissions. Boeing is working to develop paints that repel bugs and dirt to offset increased friction and drag.
  6. Boeing is helping environmental and atmospheric research.  In 2014, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator 787 participated in the Comprehensive Observation Network for Trace Gases by Airlines (CONTRAIL) project. This project samples air in the upper atmosphere during long-haul flights to help researchers better understand the mechanism by which greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide, circulate around the globe. Japan Airlines has participated in the program since 1993, using its fleet of 747s, and has expanded the program to its 777s.
  7. Inspiration is part of Shestag’s job description. One of Shestag’s primary responsibilities is to gain inspiration from CleanTech Alliance members and the greater cleantech community. He then relays that inspiration across Boeing to keep all employees committed to environmental compliance and performance improvements.
  8. Boeing needs your help! Boeing set very aggressive environmental and clean technology adoption goals and is looking to CleanTech Alliance members for ways to meet those goals. One example; reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills from the manufacturing process.

Want to learn more? Check out the #CleanTechBacon Twitter conversation or read our Q&A with Steve Shestag. A video of the breakfast presentation is also embedded below.

The CleanTech Alliance Breakfast Series is your opportunity to rub elbows with distinguished cleantech executives from across Washington State, the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Presented by Perkins Coie, join 100 cleantech industry leaders for a monthly conversation featuring a tremendous lineup of distinguished speakers. Check out our full lineup of executive speakers!