On October 13, 2011, an Airbus A321 powered by twin CFM56-5B engines reduced its CO2 emissions by 50% during a commercial flight between the Toulouse-Blagnac and Paris-Orly airports.
Three main factors contributed to this world first: the use of a sustainable biofuel (in a 50-50 mix with conventional jet fuel), optimized air traffic management (ATM), and reduced payload weight.
Snecma has taken an active role in testing engines using biofuels over the last few years. Furthermore, the new-generation LEAP engine, scheduled to enter service in 2016 on the A320neo and the C919, and in 2017 on the Boeing 737 MAX, will reduce CO2 emissions by 15%.
Snecma has long focused on sustainable development and reducing pollution of all kinds during the development, production and operation of our engines.
These environmental issues have also become a political and economic challenge for the aviation industry, and especially for commercial aviation. Measures such as stringent pollution standards, the allocation of landing slots according to noise and pollution taxes are increasingly widespread.
At Snecma, we develop products to comply with current and foreseen standards, while offering significant margins. A significant share of our Research & Technology budget is dedicated to programs designed to reduce environmental impact, a policy we have applied for many years, while also reducing maintenance costs.
We are also heavily involved in the development and application of new environmental standards, working hand in hand with a number of French, European and international organizations.
In Europe, the "Vision 2020" report, published in 2001, defined the European aviation industry´s objectives for 2020. The environment is of course considered one of the major challenges, including the following ambitious objectives: 50% reduction in perceived noise and CO2 releases per passenger-kilometer; and an 80% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions compared with 2000. The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE), which groups all stakeholders in European aeronautics research, drew up the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) to meet these objectives. Snecma, as a member of ACARE, was a major contributor to this Agenda, in particular by coordinating the writing of sections about the environment.
Snecma consistently applies the results of our research efforts, and the new engines now under development will incorporate these new environmentally-friendly technologies.
Furthermore, our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have led us to take an active role in biofuel research and testing.
Snecma´s environmental policy applies to all of our products and all of our industrial facilities. We aim to reduce the pollution generated by our engines during operation, including noise, greenhouse gases and other emissions. We also seek to improve the environmental quality of our facilities, for instance by treating releases, sorting waste, reducing the use of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and using "greener" processes within the scope of a continuous improvement approach based on ISO 14001 certification (for the environmental management system).