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The Sustainability Opportunity for Aerospace

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The Sustainability Opportunity for Aerospace

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Don’t blame COVID-19 for an impending decline of the aerospace industry – blame a lack of sustainability.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Overview


It’s no secret that the aerospace industry is facing myriad threats – most people assume that the travel slowdown inspired by COVID-19 tops the list, but as consumer sensibilities change, sustainability issues will present a more long-lasting concern. Governments are also contributing to sustainability pressure, with increased regulations and efficiency requirements. If improved sustainability isn’t already at the top of the list of priorities aerospace industry executives pull out of the pandemic, it should be. The Boston Consulting Group offer some compelling suggestions.


Sustainability issues plague the aerospace industry.

In 2019, commercial aviation contributed about 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but if operations continue as is, the industry’s share of emissions could rise to 20% by 2050. Consumer behavior will likely continue to reflect mounting concerns for the environment, making sustainability an increasingly important part of doing business.

Aware of their precarious position, aerospace industry players have created a challenging plan to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2050. Unfortunately, they’re unlikely to reach this goal. Decisive action is necessary.

Air travel will increase when the pandemic ends, canceling out the effects of the new technologies expected to lead efficiency gains.

The industry has already adopted technologies...

About the Authors

Pelayo Losada, Matt Aaronson, Amanda Brimmer, Jérôme Rein, and Yoichi Hangai are professionals with the Boston Consulting Group.

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