Virgin Atlantic is set to remove unsustainable ingredients, such as beef and palm oil, from in-flight menus. The initiative is part of the company’s ongoing partnership with the non-profit Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The Virgin Atlantic 2017 Sustainability Report outlines that the partnership with SRA aims to ensure that the 5.5 million meals served by Virgin Atlantic annually will provide “humanely farmed meat and dairy; sustainably sourced fish and seafood and reduced de-forestation risk food.” As part of its commitments on deforestation, Virgin will begin to use rapeseed oil in place of palm oil in meals on its flights to the Caribbean.
Aviation remains a considerable and growing contributor to emissions, with passenger numbers projected to nearly double by 2035, largely due to increased demand in Asia Pacific.
Is this a token pledge or a meaningful attempt to reduce emissions in a difficult-to-decarbonise sector? Is this a sign that unsustainable foods are increasingly becoming socially unacceptable?