EBAA Launches S.T.A.R.S., Giving Bizav Companies a Path to Sustainable Growth

25 May, 2022

European business aviation companies have a new tool for moving forward on sustainability and broadening their workforce with EBAA’s ambitious Standards & Training for Aviation Responsibility and Sustainability program – or S.T.A.R.S.

Conceived of by One Young World delegates three years ago at the 2019 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE), S.T.A.R.S. officially launched May 24 at EBACE2022, with a panel of EBAA Young Ambassadors describing the three-tier, self-certification program of goal-setting, progress monitoring and full implementation.

“This is an off-the-shelf program that we can implement,” said Nuno Perestrelo, procurement manager with Luxaviation, one of six companies that participated in the S.T.A.R.S. pilot program.

‘Absolutely Doable’ Program

“As you know, business aviation is not producing lots of carbon compared with other industries,” Perestrelo added, “but with public perception, if we want to survive, we need to go for sustainability. More customers are asking for it.”

Switzerland-based charter operator Cat Aviation also completed Tier 1 of the pilot program for environmental and social standards, and decided to move onto Tier 2.

“It’s a big task, but it’s absolutely doable,” said Patrick Müry, Cat Aviation’s flight dispatch/sales and sustainability officer. “The good thing about S.T.A.R.S. is it gives you a step-by-step guideline, so even smaller operators can get it done.”

Tier 1 of S.T.A.R.S. involves self-measurement and writing a policy for continuous improvement on sustainability and social aims. Tiers 2 and 3 are when organizations implement the policy and make it part of their culture, in the model of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) and the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH).

“Look at your company and think about what you can do better, that’s what S.T.A.R.S. is about,” said Magdalena Korpal, head of security for Luxair. “Start off small. First, appoint a sustainability officer, educate at least this one person and to spread awareness. That’s what the first year of S.T.A.R.S. is all about. Start by measuring your carbon footprint, then maybe tomorrow you can start offsetting.”

Sustainability Attracts Young Talent

S.T.A.R.S. was designed by EBAA Young Ambassadors to go beyond emissions reductions and include social topics such as workplace diversity, gender equality and inclusion. Working toward these standards could be essential for companies looking to attract and retain the next generation of talent.

“Given the choice between one job and one [with a more sustainable company], I do think this will help with retain employees in the future,” said EBAA Senior Environment Manager Bruce Parry.

“This is really a transformation of our industry, so if you start with the culture and empower your people, you will come up with new solutions,” said Stewart D’Leon, NBAA director of environmental and technical operations, likening S.T.A.R.S. to NBAA’s new Leadership in a Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Program, which just accepted its first round of applicants.

“The social standards really pulled me in, drew me to S.T.A.R.S.,” said Liz Moscrop, founder and CEO of GearUp Media. “We all share one planet. As an industry, we have an amazing array of new technology, electrification, carbon offsetting and SAF [solutions]. We need to stand up and be proud.”

Learn more about S.T.A.R.S.