Both passengers and airline operators alike are becoming more concerned with sustainability within the travel industry. Our innovation team, led by our Creative and Marketing Director Richard Wake, launched our Four the Future strategy at WTCE 2019. The strategy is part of our promise to lead positive change within the industry.
We sat down with Richard to find out more about the strategy, and how it aims to create steps towards sustainable skies.
What is Four the Future?
It is essentially a strategy aiming to improve En Route’s impact on the environment.
As a responsible global business, En Route is passionate about
developing products which help to reduce the impact on the environment.
By creating a framework to shape our activity, we aim to drive and
encourage behavioural change throughout our supply chain.
Our creative and agile approach means we are able to take on any
challenge and provide solutions that can make a difference anywhere in the
How was FTF developed?
This has really been developing over a process of a few years. We have
worked with different customers and stakeholders for a number of years to
develop products which place environmental considerations at the heart of what
What I’ve noticed over the years, is that the industry has peaked
interest in this and dropped it again. Throughout this, we’ve continued to work
behind the scenes on making continuous improvements to our products and
What are you aiming to do with this?
We will be building the four pillars of ‘Four The
Future’ into our existing innovation process. These pillars will become KPIs
which we will use to measure how well a new product concept performs
The pillars are:
unnecessary packaging without harming product performance
Remove – non-renewable
materials which either take too long to biodegrade or cannot be recycled
Replace – environmentally
damaging materials with kinder alternatives
Reimagine – service
design and delivery by identifying opportunities to reduce environmental impact
By utilising these elements we will be able to make
sure we are properly considering how each element of a product or service is
developed to fully optimise the potential for a reduction in environmental
impact at each stage of the development process, and throughout our supply chain.
This, in turn, will also help our customers and partners to meet their own
unique environmental targets and ensuring our strategy will be a force for good
in our industry.
Why are you doing it now?
We’ve created lots of great products in the past and time is right now
to kick on a take it to the next level. This framework will give us that
opportunity to really push this forward even further.
This is a launchpad for deeper growth and has automatically become a key
focus for us. It will become a cornerstone of everything we do and do much to
help us to get the best out of our journey.
We’ve set targets that will further drive it. We will measure this and
continue to monitor and improve our work.
What targets have you set?
There are a number of targets which will also develop with time. These
• All hot handheld packaging will be made from biodegradable materials
• All cheese packaging will be made from recycled, recyclable or compostable materials by 2020
• All bakery packaging will be made from biodegradable or compostable
materials by 2020
We will also conduct a full audit of all packaging used across our entire supply chain, across all products sold. Ensure all packaging from passenger facing products to outer cases is optimised to minimise unnecessary packaging by 2020.
Importantly, we will embed environmental KPIs into all innovation projects immediately.
Who is involved in delivering FTF?
This is designed to embed itself within the whole business, influence
suppliers, and engage customers. We all have role to play and this framework
gives us a platform to have deeper and measurable conversations.
How will this happen?
We have already seen some great results. As part of our FTF activity, we have cut the overall product weight of our Emirates Business Class cheese by more than 20 tonnes per year by reducing its packaging.
We have also used this framework as our innovation KPIs for WTCE in Hamburg recently. The four elements have been a driving force in creating either completely new products or products which have an incremental innovation.
For more information about our Four the Future strategy and how we can help you with your journey towards sustainable skies, get in touch.