Going green essential for European aerospace industry

Posted on 15 Sep 2020 by Tom Lane

Business leaders from across the European Aerospace industry see greener technologies as the key to future success, according to a new report.

The second part of Protolabs’ Horizon Shift report has highlighted the need for the European aerospace industry to shift towards greener technologies.

The report surveyed aerospace business leaders from across Europe and found that more than three-quarters of firms (77%) believe that environmental credibility will be a key differentiator moving forward.

Other key findings to come out of the research suggested that investment in innovation that reduces emissions should continue (65%) and new materials will be the driving force behind making flying cleaner (72%).

Most notably, 91% of the business leaders surveyed admitted that cutting CO2 emissions is having some sort of impact on the way they are running their company.

The report was compiled by talking with senior executives from Composite Technology Center, Schiebel Group and Tecnam with the aim to help better understand how this critically important market was looking to recover from the far-reaching impact of Covid-19.

In addition to environmental improvements, companies are also looking for government support and stimulus packages to help them create new revenue streams, embed innovation in their supply chain and bring new products to market more quickly.

More than a third (39%) believe that there needs to be more immediate investment in infrastructure, while 33% are calling on more supportive fiscal policy, such as tax breaks or R&D grants.

European Aerospace industryHorizon Shifts Aerospace 1

Bjoern Klaas, Vice President and Managing Director of Protolabs Europe, said: “The two crises of climate change and the Covid-19 lockdowns are changing the face of the aerospace industry. New types of aircraft, business models and supply chains will emerge.”

“Survival is not going to be about a fast transition, but about building up resilience for the long-term and, part of that, is producing the next generation of aircraft: improved aerodynamics, lighter, more fuel-efficient and less polluting.”

He continued: “Our latest Horizon Shift report brings this clearly into view; 77% of companies feel environmental performance will be a key differentiator, a 9% increase from when we asked the same question in our initial survey just before the lockdowns.

“More than 90% of business leaders admit that cutting CO2 is having some form of impact on how they run their companies and, the good news for the European aerospace sector, is that it appears they’ve decided to embrace the pressure by transforming supply chains and developing new technologies and materials.

“Earlier this year, Airbus reconfirmed its commitment to decarbonisation and leading the development of a more sustainable global aerospace industry – this is a commitment that will filter through its supply chain.”

The Horizon Shift report delves into challenges facing the supply chain and what operational improvements the sector is taking to overcome these.

Click here to read The Manufacturers’ summary of the first part of Protolabs’ Horizon Shift report.

*Images courtesy of Protolabs