Introduction by Carolyn McCall – Chief Executive
At easyJet we seek to be a responsible company and make a positive contribution to society. We want to do the right thing for our customers, our people, our partners, the communities in which we operate and the environment. This is very important to the continued success of the business. Everyone who has a relationship with easyJet expects the airline to act responsibly and continue to improve.
Safety is always easyJet’s highest priority and comes before any of our other responsibilities. We continue to operate comprehensive processes and structures to monitor and manage safety-related risk throughout the company.
We remain passionate about making travel easy and affordable for our customers. Our Customer Charter has continued to be a guide for all our people. This year we have particularly focused on how we support customers when there is disruption to their journey. We have made improvements to our support at airports and in our communication to customers, including innovative use of digital technology such as the easyJet mobile app.
Our culture is an essential part of our success. Bringing the values of safety, pioneering, one team, passion, integrity and simplicity alive every day is important to all our people. So it is essential that easyJet continues to attract, develop and retain the right people. It is our people who will help to meet our ambition of being Europe’s preferred short-haul airline.
We value diversity and believe it contributes to our continued success. One aspect of this is female talent in our business. easyJet already focusses on ensuring there is a pipeline of women coming up through the organisation. The easyJet women’s network started four years ago and has now got great momentum, which comes from the women across our airline. It strengthens this pipeline of talent.
As part of increasing the representation of women across the airline, we are now increasing our efforts to recruit female pilots. We recognise that the proportion of female pilots is too low, though this is common in the airline industry. We want to encourage more women to join and stay in this interesting, highly-skilled and well-rewarded profession. We have set an initial target to double the proportion of female new entrant pilots over two years, as the first phase of a long term strategy to increase the proportion of female pilots at the airline and bring more women into more senior ranks and management roles.
The nature of our business means that our carbon emissions will be our largest environmental impact for the foreseeable future. We continue to be an efficient airline, due to a modern fleet and high load factor. It is the right thing to continue to work to reduce our environmental impact, but it is also absolutely central to maintaining our cost advantage and wider business efficiency. Our new fleet of Airbus A320neo, which will start to arrive in 2017, will increase fuel efficiency by a further 13 to 15%. In 2013 we set targets to reduce our carbon emissions per passenger kilometre by 5% by 2022 and we have already achieved a 3% reduction, so we have increased the target to 8% by 2020.
We also want to have strong, positive and effective relationships with our partners. We already have very good relationships with most of them. We have established a supplier relationship management framework based on the easyJet values. This guides relationships and clearly sets out our partners’ rights and responsibilities.
We are working to reduce and manage waste from our operations. A new project will focus on reducing the amount of waste on-board our aircraft, by engaging with our customers, our crew and our supply chain.
The easyJet Special Assistance Advisory Group, chaired by Lord David Blunkett, continues to provide valuable advice and challenge to easyJet on how we support people who need assistance when travelling. A visible sign of the progress is that every easyJet aircraft now has an on-board wheelchair.
In 2015 we passed the milestone of £5 million in fundraising for Unicef, supporting their work to eradicate polio across the world. This is down to our crews’ on-board appeals and the generosity of our customers. In light of this success, and our excellent relationship with Unicef, we are continuing the partnership for a further three years. The renewed partnership aims to raise at least a further £5 million and increase the work between easyJet and Unicef in all key European markets.
Our customers and people have told us that they value the Unicef partnership but they also want us to increase the contribution we make locally. We have recently expanded this work, initially in the Luton area around our head office, in partnership with a new organisation called Connecting Enterprising Women. They have partnered easyJet female managers with young women in education, to provide mentoring and careers advice. This complements easyJet’s emphasis on mentoring within the business to support career and personal development. Over the next year we hope to develop this programme and look for other ways we can have a positive impact in the areas around some of our key bases.
easyJet has made good progress as seen by the varied initiatives. Our people are energized and motivated by these priorities and we all recognise we can continue to do a lot more.