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Safran China receives the “ESG Environmental Leadership Award”

ESG Awards

Safran was granted the “ESG Environmental Leadership Award” at the 2023 annual gala organised by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (CCIFC) on September 23rd 2023. Rémi Paul, General Delegate for China & CEO of Safran China, received the award on stage from Bertrand Lortholary, the French Ambassador to China.

The objective of the ESG Awards is to recognize outstanding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices among the CCIFC members companies operating in China. Environmental Leadership Award, which is one of the three categories of ESG Awards, aims to highlight the companies that are leading the way in creating sustainable and responsible business practices that benefit both the environment and society.

As the 3rd global aerospace group excluding airframers, Safran is aware of its responsibilities and has given itself the mission of making a lasting change in the air transport industry to build the world of the future. 75% of Safran self-financed R&T is dedicated to improve the environmental performance of our products. Sponsored at the highest level of the group, Safran’s CSR approach – Engage for the Future – is an integral part of the Group’s strategy and closely aligned with Safran’s core purpose. Decarbonization of the aviation industry is one of the four pillars on which Safran CSR strategy is built.

In response to the climate challenge, Safran has developed an ambitious policy to support the transition to carbon-neutral aviation by 2050. With new engine architectures, sustainable fuels, hybrid electric technologies, new materials and aircraft weight reduction, Safran has already begun to reshape the future of aviation. Safran intends to lead the way in the decarbonization of the aviation sector, through a climate strategy with two focuses: firstly, reducing emissions from the use of its products by investing in research and development; secondly, deploying energy management systems to make its buildings and manufacturing processes more energy efficient. In addition, Safran mobilizes all its employees to make their workplaces greener by reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency in their daily behavior.

In 2021, Safran and its partner GE unveiled CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines), aiming at developing a future engine that is 20% more fuel efficient than the latest-generation LEAP engine, and 100% compatible with sustainable fuels (SAF) or hydrogen. By combining these two advances, the aircraft will be able to cut CO2 emissions by more than 80%.

In China, Safran has also achieved important results in aviation decarbonization. Along with its partners, Safran has been exploring the extensive use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) by carrying out multiple flight tests in China. In October last year, a LEAP-1A engine powered an Airbus A320neo assembled in China for its first flight with SAF. In June this year, a Safran Arriel 2D engine powered an Airbus H125, which led to the first helicopter flight with SAF (at a hybrid ratio of 40%) in China.

With low carbon strategy implemented at all sites, Safran in China is fully involved in implementing ESG actions directly or indirectly related to its industrial operations and product manufacturing, including:

  • Sustainable new buildings: Safran Aircraft Engines’ new plant in Guiyang is designed to minimize energy usage, featuring for example LED light with motion sensors, high-performance insulation materials and solar heating, resulting in 20% reduction in carbon emissions.
Safran Aircraft Engines Guiyang new facility
  • Green energy plan: At Safran industrial hub in Suzhou, an area of 32,000 square meters (345,600 sq. ft) is covered with photovoltaic (PV) panels. The installation will provide up to 3 MWh of electricity, equivalent to 6-10% of the site’s total requirements. Also planned is solar lighting on the outside of buildings and along access roads and electric vehicle charging stations. Thanks to these initiatives, roughly 1,700 metric tons of CO2 will be saved each year.
  • More efficient building management: A sensor-based Energy Management System installed at our facilities in Suzhou allows to monitor energy consumption by our production facilities in real time. This helps raise awareness among production staff of best practices, like switching off certain machines over the weekend or over holiday periods. In Suzhou at our facilities, conventional lightbulbs have been replaced by LEDs, while the site’s two compressors have given way to a centralized, more energy efficient installation. Other upgrades include a new, more efficient air conditioning filtration system and air cooling system.
Solar panels at Safran industrial hub in Suzhou
  • More ecofriendly transport: Safran Suzhou has improved transport flows by buying its containers in China rather than Europe, which reduced CO2 emissions by around 680 tons and at the same time significantly optimized the logistics process.
  • Make difference with daily actions: In 2023, Safran Suzhou converted all employees shuttle buses to electric buses. Employees are also encouraged to play their part in decarbonizing sites by adopting more ecofriendly habits, such as switching off the light and A/C when leaving office or office room, closing windows when A/C is switched on, using public transportation, bike, or walking, recycling the trash, using recyclable bag etc.
  • Mobilizing our suppliers: “Think Global Act Local”, Safran purchases from local supply chain and Integrates a low carbon emission criteria on the SSC (Supplier Selection Committee). Safran Supply Chain asks suppliers to reply on a low carbon strategy questionnaire and combining the transport of local suppliers. 60% of Safran indirect purchasing suppliers for its Suzhou industrial hub are located in China to reduce transport lead time, cost and bring better reactivity.

Safran is grateful for the recognition from the Chinese French business community in our achievements and actions toward decarbonization. We will continue to work hand in hand with our partners to sustainably change the aviation industry and build the world of tomorrow. 


More about our CSR strategy, click here.